Exiting Things 3 and going all in with Agenda

I’ve been tinkering with Agenda, on and off, for the past 6 months and I’ve finally decided to go ‘all in’.

Up to this point my Task GTD app has been Things 3 with Bear as the attachments / notes repository. I have to be honest, I’m a little nervous (yes, first world problems and all that).

Things 3 is truly beautiful. Some of the subtle features such as number of days left (to a deadline) and its unobtrusive, clean interface will be missed. But it’s also arrogant in its beauty. No attachments and no genuine notes integration - also make it infuriating.

There are so many things I like and admire about Agenda:

  • the entire concept / approach to note-taking and project management
  • the interface / design - On the Agenda, Date Ranges, Pin to top, Notes Panel etc.
  • Developer’s commitment to the product and transparent roadmap
  • Support response
  • integration with Reminders (esp. in the light of iOS 13 and flagged improvements)

There are a few things that I am anticipating (and until they are addressed will continue to cause me to pine for Things 3 / my previous Workflow):

  • Lack of share sheet (sharing emails, files etc. to Agenda even with Shortcuts is truly clunky and time-consuming, at best)
  • Updated Reminders App (I don’t want to jump to GoodTask because I think the updated version will address most of the functionality)
  • Manual ordering of categories and projects. (The whole alphabetical thing doesn’t work for how I order my workflow) Yes, there are hacks - characters, YYMMDD (date order) etc. but they shouldn’t be necessary - and, again, get in the way
  • Advanced searching such that a saved search in Overview (great feature, by the way) could make Agenda a genuine task management tool

Until then, I’ll make the best of it - because I’m truly excited by the likelihood of Agenda being my primary Project, Notes and GTD App.

Has anyone else made the jump and gone ‘all in’ with Agenda?

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Welcome aboard! :slight_smile:

Seriously, thank you for the trust in us, and we will do our best not to let you down. The stuff you mentioned in certainly in the roadmap.

Kind regards,
Drew

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Ditto!!! EXACTLY what I was going to type. :wink:
But really. What you said is how I’m approaching Agenda, and in the order you listed them. Really got my fingers crossed for the the Share Sheet update. That’s the Numero Uno on my list!!! (Oh…and the Pencil thing, too)

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I’m part way there. When Agenda introduced the Reminders integration with v6 I quickly dumped GoodTask and deleted it everywhere. Never got along with that puppy.

+ 1 for @aleemali’s wishlist and priority order :clap:

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Great thread, and thanks for posting!! I’m struggling with the exact same dilemma and am starting to make the switch myself. For me, I’m torn because Things 3.0 is highly task orientated, while Agenda is highly note-taking orientated. While I need an app that specializes in helping me to prioritize and execute tasks, more and more I find that I’m taking notes in Things 3.0, which it is clearly not it’s forte. What’s more, by separately keeping my notes in the Notes app, tasks tend to get lost, and the app itself quickly gets messy.

I love that Agenda has strong task functionality built into an even stronger note-taking platform, but I’m concerned that my tasks will get lost in my notes and overlooked. Some things I would love to see down the road are a tag manager (I find tag structure super helpful, and Things 3.0 had a great one), a quick way to add a note on the fly, and I’m excited for Apple Pencil support! It would also be great to have the ability to hide completed notes/projects.

I hope you’ll follow up on this thread with how the transition is going. I for one am interested to learn about the benefits you experience and the hurdles you encounter.

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It’s possible there are share workflows I don’t quite understand (e.g. sharing multiple files at once, which I haven’t tried), but I find the Share -> Copy workflow extremely useful.

So far in every app that I’ve wanted to share / export from, there’s a “copy” option in the share menu that copies the file. I paste it directly into an Agenda note, and it adds as as attachment.

In fact, I’m not quite sure what “sharing emails, files to Agenda” even means, beyond what I’m already able to do with Share -> Copy.

Thanks. Yes, it’s certainly a journey.
I’m still not completely extracted from Things - but I haven’t used it for a month (I feel like there should be a support group for that :wink:).

