Custom keyboard shortcuts for smart overviews

I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d really like to be able to assign custom shortcuts for some of my most-used smart overviews. cmd-1 and 2 for OTA / Today are nice, but I have some smart overviews that I use even more than those two views and would like quick keyboard access to them.

While I’m at it, might as well throw in a pie-in-the-sky request :slight_smile: A related thing would be quick-tagging notes with a keyboard shortcut.

That said, I don’t really like tags in Agenda. They feel like a workaround for what I really want: multiple agendas. So in my absolutely ideal world, I would be able to use shortcuts to add notes to multiple agendas. They’d basically be like tags now, but not in the note content.

As an example, I am currently using #next and #focus tags, in addition to OTA. I use #next for actionable stuff, but not necessarily today. OTA to flag things for today, and #focus for the things I’m working on right now. #focus in particular is the thing where I feel slow in Agenda. I want to bring specific notes in and out of focus instantly, like I can do with OTA. But I’m writing and deleting tags, and it’s kludgy.

Reading that does give me a couple ideas for other things to try. But just thought I’d share my thoughts. Personally I’m not really a fan of the in-line tags. I think they’re ugly (the subdued setting helps with that and is a nice touch), and it’s just not really how I think of tags. I think of tags as being a property of the note itself, rather than part of the note content.*

* There is one exception: I use the #waiting tag as part of note content. So I’ll write something like #waiting for plumber to return my call and have a smart overview for it.


Regarding the keyboard shortcuts, noted, will take it on board.

That said, I don’t really like tags in Agenda. They feel like a workaround for what I really want: multiple agendas. So in my absolutely ideal world, I would be able to use shortcuts to add notes to multiple agendas. They’d basically be like tags now, but not in the note content.

I see what you’re saying but it’s one of these fundamentals that we will not change. It pretty much turns a lot of things upside down if we were to allow notes to belong to more than one project. Leaving the technical challenges aside, it suddenly wipes away a huge number of assertions and adds a big layer of complexity. We feel the solution are the overviews where a note can appear in multiple overviews.

In the end I think the “kludgy”-ness of adding tags has probably a lot more to do with missing auto-completion etc, because in the end you’ll always need to do some action to achieve what you want. Whether that is dragging a note onto multiple projects (if that would be allowed), adding “note level tags”, or adding tags to a note. I personally don’t think dragging a note on a project is more convenient than typing a tag (especially with auto-completion, and at least I don’t have to lift my hands from the keyboard).

In early alpha versions of Agenda we actually allowed to have “note-level” tags in addition to “in-text” tags. But that just added complexity too, plus where would these now be shown? Either at the beginning or at the end of a note would be more logical, but then we realises that in the end it gives the exact same visual result as putting the tags in-text at the beginning or end of the note content, and at least by placing them in-line you can pick which option you like most. Plus, you don’t need to go out of “text editing” into “tag editing” mode. The #waiting example is a perfect illustration of why in-text tags work so well, and why it would be such an artificial divide if you’d create two classes of tags.

All-in-all, I think it’s not so much about the tag system itself, but rather providing smoother workflows for adding them. Auto-completion is an obvious one. But for example, if you’d have a smart overview based on tags, it would be nice if you could drag a note onto it and have agenda take the steps to make it part of that overview (by adding the missing tags for example). Or for example by allowing custom keyboard shortcuts for adding certain tags.

I understand the reasoning for notes being in one project, and think it makes sense. That’s not what I asked for though :slight_smile:

I would like multiple agendas - so I’d have a Work OTA flag, a Personal OTA flag, and a Now OTA flag.

I think a key limitation of content tags is that it’s not clear to me how you tag multiple notes at once. Where does the tag go? At the beginning or end? I am talking about interactions where I want to rapidly bring notes into and out of smart overviews. OTA works nicely because it’s a note property and has a keyboard shortcut. I am skeptical of content level tags having that same fluiditiy.

That’s why I’d prefer multiple OTA flags. And at some point we’re splitting hairs - OTA already is a note-level tag, it’s just that you’re limited to the built-in one and it has a keyboard shortcut and built-in overview.

I think this is an example where ultimately when you find the best way that Agenda works for you, you’ll hit the limit where you’d wish for even more personalisation but where it just doesn’t make sense as it would mean more complexity and feature bloat for others. If we were to split OTA in multiple versions, how many would that be, and how would that work? You might want three, someone else five, and yet somebody else perhaps never uses it. Essentially you just end up reinventing tags I’d say.

This reminded me of a discussion a couple of months ago about notes have different states eg OTA, completed, pinned etc.

Being able to search on these states, and save the search as an overview, would really help.

For example, where @Pat_Maddox use #next to indicate a note needing action, I use “incomplete”. I use Agenda for stuff to work on now. Etc.

Yep, and I can appreciate the design choice to make OTA a special thing, and limit it to one. My request is less about the specific implementation, and more about the principle of being able to use a shortcut to bring notes in and out of specific overviews, as well as switch to those overviews with a shortcut.

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Agreed, and in contrast to adding more on the agenda’s, those are improvements that easily fit within the current context.

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Glad to hear that. I think you guys do a great job of figuring out and delivering on what we really want :+1:

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