How does Agenda scale?

After looking the app over a few times, I finally spent the time to learn how to use Agenda, and am finding it to be a very handy balance of notes-app-with-a-pov and good workflow citizen, meaning I can automate it to some degree, and it’s got good export options…for me, having both markdown and pdf exports from the same note within 1 app is very handy.

I can see it works well for taking care of my daily processes at work…and now it’s very tempting to start moving other notes and projects from assorted creative or household projects into Agenda. So my question is - for those who got in early - how is it working with a lot of stuff in it? Does anyone have thousands of notes? Hundreds?

I’m not planning on making it a full Evernote replacement but am curious how well it really works as a wiki/knowledgebase…the example content has some code snippets but what about when there are 200 notes there, not 10?

I primarily work on an iPad Pro but am also running the app on a couple of Macs, so I’m interested in answers addressing both platforms.

  • Robert

Hi Robert,

Agenda should scale reasonably well, but it is intended to be used as a catch all type app like Evernote, so it probably won’t scale to that level.

Depending on the length of your notes, you can probably have 100 in a project, but in general we would advise to split them across projects, and use categories and subcategories to organise things. Agenda is not a general purpose note taking app, but is quite directed at project-type note taking. Things that move forward over time. So you need to keep things manageable.

Hope that helps. Maybe some of our customers can share their experiences.

Kind regards,
Drew

@drewmccormack Did you mean to say Agenda is not meant as a catch all?

Also, when you say “things that move forward over time”, would you then say that Agenda is really not meant as an “archive” or “record of timeline”?

I too would like to hear how other users have found Agenda with a serious amount of notes. I have just ditched Evernote and I have 1700+ notes (some archive-like, some reference material-like, some active project-like) looking for a new home.

I wouldn’t use Agenda as a file reference app where I store PDFs, videos, Word documents, images, etc. I use devonthink for that.

I use Agenda as a notes app for my projects. The date based experience allows me to keep meeting notes and possible topics for future discussion within Agenda.

Right now, I’m tracking my mother’s medical history. Whenever I take her to her appointment, I have a list of questions on Today’s Agenda and I can look back at previous appointments and conversations we had.

I also use it to record a client job. I can keep conversation history and decisions in a timeline. Most of my tasks are handled in OmniFocus but Agenda can work in a pinch for some task management.

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Agreed. Even if I don’t have 100 notes in a project (yet) I don’t want to end up realizing Agenda can’t handle my stuff anymore (maybe after years) and I have to migrate all my notes, projects, files and all.

I hope Agenda devs will think file or notes handling over. I don’t want to miss Agenda anymore.

Mick

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Can you explain that? What are you missing?

Nothing special. Just if the number of notes increase. I read a lot there might be a (performance) problem to handle a huge number of notes and / or attaches. Maybe one day I come to the point where I also experience that. That’s all.

Oops! So…since I’m using Agenda to also keep my Daily Journal (Project per year, e.g., 2019), here’s hoping you expand the ‘limit’ to at least 300 notes per Project!

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I think this discussion starts to again jump to conclusions.

  1. the 100 in a project was an estimate, there’s no hard limit, and it obviously also depends on hardware etc.

  2. improving performance is an ongoing goal for us, which means that even if today it means you can safely have 100 notes in a project, this might very well be many more in a year or two.

I would suggest to stay calm and not to worry too much at this point unless you start hitting limits, in which case we’re keen to learn about them. Until then just

:smiley:

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I also use agenda in this same way.

Twas just an academic question. No worries. Thanks.

I’m certainly not panicking, but still curious to get clarification on the questions above. Thanks @drewmccormack. I ask because some things that move forward over time may eventually stop, and I’m hoping that the intention of Agenda is that these things can remain “archived” in it.

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With those comments, I just meant the goals of Agenda are not exactly aligned with those of Evernote or DevonThink, those types of catch all apps. They have always been developed to be databases of data you throw things in.

Agenda is very focussed on dates and projects. Things with a linear movement in time. This is our design focus. It means it probably won’t be as good as a catch all like Evernote. It still scales to large amounts of notes, but I would expect Evernote to handle enormous amounts of data better, given that is their focus, and they are more than 10 years old with hundreds of developers.

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Thank you for the clarification, @drewmccormack.
I do anticipate needing a catch-all / archive / medium-duty research “warehouse” so I’ll take a look at Devonthink. (I’ve used Evernote for years but just gave up my subscription as the service and apps seem to be getting worse over time… maybe they have too many developers.)

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Hi -

Thanks to everyone on this thread for the information. It’s been helpful to me. It seems like I wasn’t the only person with this concern, but it also seems as though in practice it’s not a huge issue.

My normal workweek has a set of projects that move through pretty quickly, so I’m finding that I create about 4-8 new notes per week managing that. If I ended up stressing the system some way, I’ll let support know. I initially had hit an issue with some longer notes, but thankfully iOS release 9 seems to have mitigated that. I suspect the dev team can optimize faster than I’ll be shoveling info into Agenda.

Basically, I’ll keep my top level planning and tracking notes in Agenda, but will continue to use something else for the big reference library. I just managed to get 10 years worth of notes out of Evernote into DevonThink, so hopefully I’ve got a system now that is reliable and fast to work with.

Thanks again for the perspectives!

-Robert

Sounds like a good compromise indeed.

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@robert.salsbury You and I sound like we may be on similar paths. Thank you for your perspective on this. My weeks also generate an amount of information that will either be used that week (or in the next month or so) but some bits of info become larger, longer projects that require more coordination, cross referencing.

I know it’s a bit off-topic from Agenda, but I’d be curious to hear more about your move from Evernote to Devonthink. I’ve heard the name Devonthink a fair bit, but I know little about it.

I use devonthink as my catch it all app. And i use agenda on projects. I like it more than with the existing GTD tools because its more of notes and project oriented.

Other note-taking apps dont have the same characteristics (e.g calendar integration).