What I’ve enjoyed (about the switch):

  • Everything together - notes, attachments, calendar, reminders etc. The constant switching between Things and Bear et al meant I was losing more than I was keeping across
  • Agenda / Timeline driven notes and tasks. I travel a lot for work and to be able to build my agenda around a trip and various meeting has been invaluable

I share your concern about losing tasks but I’ve built a bit of a hierarchy around that where I check reminders for regular, time-sensitive tasks. I’ve also found that Things was making me lazy. I wasn’t doing daily or weekly reviews with the regularity that I do with Agenda. Partly because of my concern around losing tasks - but also because I enjoy using it more.

If/when the functionality is addressed as per my original post - I doubt I’ll look back.

I’ve also noted that the search functionality needs to be better. To be able filter out marked as done vs. ‘open’ tasks would be invaluable.

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I have a few Shortcuts that I use:

  • File to Agenda
  • Article to Agenda

But it’s not as seamless or intuitive as it could be. Being able to send / share an email to Agenda would speed up a lot of the current processes that I use. What I mean by that is all the contents and attachments of the email being added directly to a note in Agenda.

Week 1 into my own transition from Things 3, and I am optimistic but still a bit hesitant/conflicted. One area that I have found where Agenda really stands out is in helping me to plan my next day. I browse my events for the next day in the calendar summary, directly create notes for meetings I have the next day, and have a template I use to help make sure I’m prepared for said meetings. Never before has an app helped me be so prepared for my next day. Genius!!

This sort of feature seems to come at a cost though. I’m finding myself more focused on the note taking than the meeting itself. For example, I’ll want to attach links or files to a note for a current meeting, then, “oh yeah, I linked these same things in a previous meeting. Let me find that meeting.” I look for that meeting and link it to my current note. Now I’m flipping back and forth between meeting notes and losing track of what I linked where and which meeting (“was it the last meeting or the one before that when I attached X file…?”). I love how prepared this app helps me to be for things but feel I have to commit a lot of time to creating the note that I could otherwise be using to complete tasks. I’m still working on the balance.

I’m still concerned about losing track of tasks, but the tagging function, though rudimentary, seems to work very well in finding tasks. I haven’t fell behind this week, but we’ll see. I’m also realizing how much I have logged in Things 3 and how many things I need to transfer. I don’t like the inefficiency of having to work across two apps but don’t see any way around it. Oh well; first world problems!

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Do you mean when you’re in a meeting? I find that trying to organize while a meeting is taking place just doesn’t work for me. My meeting note is for preparation and capture. So I’ll prep the note in advance, like you said. And then when the meeting takes place, if we’re talking about one of my points, I add bullet points below my prepared points (and I use checklists for those so I know what we’ve talked about and what we haven’t).

For anything that doesn’t fit, or that I can’t find a place for me in my outline in about two seconds, I keep a running bullet point list of everything that comes up, doing minor organization with nested bullets, etc.

When the meeting is done, I’ll go through and tidy things up – merge my prepared outline with the newly captured stuff, and write a summary of what was discussed, decisions made, action items, etc.

As for referring to other notes during the meeting… yeah, that can happen :slight_smile: You could try adding a #current tag (and saved search), and just before your meeting, assign the tag to your meeting note and any other notes you think you’ll need to refer to. And if you find during the meeting that you need to look something up, add the #current tag so it shows up in the saved search. This way you’re not constantly flipping between different projects, but you have all the relevant notes within easy reach.

The agenda flag may actually be better than that, because you can’t mess it up (it would kind of suck for a note not to show up because I misspelled a tag). I usually use OTA to mean “on today’s agenda” but maybe I can rethink the interaction between assigned dates, OTA, and tags.

Also remember that there’s a back button, so when you change to a new note you can always go back to your main note without having to find it in the side bar.

Anyway, that’s a lot, but the principles are:

  1. Prep the best that I can
  2. Capture new stuff quickly, integrate later
  3. Flag reference notes for easy access
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I’m backing off my transition a bit and have, for the moment, decided not to ditch Things 3 completely. Which is less about Agenda, and more about Reminders.

