Keep it simple, stable, and focused, please

features

#1

Hey, Agenda devs and community. I initially thought I’d leave this in the “Feedback” category, but I’m not so sure it belongs there, since it’s as much a rant as it is feedback on the application. First, my thanks to the devs for making a note-taking app such as this. I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks, and am very impressed by both what Agenda offers now and what you’ve laid out as plans for the future. I also like seeing the willingness you folks have had to interact with your users here.

Now, I’ve seen quite a few requests for features of all sorts in these forums over the past couple weeks, and I’d like to add my own: simplicity. There are a couple aspects that attracted me to Agenda:

  1. The ability to add multiple, distinct notes to a single project and clearly see and interact with those notes; and
  2. The ability to add individual notes to a clearly organized and interactive agenda

Each of these features have made it easier for me to focus on what needs doing right now. The interface is very well-organized, and overall I think the base application is great. I can understand that different people have different needs, but I think keeping the base application simple and placing a focus on stability and performance over adding new features should be the goal. There are really only three features that I’d like to see in future releases of the base Agenda app:

  1. A broader support for Markdown (blockquotes, horizontal rules, etc.). Basically more of the stuff supported by the CommonMark spec.
  2. A bit more control over typography
  3. In-line attachments
  4. A nice share sheet extension/URL scheme that can be used to easily append things to notes and export notes to other applications

It seems a couple of these are already planned, so that’s awesome. Most things beyond that should be paid features. That’s an opinion that’s not likely to go over well with people who request niffty new features, but I think that if they weighed the cost of developing a feature against the amount of compensation the developers could expect to receive—without raising the price of the application or introducing in-app ads—they’d get the idea.

If a feature request basically amounts to no more something that would make my own life easier, in my relatively unique position; or if it requires owning another paid app; or if it amounts to duplicating something already available elsewhere; or amounts to duplicating functionality that already exists in the app, but for purely cosmetic reasons, then I personally wouldn’t expect a small team of developers to devote their time to it at the expense of focusing on making a fantastic, simple note-taking application.

I can only hope other users feel the same way. Thus far, my go-to app for taking notes on Apple devices has been Bear, largely because of its beautiful interface and its simplicity. (I first started looking for a replacement for Bear because I didn’t much like its pricing model, and when I learned about your approach to pricing I was definitely interested.) I’d like to see Agenda become what I presently think it has the potential to be: a fantastic, list-based note and task organizer with a couple embellishments, rather than an application designed to do anything that might conceivably make anyone’s life easier. Basically just “digital paper.” If the base app were to reach feature a point just shy of feature parity with Bear, I’d be happy as can be. Just one person’s opinion, and I’d be interested to hear what your take on developing Agenda might be. And thanks again for making Agenda in the first place. :slight_smile:


#2

There’s a lot to agree with here, certainly the basic principle. That said I think many users will have their own special feature request, that they feel belongs in core functionality.

My two, in addition to OP’s list, are

  • better handling of due dates and reminders integration
  • some kind of inbox to send stuff from other apps to Agenda

All that said, the devs have said at various times they are keen to keep the app simple and focused.


#3

A well thought out summary and recommendation. I’ve been reading with some alarm the ongoing stream of geeky boil-the-ocean requests or even demands (“If only Agenda had this one feature, I could use it, otherwise it is useless to me…”) that would transform Agenda into the the ultimate do-it-all framework, not app: virtually its own operating system!

Fortunately, the developers have been muted in their promises, but I do think an occasional declaration that Agenda is a general purpose note-taking app, not advanced text editor, comprehensive time management system, or specialized data base engine. There are other apps for those kinds of things, and it would be swell for Agenda to play well with them, but not compete with them.


#4

Good discussion. We are very aware of not making Agenda bloatware, and think (read argue) through new features thoroughly. In general, we prefer to enhance what we have, rather than add a whole new dimension.

For example, a lot of requests for power features could be served by better tag handling and search options. These don’t have to detract from the main app at all.

There are a few major features that really need to come in, including inline images and attachments, and they are getting the focus at the moment. After those essentials are in, we will be carefully deciding how best to introduce common requests, and, indeed, whether some should be introduced at all.


#5

Further to the OP’s suggestions, I too would like more Markdown support, especially horizontal rules and tables. I remember reading a post before regarding tables, but I think there was some confusion as it appeared that some people were thinking of speadsheet-like tables, tables capable of doing calculations. What I would like, however, are just Markdown-like tables, tables for displaying information only.

As for the gist of the OP’s argument, I totally agree. The power of Agenda lies with its simplicity. I’m currently using Agenda for keeping notes on everything and that is because it is so easy to use and isn’t bloated. I can’t really think of many extra features that Agenda needs.


#6

Simple Tables is what we need!
Is there any plan to integrate them in the future?


#7

They are in the roadmap, yes.