Better drawing mode

Agenda is an awesome app but my work (software dev) requires me to often draw stuff (brainstorming, diagrams, schematics, architecture)

This stuff means the following features (that i find in Notability for example) are incredibly useful and needed (in order of priority):

  1. Adding text to drawings (basic text editor/insertion)
  2. Shapes (draw a line, keep pencil pressed on screen = it automatically converts the line to a straight line, same for squares, triangles, arrows, etc)
  3. Favorite colours and tools (the default ipados utility is a bit limited) so you can access them easily and quickly
  4. Infinite canvas

The first 2 items are necessary for me to fully ditch Notability for Agenda which I would reaaaally like to do so I can aggregate all my logs, diaries, drawings and data in general into Agenda.

Hopefully it can be considered !

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Thanks for the feedback. We’ll take it on board.

Notability is very focussed on handwriting, where Agenda is more focussed on typed text. So I don’t know we will ever get the same power for drawing as they have, but we will certainly try to improve things. (We are a bit dependent on Apple, because our drawing views are actually just the standard Apple ones.)

In general, when people want something beyond the power of Agenda, like full diagramming or a spreadsheet, I recommend they use a dedicated app, and just add the finished product as an attachment in Agenda. That is an approach you can take, and get a much fuller drawing experience.

Kind regards,

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Thanks for your insight! It makes sense and I understand the technological reasons why you went for the standard Apple drawing view.

My issue with attaching the result of other apps (like Notability) in an Agenda note is that the embedding is too limited. I get a very small preview of the image with its name underneath.

In that case, maybe a different feature request would be enhanced images embedding in the notes? Getting the exact same result with an embedded image as with a drawing made with Agenda, i.e a full width preview of the image that opens on tap.

Actually, after giving it another try, it seems the image isn’t even embedding. I don’t know if the issue lies within Notability or Agenda. Here’s a quick footage to showcase the issue :

Basically the image gets inserted into the agenda note as a sort of link, except nothing happens when tapping/clicking it in the note (and there’s no preview).

Note that you can make images full width, though that is a premium feature. If you have unlocked the premium features, you can long tap on the image, and choose Full Width. Then it should show up the same as drawings.

Hope that helps!

Sadly, Agenda is not going to solve this problem for you, I’m afraid, for a long time. The developers are convinced that Agenda “should” be focused on typed text.

What would work perfectly in Agenda? A system similar to Pages, where typed text and handwriting notes coexist naturally. Or something similar to Noted, where the integration is somewhat more fluid than in Agenda.

Agenda is an innovative and excellent app, but in the Post-PC era, where many of us use our iPad for a multitude of tasks, Agenda does not fit perfectly.

I’m not the only one saying this, there are many of us who agree that Agenda’s handwriting mode still lacks something. Of course, the developers will tell you that there are many more users who are happy with the approach to typed text.

BUT, AGENDA WOULD BE A MUCH BETTER APP if they improved the integration between typed text and handwriting notes.

However, Drew’s response (@drewmccormack) : “we’ll take it on board”, is a GREAT hope… Seriously, you should ask for help anywhere to achieve it.

It’s my humble opinion, excuse me for that.

We are using Apple’s tech for this. It currently does not give us handwriting recognition. But given that Apple use it in their own products, we are hopeful it will become available to us in future, maybe even 2021 with some luck.

We expect we will improve on handwriting and drawing over time, as we have been. Eg we added support for scribble a couple of months back, so that you can use the pencil to enter typed text.

I don’t mind that the editor is focused on typed text but I have to say that smoother flow between between handwritten diagrams and typed plus shape tools would be worth another premium upgrade to me (and would have made it a go-to tool).

Handwriting recognition would be very welcome. I’ve gone back and forth with GoodNotes and Agenda because typing notes during in-person 1:1 meetings can be slightly off-putting. It inserts a screen between the two people and feels like a legal record rather than something that would help recollection later. During COVID, this issue has dissipated a bit due to remote meetings.

That said, LOVE this product.


I love this argument!

I also understand that handwriting notes are less intrusive and more polite that typed text on keyboard in a meeting.

Good for that.