I find Reminders syncing extremely slow and occasionally unreliable - it’s frequently behind across various devices and I’m not convinced iOS 13 will address that issue. Things 3 syncing is exceptional. It’s almost instant and I’ve never had a problem with it. The Apple Watch (which I use) app is excellent too.

My revised workflow is to use Things for tasks/reminders and Agenda as Notes etc.

Years of development mean that Things 3 is reliable and just there in the background. Agenda is the detail that effectively incorporates my calendar and events and gives me all the detail. I link between the two with URLs and I still create reminders in Agenda but add them to the list that imports directly into Things.

While I’ve essentially reduced Things to a glorified reminders app, I also use it process tasks and send stuff there that I know won’t get lost and that I can then treat appropriately in my daily and weekly reviews.

So far, so good…

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I’m pretty much in the same boat. I do use Bear as well especially because it’s Share sheet is awesome and it’s tagging organization has changed my life!

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Reminders in the iOS 13 beta is absolutely amazing — it’s come a long way from a simple “list” app.

You can now collaborate (with another iCloud user, anyway) on a Reminders list complete with nested items, time- and location-based alerts, photo attachments, even alerts that trigger when you’re in an iMessage chat with a specified contact. It would be incredibly useful in my household, for sure. I have two iOS devices on the beta and Reminders sync between them seems reliable and quick in my limited testing. Then again, I don’t have any issues at all with iOS 12 Reminders syncing with my devices and (in the case of a shared grocery list) with my wife’s devices.

As far as iOS 13 Reminders replacing Things? I really find Things still just flat-out enjoyable to use and will probably stick with it, especially considering I JUST bought the Mac and iOS apps. The UI is incredibly smooth and it seems like every little detail has been thought through. It’s the kind of attention to polish and detail that ahem I wish was brought to certain other software being discussed here.

Personally, I’m finding Agenda far too clunky and cumbersome to use for something as nimble as I need a task manager to be.

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I use Things and Agenda together — nothing falls through the cracks that way, and they do play nice.

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Most underrated task management app in the App Store, by far: Sorted 3.

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Sorted looks pretty awesome just from the AppStore videos. Has anyone used BOTH Agenda and Sorted? Can anyone give some details about how they use each? Pros and cons of each?

The main benefit from Sorted is that you can adjust task duration for a single task, on the spot, and all future tasks for the same day will get deferred accordingly, letting you know when free time will be available more accurately.

But there are many, many more benefits from using Sorted. Here are the guides the developer published on Medium:

As for Agenda, your life is not a series of incongruous moments. It is a bookmarked evolution on how your thinking progresses throughout time. Enter Agenda.

< drops mic >

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Thanks for the info! I really can’t imagine NOT using Agenda now

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And I’m out! I noticed what I thought was an intermittent problem with random Agenda links not working but couldn’t figure out what as going on. Super frustrating when I’m trying to reference back to a previous note, but the pretty blue text link just stares back at me dumbly after I click it. Turns out it’s a known issue that the team has been working on for over a year now!

I’m sorry, but this turns out to be a deal breaker for me. I set my projects up in the GTD method, so I’m constantly moving notes from Inbox to Actionable to Waiting to Archive. That I can’t link back to a historical note after I archive it seem a critical flaw.

Now that I’ve acclimated to the Agenda environment (and transitioned nearly two months of my workflow), I can’t go back to Things 3.0 exclusively. I’ve see a lot of people talking about Bear, so maybe I’ll give that a shot for my notes while going back to Things for my tasks.

I’m sorry to be so negative all of a sudden on Agenda, and for all of you happy users out there, I hope you continue to enjoy. I’m just personally having a hard time with this most recent development because of how enthusiastic I was for Agenda.

Oh well…happy note taking to everyone!

Sorry to hear that. The work to ensure links will no longer break when moving notes between projects (which is the only situation under which this can currently happen) has been done, it will be part of Agenda 9.0 (the update following the one currently in review).