I’ve been using Agenda as my main note taking app for my job for two years, and I’ve come to the conclusion I’m either using it wrong, or it’s not for me. Because it has become this black hole I put things in, but never easily get anything out. I want it to be my second brain, but can’t seem to organise it that way.
I’m a project manager, overseeing a team of people, a lot of big and smaller projects, leading a task force, I have weekly meetings that crosscut all kinds of topics, … In Agenda I have created 32 Projects for each project, main office stuff and several various topics. I use @people tags, hashtags and checkboxes.
On The Agenda: I never got the hang of this functionality because I consider all my notes to be relevant, and I never check them off. Especially as there are frequently todos in notes that linger on. Also, there’s no easy way to add/remove multiple notes at once to the Agenda, according to some criteria. I guess that’s my biggest Agenda misuse?
Link to events: If a note is linked to a future meeting (usually meeting minutes), I assign it to that future event, but I don’t get much out of that, except that the note pops up in Today when the meeting is there. There’s no use for that afterwards. So linking notes to events feels like a gimmick for me, a todo rather than actually being useful. (Also, the calendar/event selector is not that easy to search and use.) Am I missing something here as it seems the main selling point of Agenda?
Search: is frustrating to use as it never shows the results I expect. I guess this is a consequence of not using “On the agenda”? Because the search function returns results according to project, not date. It would be so great to have search results sorted by date. And allow to narrow/expand the search scope on the fly.
Crosscutting stuff: I have meetings on 1 project (great!) but a lot of meetings touch on multiple projects. In that case I could try to create multiple notes in each Project, but that’s not easy, so I typically add those notes to another Project (lets say “steering committee”), but then it loses any link with the actual projects. When I’m navigating the actual projects, I can’t see any reference to what was discussed in the Steering Committee. It would be great when I add a link to a Project in a steering committee note, automatically a back link would be available in that project. Does that make sense?
Inbox: I miss a dedicated inbox, similar to what Things has to put stuff in you need to organise later.
I guess I could fix some of my issues by adding a lot more manual stuff to my notes (links,back-links, tags, …) but I don’t have time for that. Maybe the future auto-complete function could be of help here? And maybe in my case there’s no frictionless note taking and I need to invest more time in it. Or I need to reorganise everything.
Any thoughts? Sorry for the long post