How to plan your no-code app in 4 steps (with an example)

September 19, 2020

Google's App Maker development overview inspired this post 

If you want to avoid headaches and wasted time, you need to plan your no-code app. A no-code app plan looks similar no matter what type of app you are creating. Thankfully.

Here is the planning process:

  1. Roles and Actions
  2. Objects
  3. Object Data
  4. Pages and Modals

Let's dive in. We'll apply this plan to a rental app like Airbnb. Use this Google Sheets No-code Plan template as a reference (File > Make a copy if you want to edit for yourself).


1. Roles and Actions

This part answers the basic question, "Who will use my app and what will they do?"

For an example, if we were making an Airbnb clone with hosts and guests, the roles and actions might look like this:


  • Create house profile, set prices, and manage availability calendar.
  • Accept or decline new booking requests
  • Message guests


  • View house profiles, adjust filters, and favorite
  • Submit booking request
  • Message hosts

2. Objects 

What will users interact with? Objects in your app represent each "thing" a user might control or access.  

List out the main objects with a brief description.

For the Airbnb example, here's what a few objects would look like:

  • House Profile - The central object with information about the rental.
  • Bookings - allows users to request and approve bookings.
  • Message - Communication between users.

3. Object data

Each object will have a list of fields associated with it. It will also have the source or how the object gets created. And it will have relationships with other objects and security details about accessing the object.

This is what the object data would look like for a "House Profile" in our Airbnb example:


  • Title
  • Pictures
  • Price
  • Description
  • Location
  • Availability Calendar


  • Hosts create House Profiles

Relationships to other Objects

  • One rental (house profile) can have multiple bookings (bookings)
  • One rental (house profile) can have one host (user)
  • One rental (house profile) can have one guest (user) at at time
  • One rental (house profile) can have multiple people favorite it (favorites)


  • Only hosts can manage their house profile. Guests only have view access to this data

4. Pages and Modals


List out the pages and modals (or popups) that display the objects and allow for actions to take place.

For an example, here are the Hosts pages and modals for the Airbnb app:

  • Sign up page
  • Profile page
  • House Profile page
  • Messages Modal
  • Create House Profile Modal
  • Image gallery Modal

The no-code project plan is only the start, but it's super necessary. It shouldn't take long to fill out and will make it clear to you how complicated your app idea might be before you start.

Put effort into simplifying at first. Start with the essentials. Lay that foundation down. Then build, learn and adjust, and keep building


Happy building,


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