THE BIG TREND
There has been a big trend in the last few years towards users wanting to have all of their data locally and in a non-proprietary format that will last for ages.
A number of things have driven this: A real concern for privacy as everything moves to the cloud. People have been burned by cloud companies like Evernote that they thought would be solid forever but then flailed. And open source formats like markdown taking hold.
I hopped on this trend several years ago. I pulled all of my data off of Notion. I adopted Obsidian and Logseq which store their files in markdown locally on your computer. There are even Notion alternatives that store the data locally.
I’ve really come to like this. It offers a lot of peace of mind. Companies come and go but markdown in plain text files will be here forever. I love that I can write little macros or even code on my mac that can manipulate these files in bulk. I love that I can have a single file system structure and open the same files from Obsidian, Logseq or IA Writer, to name a few.
I started using Agenda early on and then moved away for a while. But now I’m back full on - well, because it’s become just so freakin’ amazing with the last few updates. I’ve always appreciated the coolness of the apps and they’re even cooler now.
I still use Logseq and IA Writer and other markdown based tools. Using Agenda isn’t like having your data stored with some cloud provider but the data still resides in a proprietary file format in a proprietary database that we can’t directly access. If only there was a way to address this pressing issue that has become so central to so many users these days, including myself.
Let me propose a solution
What if there was a way to have Agenda automatically save any changed files periodically (say once a day) to a local file system in markdown format. (Maybe allow PDF to be alternate option for those that prefer this). So the first time it runs it will save every note in every project into a separate markdown file on the local system. From then on it will only save (overwrite) those files that change.
There would be an option to use project, category and subcategories as folders or to output everyting into a single folder as is done in zettelkasten systems like Logseq.
Then users like myself would be able to have their Agenda notes integrated into their Obsidian or Logseq systems and to open them in markdown editors like IA Writer. Of course, the changes aren’t round-tripped back to Agenda, but I think that’s ok. It would be for me. I can link to those pages in Logseql and use them freely.
And it addresses a long time issue
Back in 2018 I posted a topic here in this group about the lack of a backup for Agenda. @drewmccormack addressed it by explaining that Agenda is stored in a database and that copies of the database are backed up to Time Machine on a mac. This somewhat solves the issue of backups but isn’t quite fully there for me and I’m guessing others. Having a markdown version of your entire Agenda system stored and updated daily on your mac or in iCloud files offers a deep peace of mind that one’s Agenda data is safe guarded.