Export *everything* with one click

I’m getting into Agenda, using it actively and exploring new work flows.

I’ve paid for premium, and I’m liking what I see. But I’ve got a nagging thought at the back of my head: what happens if Agenda turns out not to really work for me? Or it evolves in a direction that doesn’t suit? Or it doesn’t take off and development stops? How would I get all my notes out?

I could of course expert each one individually, but I’d really like the comfort of knowing that if Agenda doesn’t work for me, I can export everything with one click - ideally into Markdown so I could then access the notes using a range of applications.

As I say I have no plans to leave at the moment, but lowering the barrier to exit will also lower the barrier to entry, and make it easier for new users to fully explore Agenda’s potential for them.

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We don’t yet have full library export, but it is pretty easy to export full projects in markdown. You can also export in Agenda Archive format, which is just a zipped archive that contains JSON data. JSON is one of the most common formats on the planet, so anyone with a little scripting skill could transform the data into something else.

So your data isn’t really locked in. We have no plans to disappear, but if it were to happen, you could probably get your stuff out without much trouble. Full library export will probably also arrive at some point.

I second the OP’s suggestion. While leaving Agenda isn’t also in my thoughts at the moment, I’d appreciate this feature for me to provide a backup in case of anything happens to my Mac. I understand that Agenda has enabled the backup albeit in hidden way, I think a complete export feature would be another fail-safe mechanism especially if I were to reuse the backup content in a PC rather than a Mac. So apart from JSON, other backup formats could also be helpful such as Markdown, RTF, etc.

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Those formats are supported, but you can’t export the whole library in one hit. You can export parts at a time.

The downside of those formats is that they aren’t really a backup, because you can’t get back your Agenda library from markdown files. There is not enough information in them. You can get back part of the info, but not all. The Agenda Archive format gives you the best representation of the data.

If you are worried about your Agenda data corrupting or something, you can just copy the whole library:

  1. Quit Agenda
  2. Click on Finder
  3. Choose Go > Go to Folder
  4. Enter ~/Library/Containers
  5. Find the folder called com.momenta.agenda.mac
  6. Select that folder, and choose Edit > Copy
  7. Go to another location, and choose Edit > Paste

Kind regards,
Drew

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That’s good news thanks.

Just one comment - don’t forget lots of people, including me, don’t want to have anything to do with scripting or anything that smacks of coding or command line interface! We dont want to know what goes on behidn the menus and screen! So full library export for technophobes like me will be a big re-assurance when it comes.

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For those people, I recommend Time Machine as a backup option. You don’t need to know anything about what is happening, and it will cover your Agenda data. Other backup options like Backblaze will too.

The info above had no scripting in it. It is all Finder. The only reason you need the strange path is that Apple hides that folder, so you won’t find it in Finder without using the Go menu.

It is perhaps worth noting that there are two different goals in play here: some people want a good backup, and that is why they want the full library export. Others want to not feel “locked in”.

The two may seem similar, but are actually quite different. For a backup, we could just zip the folder I mentioned, and we would be done. The data would not be useful for anything other than backup.

For not feeling “locked in”, you need to get the data out in a format that can be used by other apps. For that we have markdown, html, and Agenda Archive (JSON zipped). These cover the bases, I would say, and if you are really intent on leaving Agenda behind, going through the projects and exporting them one at a time is probably not a big deal for a one off operation.

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I’ve been using Agenda since v1. Part of the usage is for Journaling. Previously used DayOne. One of the features I ‘still’ would like to use DayOne for is to print out a years worth of entries in their Print Book feature. I’ve tried to export using the Agenda Archive and changing the file name to .zip, but it fails on import into DayOne. Drew, is there any way you could confirm (with the Devs from DayOne) that your JSON export could be made compatible with DayOne? Could be advantageous ($) to both of you. Thanks in advance!

Unfortunately it’s not very trivial. At this point we haven’t studied in detail the formats that DayOne accepts, we hope to get to that at some point so we could potentially have a dedicated import/export, but unfortunately it’s not at the top of our priority list to be perfectly honest. You could also ask the guys from Day One, perhaps they have solutions.

Finally, one thing to explore, a quick google revealed that Day One does seem to support a URL scheme:

https://help.dayoneapp.com/tips-and-tutorials/day-one-url-scheme

One solution might be to explore exactly what I also did yesterday for Apple Notes:

See for example this article I also came across:

(latest rumours are that the Shortcuts app might also come to the Mac…)

@drewmccormack: I agree with your distinction of backup versus “not feeling locked-in”, but I think there’s a third case — being able to back up the data in a way that is readable by other means, hopefully even with a simple text editor.

Personally, I’m not concerned about the “locked in” part in the sense that I don’t see myself wanting to get out at some point, although I understand that others might want that guarantee — and certainly appreciate the possibility of doing so. However, I’m concerned about the possibility of Agenda’s data somehow becoming corrupted, even in backups (especially for projects that remain unused for some time). In an Agenda-exclusive format, data retrieval is elusive at best, and at worst flat-out impossible. In a text-based format, there’s a decent hope that data is at least partially retrievable. But, in this context (of regular backups), going through the projects to export them one by one is a serious hurdle.

Thus, the JSON format you mentioned seems like a great candidate (not immensely pleasant to read directly, but not the end of the world either), with markdown being a nice addition. Would it be possible to make a single-ish click export to those formats (zip of the full export in both formats)? It seems to me that you already have much of the necessary infrastructure, and that it would address most concerns expressed on this thread:

  • easy export of all the data
  • proper backup, as in, contains all the data Agenda needs (JSON)
  • with a representation that’s both easy to read and to export to other applications by hand (markdown)
  • and that could even be automatically translated to another format (JSON)

Speaking personally again, I know that having such a robust backup solution would help me being confident in fully transitioning all my notes to Agenda.

Thanks for your consideration!

I could be wrong, but can’t you just select all projects, and choose File > Export > Agenda File. That should export everything in a zipped JSON file with .agenda extension.

Yeah, you can click the top project, and shift-click to the bottom project.

I would prefer a simple “export all” (maybe by holding the alt key when hovering over the export menu?) just to make absolutely sure I’m not missing anything. But a first test seems to have worked fine.

And, of course, that works — I just never realized we could select multiple projects…

Just tried, and indeed that does exactly the right thing, including with markdown. Thanks, and sorry for the stupid oversight! That’s “single click” enough for me, and I’ll now be porting all of my notes & organization system to Agenda :slightly_smiling_face:

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