Move all undone today notes to tomorrow

Is there a quick way to move all notes across all projects to tomorrow that are not done and on the agenda and assigned to today?

To be clear, I read this post, and saw the suggestions. To address them right away:

consider this tedium as a negative incentive to better manage your planning. If you’re overplanning so much […] then it’s just not worth the bother.

I have projects at my work that I’m involved in either on purpose or not. I need to keep tabs on each and check on them. I tend to eventually get through or delegate everything.

The way Agenda was designed, you make a note, and you would usually put a checklist in that note. The note would get a date, and you would only have to change the date for the whole note if you didn’t finish the list.

I do this, but if I completed half the checklist, I’d like it filed in that date under my timeline, so I split the uncompleted part of checklist into a new note. In this situation the feature I’m requesting is not helpful, but the feature in the linked post would indeed help, so I’d +1 that one too.

The main idea is that I have lots of tasks in many projects, and some lose relevance or get delegated over time, and some don’t. I still want to see everything that I have for today so that I could prioritize what to work on, delegate, or remove stuff. I could use the “on the agenda” view for this, but I actually need the notes to be assigned to the correct date, because I use the timeline to track everything I do.

Any advice much appreciated!

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I see your point of getting checklist notes moved to the next day. But this is a classical task manager feature and not one frome a notes app.

I struggled with agenda for quite some time and therefore did not buy premium at first, especially because of tasks. Using a new app like agenda needs some braking up with habits and wishful thinking and set up a routine within the apps capabilities.

For me it helped to see that tasks stick to a date, on which they have been created. So you can track for how long they are already sitting on your „agenda“. The other important thing ist to split tasks and notes. Have a separate notebook for tasks, where you throw all of them and mark them as on the agenda as long as they are not completed. Notes on the other hand go into project related notebooks.
You can link from tasks to notes. But I found it too stressing, as it cost’s too much effort and time to link everything to related notes or even to emails and such. Only thing I use every now and then is the calendar/reminder/due integration/function.

See it a bit as a paper like notebook, with concentration to important summaries. It’s not a task management or project management software.

That said - it’s just my two cents of how I got along with agenda, in my ever lasting search for the ultimate notes and tasks app.

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Thank you for sharing that Markus. I’ve struggled with Agenda at first myself, and my original mistake was - I just had a single infinite project for all things work, (and another for all things personal) where I would make new checklist notes every day. That made Agenda tedious, low value, and laggy too as the project size grew to 100s of days.

This was soon after I first heard of Agenda quite a long time ago, and for a while I just abandoned it.

Then something prompted me to revisit it, and I realized a bunch of things, and dots just sort of connected in my brain into a perfect fit for Agenda. List of my realizations:

  1. I realized that everything I do at my work, all the different direction I’m pulled into - they are projects. (Even if sometimes they aren’t referred to as such). They almost always need followups of some sort, at the very least, if not actual multi-day participation.

  2. I also realized that I’m involved in these projects somewhat sporadically. On Monday I work on projects A, C, and D, on Tuesday: projects B, C, and F.

  3. I realized that if I just do one thing - whenever there’s something I need to do, just add a note under that project summarizing the context and checklist of todo items, even if it’s just one item, then what I get back is complete continuity of each project, all the things I’ve done in that area, in a chronological order, with contexts and checked off items right there!

  4. And every day, as long as I have prepared next steps for myself scheduled under the proper project for next day, I can see everything I need to tackle in my Today view, across all projects.

  5. The little notes button on the timeline can then show me a list of everything I did on each day! And clicking on any of that thing would bring me straight to the context, where the entire continuity of the project is in front of me. (As seen from my POV of course).

  6. And when projects are done (I make sure they are defined in a completable manner) - I just archive them.

That above set of realizations gave me what seems to be a context recall and project continuity superpowers at a pretty low cost of just making sure I write what I need to do and why under individual projects, and correctly date these notes to when I tackle it.

It’s also super important for this powerful arrangement that you don’t separate tasks from notes. It’s all about project’s entire continuity. Sometimes it’s just a note of what has been decided or what somebody else has done, and sometimes it’s my own tasks that I check off.

I paid for the app very soon after I tried it, and it’s been working super well for over a month now.

Just sharing where I’m coming from, and maybe it could help somebody else.

