Common Folder Structure across different apps?

This not really an Agenda specific idea, and it’s more of a musing than a question or request:

I’ve noticed that I end up creating similar folder structures across different apps, eg in Agenda, in Reminders, in MacOS, which is essentially:

  • Work Admin
  • Work Project 1
  • Work Project n+1
  • Home Admin
  • etc

What is annoying is that I end up recreating and managing the same structure in several spaces, but partly because the apps have different purposes, and partly because I often do it from memory rather than slavishly copying, I end up with folder structures in different places that are similar but different.

Is there potentially any way to, for example, link the structure of Areas and Projects in Agenda with Folders in MacOS (or more realistically with folders in iCloud Drive or Dropbox)? I’m not suggesting files would be linked, just the folder structure.

I think this could result in a cleaner experience and less cognitive distruption as one shifts back and forwards between Agenda and MacOS. Obviously a complicating factor is Agenda only has two levels in its hierarching, while MacOS has infinite levels.

It could be cool if other apps supported this, but this is an Agenda forum!

Does this idea has any merit?

Hi Tresbo, Can you explain a little bit more your idea? It sounds interesting in principle, but I am not sure I catch it all.

In the old days we worked on ‘real’ computers - Macs or PCs. All (most?) software packages (this is pre-apps!) saved files in the folders / directories that the user set up on their hard drive. The user found a folder structure than made sense for them, and generally one could navigate around to save stuff in the right place and find it later. While this has been complicated by mobile apps that don’t default to the same process, my work flow is based on the traditional folder structure on my Mac.

With Agenda however, the ‘file’ (ie Notes) and in ‘folders’ (Categories and Projects). My ‘folder’ structure in a Agenda broadly follows my folder structure on my Mac, but as I’ve created it from memory and on an "as needed” basis, the two structures are similar but different. This is starting to annoy and distract me - finding things is not as intuitive as it should be - I look for a note in Agenda assuming it has the Mac structure.

My idea is that somehow categories and projects could be mapped onto my folder structure in some way, so that they are the same and it’s easy to find my way around.

For example, as a consultant, in my folder structure I have ‘Consultancy Prospects’ and ‘Consultancy Projects’. These are equivalent to Agenda catergories. In these folders I have other folders for ‘Company X’, ‘Company Y’ etc. These are equivalent to Agenda projects.

When I win a piece of work for Company X, I move the folder from ‘Consultancy Prospects’ to ‘Consultancy Projects’.

If there was mapping from MacOS to Agenda, that move would be reflected in Agenda. Likewise, if I create a new Prospect folder in MacOS, the same would automatically happen in Agenda.

I realise this is probably pretty esoteric, and even if relevant to many other people, would be complicated to implement!

I think this issue also reflects a deeper problem with file structures caused by iOS saving files to application folders by default. My files are now all over the place depending on whether I started a piece of work in MacOS or iOS!


Thanks Trebso, now I understood!! The idea sounds interesting and useful, actually, and it would be worth to try it. Even if I have always seen Agenda, as I suggested elsewhere, more as a kind of architecture of all my projects. It defines and develops the structure of them giving me a chance to follow the implementation of all of them. It’s like a net encapsulating all my workflow and giving me the possibility to follow them all at the same time, moving in out of them. Indeed, I don’t use very often the possibility to attach pictures or texts inside the Notes, but I use a lot links to my cloud or to other clouds, connecting material like pictures or texts to the Notes on Agenda; and not very often the links to the folders in my computer, because I always think that in case I should remove the connected folders the links inside Agenda wouldn’t be working anymore. I think that seeing Agenda in this way even the problem you mentioned about “iOS saving files to application folders” would be solved…

Hi Maurizio

That’s interesting - the way you use Agenda as the central hub. It’s a bit of a half way house for me.

When I started using Agenda I tried using it as my to do list / planner, which meant it was the first app I used every morning. But I found its limitations too frustrating, though I tried several different approaches including using it alongside a paper notebook.

I am currently using GoodTasks (which integrates with Reminders), it’s excellent. The downside is that GoodTasks is now the first app, and I find I’m generally only turning to Agenda to make notes of a meeting etc, rather than for planning work. As result I’m paying less attention to the structure and it’s getting messy - hence my thoughts about linking to MacOS folder structure!

I’m really hoping the promised integration with Reminders means I can use Agenda in the same way as I’m using GoodTasks; Agenda would then be my core app and be the place for links etc like you describe.

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Hi Trebso,

Yes, you’re right. I expect the integration with Reminders too as a great improvement of Agenda. Especially, if there will be a possibility to use them not only for a note but even for a simple paragraph. And as @mekentosj said somewhere the possibility to connect different notes with the same Reminder and more than one Reminders to the same note would be great as well! This would extend a lot the capacity to use Reminders in the entire process of the work.