Help me find my new system for tasks and projects and notes? (Aka should I use NotePlan or Agenda?)

Hi - I’m playing around with both NotePlan and Agenda. I love Agenda and I’m leaning towards using it for all my work stuff. I basically need somewhere to house my notes, tasks and projects for my freelance business. I have tried a bunch of task management apps (most recently Things 3) and I’ve realised the idea of task management apps probably doesn’t work for me. I love that in Agenda I can see my calendar and reminders (nothing which I rely on heavily), and I think having my tasks in Agenda as well could work.

I’m not seeing many instances of people using Agenda to manage their work tasks though - do they exist? Can anyone share experiences?

And also - NotePlan’s website says compared with Agenda it has tasks as a ‘first class citizen’. Is this a distinction that makes sense to anyone here?

Basically - persuade me to be an Agenda guy please! And give me some tips on how to manage my freelance projects in the app?

Glad to hear you’re giving Agenda a try, which is probably the best way to decide, simply try it in practise if it works for you. In addition I would suggest to have a look at the other posts in the Talk section of this community, for example these:

and

This was super helpful! Feel like I’ve now read almost every single post in the history of this community. And I still don’t 100% understand what’s going on, but that’s primarily because it’s just a mental shift coming from to do / task management apps. And I’m eager to make the switch - it’s rough though. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I use Agenda for exactly this, and have been doing so for around 3 years or so. I can’t imagine changing.

The big mental shift for me was to adopt a conscious, hands on approach to managing the stuff I need to do.

I used Things for a while before. It’s great for clearing tasks out of sight, but I hated the way they then reappeared automatically and overwhelmed me. It felt like Things was driving me, not serving me.

With Agenda I use hardly any reminders. Instead I review active notes every week and decide what I’m going to tackle in the coming week, creating a weekly plan that references other notes for the detail (using links sometimes). I then do a mini-review each day to create a daily plan.

My On The Agenda has the main notes I’ll be working on for the week.

The big change is the weekly and daily review. This means I’m actively making decisions about what I’m working on when, rather than simply facing a list of tasks generated by reminders or Things.

This works for me partly because I’m self employed and have pretty much a free hand to organise my work. If I had a very structured work environment it might be different.

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Yes. Because I do use Agenda for work, private life and everything inbetween.

The way I use it evolves with time. But it’s all based on certain elements that I started using a couple of years back and still use. One of them is "project-main”, which is a project-outline, from a template. All notes (concerning the project) are connected to it. It looks like this:

Active projects are On the Agenda. Mostly I have no more than three simultaneously. If there’s anything I have to be reminded of at a certain time, I make a reminder. But for the same reasons @Trebso mentioned, I don’t do that a lot.

The projects’ outlines get me into the “flow" of them. I have all milestones, linked notes, emails and documents in one view. If I it’s details I want, I just click the links.

Except for the basis, it’s not a fixed system. I can easily adapt it to fit changing needs.

Rob

Ps: I use tags a lot, so I can create clear overviews.
Ps 2: the reason you may not have found too many examples of working with Agenda imight be because we’re busy (working with Agenda).

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Rob - thanks so much for sharing this. It’s so so so helpful. I really appreciate your time and generosity in sharing. This looks like a really great workflow for me to model mine off of.

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This is awesome - thank you for sharing!

I use Agenda to manage multiple client deliverables. I was using Click Up as a task managment system, but I find it a bit cumbersome for some things. I am currently putting new tasks on the agenda. If I’m working on emails or anything text based I can simply type these into my note (this is where I found Click Up to be harder to use) . I have a project for each client and for other aspects of my business. I have considered adding tagging for client tasks but haven’t got there yet.

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Hi,
I will answer because of the similarity of our requirements. I run a freelance business as you, and I have tried many many apps to support me.
Agenda is great but not on task management.
For task management better have a look to Firetask or Omnifocus.
Agenda is my tool of choice for journaling.
My concern with task management tools is about results: for my business it is essential to keep results, protocols, journals in mind. A task/checkmark/done logic is sufficient for simple tasks which I can forget when done. But I want to know what is the outcome and keep it in a place where I can find it.
Here is Agenda extemely good using hashtags, using projects and subprojects to refind what is said, done or decided.
So, my workflow is: project management tool (nested tasks and their interdepencies) for planning and controlling on a meta-level, Calendar for Task planning on a detailed level in between the next days, and Agenda to journalize what happened. I copy&paste my protocol of meetings into mail or other tools to inform attendees of people with need-to-know.
Actions in Agenda are transferred into project management or calendar in my daily end-of-business cleanup time.

Hope my experience help a little bit, and triggers discussions between self-optimizing freelancers.
Cheers,
Robert

I just take a look at Note Plan, I didn’t know it before. For me, the subscription system is a criterion for exclusion. I’m happy to pay for software, but I don’t want to rent it. There is always the compulsion to stay with it. But that’s just my opinion.

I think the most important measure is to decide on a set-up and then to use it. I have been giving seminars on time- and self-management for 20 years now. Many participants are so busy constantly looking for a better system that they hardly get to anything else and are constantly rebuilding. That does not lead to the desired result.

I use, as a knowledge database and for records, documents, etc., Devonthink. From my point of view, it’s the best programme available for Mac and indispensable for me. I list my tasks in 2Do. For notes, meetings, etc. I use Agenda and in TapForms I have set up databases for customer data, acquisition, etc. It may sound a bit extensive, but it works for me. I’m still looking for a good alternative to TapForms, I’m still mourning Bento.
The most useful programme for me would be something like Entourage in the past, but that was a long time ago.

The important thing is that I have the same structure in all programmes. Activities according to the GTD system (@1Mail, @2Phone etc.), the same tags, the same projects. I can link all programmes to the calendar, create tasks from Agenda and DT in 2Do and vice versa.

Once I have found a programme that I am comfortable with and that does the things I need best ( and only those ), I use it and don’t keep looking at what else is out there. If at some point I come across requirements that my programmes no longer fulfil or only insufficiently fulfil, I look around for alternatives.
Of course, this only applies to my personal requirements, many may see it differently.