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Thanks for sharing. I am enjoying the discussion.

A few things that might help with workflow:

You can choose a range of dates for a note, not just a single date. That means you could put the coming month for a note, for example. Everyday in the month, that note will be in Today. So you could adjust the end date based on whether you think the note is “done”. Perhaps push the end date out a week at a time until it is done.

I actually deal with this situation without dates. You could put the beginning date on the note. It will then appear in Today. You could then mark all the notes in Today as On the Agenda. Now you continue working in On the Agenda. Notes stay there until they are finished, and they keep their chronological order in the main project. Simply take a note off the agenda when done.

Your idea of copying unfinished stuff to a new note is also a good approach I often use. If a list becomes too big, it is difficult to work with. At that point, I pull out the unfinished stuff, and put it in a new note.

Lastly, tags can be useful in this context. Add a specific tag to unfinished notes, and setup a saved search for that tag. This is similar to the On the Agenda approach, but perhaps could offer more nuance, because you can have multiple tags and saved searches for different categories of notes.

Hope that helps!

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Thank you for elaborating on this, Max.

Looks like you are a heavy user with an sophisticated integration of Agenda into your workflow. You also work very project oriented, which brings up the question why don’t you use a project management tool?

The project approach is something i still struggle with. Because at one point everything becomes a project. But I like your combination of tasks and project notes in the same notebook, as you actually have everything in one place. I tried that with no luck, probably because I mixed checklist items and notes within a note. If you keep checklist items in separate notes, you can keep them on top within a notebook and also on the agenda as overview.

My approach involves a work journal, where I write down everythin I did that day as a overview and if necessary I have project notebooks where I add project related notes to which I may refer in my work journal.

The separate task notebook is to throw everything that comes to mind, as it sometimes hard to assign a task to a project, as I’m doing a lot of general administrative work. But here I could link to the project or notes or work with tags.

In the end I just do not want to overcomplicate things, as I sometimes don’t have the time to write everything down at the time it is happening and at the end of the day I’m not in the mood to fill every note with references to other notes.

Also my main goal is to have an overview of what I have done on a certain day. Thats also why I would like to see a permanent visible calendar in the right sidebar which will show the notes assigned to a date when selecting that date.

Thanks again for sharing, Max.

Thank you for those tips, they gave me something to think about with regards to “ongoing” notes.

I guess the only issue is that when you mark an ongoing note “done”, it shows up in the timeline on all days it was assigned to, even though I haven’t touched the project on those days. It’s important to me that each day in the timeline reflects all I did across projects, and not just what I had on my roster. I guess I could just change both dates when I mark it done.

Thanks to your advice, another way to address my situation could be to never have fresh notes assigned for today, just have all the “candidate” tasks on the agenda, and if I did something today, then set that note to today, mark it done, and remove from agenda.

With this approach I guess I could get used to pressing ⇧⌘ ⏎ and ⌥⌘ ⏎ to complete a note. :thinking:

I like having that option, but right now I’m trying to stay careful not to overcomplicate the process until I absolutely need to. :grimacing: I’m expecting a good use for tags to emerge naturally with time.

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Great question, my answer is: I haven’t found one that aligns better than Agenda.

I need to be able to quickly organize incoming stream of decisions, tasks, and contextual knowledge. Typically these things don’t fall on my plate piecemeal. Instead I receive a work-chunk consisting of a couple of decisions, some context, a few action items. Think of coming out of a meeting. Nothing I found so far represents such a work-chunk better than an Agenda note that can have checklists, drawings (e.g. diagrams), and attachments all in one. I also like to come up with a good name for this note that summarizes the core spirit of this work-chunk, and file it under the appropriate project to be prioritized and tackled in coming days.

Without even realizing it, I’m building a project’s history, which I can then browse at any point to see the timeline of my involvement in it.

Even if you find software that lets you organize information like this, would it also let you whip out an Apple Pencil to add a quick diagram? I haven’t found anything like it.

That’s the good thing in my view. I make projects even when technically there isn’t one. For example a colleague asked me to help setup their programming environment, and I made a project for it. Even if it’s likely just 1 screen sharing session, I still might want to follow up later, it still takes away time. And in case things go wrong and it has to take longer, I’d be able to leave some context, and see how we tackle it across multiple days and multiple notes. No worries about project proliferation, I just archive them when done.

