There’s nothing I like better than trying out new software. I’ve been looking at the software which combines notes, reminders and calendaring. It’s called Agenda and it’s a pretty little thing! It is basically a note taking application which allows you to have an emphasis on dates. You can just put a date on a note or you can connect it to a calendar event. Whether this is of any use to you depends upon how you do notes and what your notes are for. You can already do this sort of thing with the Apple Notes application to a certain extent. I’m just looking at the Notes application now and I can see that each of the notes has a date and time at the top of it. Agenda takes it further. The other application which encroaches upon what Agenda can do is Reminders. Maybe the way you work and organise yourself being able to use one application instead of three will work out for you.
Free or go Premium?
Agenda does have advantages and you can use it for free. However, to get some of the benefits you might pay for the application. Either on iOS or Mac and iOS you can go pro with Agenda. I don’t like the way you have to pay separately to go pro on the Mac and on iOS. When I’m using Day One I can use all the premium features across platforms. If you get just the iOS version you have to get a discount code to upgrade to the full package across platforms.
Working out how to use the Agenda App
I keep trying out at this Agenda application and I like the look of it. I sometimes feel like I can’t quite get my head around how I would use it. You have projects and categories to work with. You put your projects into categories to give it some top-level organisation. You also have an inbox where you can just throw stuff. Then you have various notes inside your project. Inside the notes you can put all sorts of information. Header text, various types of lists including checkboxes if you wish. You can even use bold, italic and underline. You can take a picture with the camera or you can choose a photo from your photo library. The photos show up as thumbnails, with or without a title. Tap on the photo and it will fill the screen. If you want the photo to show fullscreen you need to use the premium facilities. One of the useful things you get in Agenda is tagging. Add a tag anywhere in your note. Tags are handy because you can search for them later. There is another form of tagging where you can link to a person. As I’m trying these things out and comparing them to the Notes application it’s making Agenda look quite good. You don’t get any sort of tagging with Apple Notes.
Agenda to get things done
You could use this Agenda application as your GTD application. There is a Today view which obviously shows whatever is due for today. The view called On the Agenda doesn’t show you everything within the application. When you create something within a project somehow or other it appears in that year. I was expecting that to be just for notes which have had a date or a calendar event assigned to them. I’ve just found out there is the little dot to the left of the title in a note. If that is filled it is marked as being On the Agenda. The note will then appear in the On the Agenda view in the sidebar. This small icon also allows you to mark the note as being done, completed. The other option is to pin the note to the top which is a premium feature.
There are lots of different ways to organise yourself with this application. Use that icon of the top of the note next to the title to have notes directly available in a special section in the sidebar. Mark when a note is completed. Then within notes themselves you can have checkboxes. This means that separate tasks within a project can be ticked off as done. There are a number of levels within the Agenda system.
Sidebar on the right side
The sidebar you pull out from the right side is your calendar. Tap on a note and you get the option to –
- Go to Note
- Mark as completed
- Quick Reschedule (premium feature)
- Edit (premium feature)
- Show in Reminders – this will open up the Reminders application and highlight the note.
To Go Premium or Not?
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go premium with this application. I had a couple of choices. One was to not bother at all. Stick with using the Calendar app, Reminders and Notes. Second option was to go with just the premium on iOS. This was coming in at €12. All go all in and get the Mac version as well. To get everything the price bumped up to €28.
Agenda in All Places
After experimenting and playing with the application for quite some time I decided to go the whole hog. I like having all my information available wherever I am. I use my Mac about as much as I use my iOS devices. I like to be comfortable when I’m writing and use dictation. I get the best dictation on my Mac using DragonDictate. So it’s obvious I need to have Agenda in all places.
I like the Agenda app and being able to organise my notes in a way which works well as a GTD method. The tagging is going to be useful for searches. There is a vibrant community of people using the app giving ideas, tips and tricks on how to get the best from Agenda.
What Next with Agenda
My next trick will be to get automating ways to capture text, ideas and notes from various sources and probably using Shortcuts apps to do it. I already have got a Drafts action to send text to Agenda. Drafts is great for plain text but sometimes you need rich text with images in your notes.Agenda doesn’t have the option to add handwritten notes or drawings as you can in Notes app. My handwriting is terrible anyway.