Love it but struggling setting up Agenda as my main GTD

Hey there
im still strugeling to understand how to get this to be my main GTD.
I love the design here but i dont see how to make it proactive.
i use tags and mentiones and to do’s and projects and what not but at the end of the day its just a historical register of what happened…

what am i missing here?
how do you folks make it actionable?


Did you run across this post already?


I have and it’s not as valuable as you would think.
I’m capturing meeting notes and follow ups, plans I want to get done, etc.
all of that data captured is meaningless if I can’t see it aggregated somewhere across projects.

Copy pasting tasks captured from one project to another doesn’t make sense any more than gathering your Supermarket shopping to a cart, unpacking an repacking your cart At the cashier and unpack at your car (to unpack again at your home).

In that respect, what I’m saying is that what’s missing is the last mile of making it practical and not just a journal.

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In that case you probably want to have a look at using tags and smart overviews based on those as outlined here: Tags, People, Emoji's, Text Actions and Links

Also this article, despite focusing on templates, shows a number of workflows you might get some more ideas from:

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It probably all depends on what one is used to. I was an OmniFocus user from the very start myself (it wasn’t OmniFocus back then but an OmniOutliner document that worked like OF with the help of Apple Script).

Through the years I switched from using due-dates to deferred dates for most tasks. When there’s a lot to do, getting distracted by alarms going off all the time and getting frustrated because of all the missed due-dates, just didn’t help being productive.

So I still have some alarms set for absolute dead-important tasks. And these alarms are linked to notes in Agenda.

The rest of my to-do’s are “on the Agenda”.

Hope this helped,


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I echo Rob!

I used to use Things, but felt it was trying to manage me rather than helping me - tasks appearing in Today and overwhelming me.

I’ve tried various workflows with Agenda, alongside other apps, and even a pen and paper notebook. I’ve currently settled on doing everything in Agenda, with occassional Reminders for deadlines.

The key to making this work, is regularly reviewing my notes and my diary - I try to do this at the end of every working day. I use On the Agenda for live notes, and I create a Today Note each day to jot down what I want to focus on today, often with links to the relevant Note where there are more details of the task(s).

I’m also now trying a ‘Week commencing x/x” note, dated from Mon to Sun. This is pinned. So when I go to Today folder, I see my priorities for the week, and also the specific things I’m going to work on today.

Might not suit everyone, but it’s working for me.


Capture and weekly review are everything in GTD methodology:

Also, other than GTD theory, take a look at “feedback loops” for any trigger:

For each trigger, create four dated notes for each of these stages:

  • Evidence
  • Relevance
  • Consequence
  • Actions

You’ll find it covered here in one page, as what I believe is an alternative to GTD:

And here Merlin Mann reminds, way back in 2005, to differentiate between project plans and committed actions.

Part I

Part II

Send me your questions.


Those are all great responses but I’m still not clear on how to get that last mile.
Tasks are being accumulated during the day(s), where do I see the bigger picture on what needs to get done?

Ok. My way:

Projects have due-dates. I have overviews for projects that end, for example tomorrow or in ten days. Select an overview and then, from the top of the screen see what projects are in (drop down).

Through the day, notes and tasks collected belong to projects. If a certain note contains something with a due-date I assign it with such.

When I really need to be remembered I make Reminders for notes.

Everything can be viewed from the calendar bar.




For me, this illustrates (again) why the folks at Agenda need to develop and share very good models and tutorials. These could introduce a handful of ways to use Agenda, and introduce the underlying concepts at the same time. The models and associated tutorials wouldn’t take but 1-3 hours tops to get through, but at least folks would have a few solid models to start with.


I agree with Peter. I soooo want to make Agenda work for me, but the “Holiday in the Pencils”, “Developing Yak App”, etc sample projects don’t really work for me. They’re good to see as a final result (if anything in Agenda can be called ‘final’:smile:) but I don’t understand how the examples got to the final result.

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There are various threads dotted around that might provide inspiration. Here’s a recent one How I use Agenda: the Eisenhower method

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I do sound, live shows and recordings. I was talking with a student (intern) about manuals for mixers, and they were saying how the manuals don’t really help you do things (mixers can be used for many different purposes), they just explain features. The same can be said for other equipment (eg mics; they rarely tell you how to place them for different uses). I told the student to look at Mackie mixer manuals as they show you how to use the mixer and how to hook it up for different scenarios.

This is what Agenda needs to do IMHO; have multiple well thought out scenarios of how folks can use it, and explain it well enough so folks can understand what the options are. After looking at a few scenarios, folks will understand enough to decide how they want to start. It is very frustrating to make a mess and not know what your doing. Better to start out with an organized approach from the start and then make adjustments.


Peter is hitting the point, I also have the feeling that Agenda could be much more useful for me but it doesn’t. It isn’t yet in the flow as I have to think that it is time to write a given note in Agenda. Workflows would be very welcome


Thanks for the feedback and suggestions, I already have it on my list for quite a while to make some screencasts to illustrate some of the workflows already highlighted in the Talk section of this community. Unfortunately always tricky to find a balance between adding features to Agenda and spending time making the screencasts, but I hope to get to it one day!


Point me to the workflows you think would be worthy of time and I might create a few examples tutorials. You have my email address, right?


I have taken quite a liking to Agenda, but without a way to effectively (and, most importantly, reliably) handle the Inbox and the review, it never will be. OF and Things are way better choices for GTD.

Agenda’s integration with Reminders is a good start, as getting stuff into Reminders can in turn be picked up by OmniFocus or Things… so I can certainly see Agenda serving as an entry point for tasks that wind up in a GTD system.

Agenda shines at planning for meetings, and reaches just far enough out from that to help the user integrate meetings into what they have to do.

Honestly, I could argue that trying to make it a proper GTD app is a bridge (or three) too far.

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While Agenda isn’t built as strictly around GTD as some other apps, there’s nothing to prevent you from creating and inbox project, use tags to mark notes with certain states, etc. And with the introduction of the powerful sharing extension in version 10 it’s easier than ever to send content into this created “inbox” project, ready to review once you return to Agenda.

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Did you see how few videos on YouTube are there? It’s a shame…

I vote for an official YouTube channel, with webinars and screencasts; even collaborations with users or gurus of productivity. Maybe you must hire someone for only for this area.



Please? Show me some workflows you think are great. I’ll try to create a great tutorial.