It took some practice, but like I described above, I foresee a project in almost everything. That said, I do have one “Administrative” project for very one-off things I do at work, such as taking a survey or similar.

My solutions to this would be:

  1. Create more projects, to keep them relatively small.
  2. Leave pure notes off the agenda and off the date assignments. Only put notes with checklists on agenda/dates. When you work on that project, you can always go into the project and see all the additional notes.

That’s not to say that you should keep notes and checklists separate. I absolutely put context directly into checklist notes, it makes perfect sense for a work-chunk like I described in the beginning.

I personally haven’t needed these features yet, because my hope is to find such a good a alignment with Agenda that tags and linking become luxurious embellishments, or I wait until a use-case for them emerges naturally way down the line.

We already have that with the timeline feature and calendar integration. I love it, and it’s the main reason for my OP here. :slight_smile:

I use Agenda in a very similar way to @maxc. I can’t imagine using a different tool and I’ve tried many over the years.

The main difference to @maxc ‘s method is that I have a project call Daybook. Firstly think every morning I create a new note with today’s date as the title.

This is usually just a checklist of the things I have decided to do today. Each checklist item is broadly one of two types:

  • work on X in project Y, with a link to project Y
  • short actions, eg call Bill

I populate my Today note first thing by

  • reviewing yesterday’s note and copying incomplete tasks if still relevant
  • reviewing On The Agenda: preferences are set so all new notes are OTA. This leads me to review notes I created yesterday, decide what actions are needed etc. (Often my notes of meetings are a bit scrappy and need tidying up etc as well)

Through the day I add short action items for today to the list.

The other thing I do each morning is create a note for any upcoming meetings etc in my calendar, so they are ready, in the correct project, and I can quickly get to them to prep and record notes etc.

Like @maxc I create a project for even the smallest “project”. For each project I create a pinned note called Home. This is where I

  • set out stuff like purpose, goals, objectives
  • have a checklist of tasks
  • some narrative on the tasks
  • record outcomes of tasks, eg called Bill, he promised to reply in full tomorrow.

For a small project, Home will be the only note. Other projects will have notes for meetings, plans, ideas etc. I’ll often link to these from Home and will list main tasks from the notes on Home - which maybe just “review note of meeting and follow up” so those tasks don’t get orphaned. With larger projects, as time goes on, I may create a new Home note and mark the original as complete and footnote. This keeps the record without cluttering up my screen (and mind).

The idea of Home is that it gives me an overview of the project and the tasks. I have a saved search for all active Home notes to get an overview.

While all this reviewing might seem time consuming I find it essential. It’s an important part of keeping on top of my work and keeping it straight in my head. My work tends to be quite fluid and responsive, so I need to review and make decisions about what to progress when and how. I’ve found that a long list of actions, however beautifully organised (hello Things!), soon becomes overwhelming, and Today is automatically populated with tasks that are no longer relevant for various reasons.

My use of Agenda is still evolving, in particular I’ve not yet found a way that I’m happy with for keeping my high level goals in front of me and linked to my project structure.

What I’m referring to is this. A view of all the notes of a certain date at a glance. Without jumping to the search. The calendar in die side panel just shows calendar entries, not notes.

In general I like your approach of having everything in project notebooks. Maybe I will adopt some of it. Except that I really see it beeing neccessary to have a date on every note, to know when I wrote it down.

And there we are coming back to your OP of moving checklist-notes to the next date/to today/to tomorrow. As @trebso mentioned this leads to an overwhelming and more annoying endless list of tasks like in a classical task manager. Because you add items that can not be ticked off for some time as the project has to evolve first and they become always visibile despite not beeing important atm. The „On the Agenda“ seems more practical. You have the date of the note itself and therefore know when you created it - for the record - and at the same time it is an „unfinished“ „On the Agenda“ task sitting in a separate list. This also may lead to an endless list, but so you don’t keep setting new dates for notes.

Because I want to be able to review when I added something, I can not have notes without dates and coming back to my first paragraph it is helpful to have the calender visible mit markings for dates with notes.

This again just shows how I see this app and how I work with it. Mainly to know what I did at a certain day. As it is sometimes hard to keep track. I sometimes get the feeling I got nothing done and I’m wondering what I did all day. This app helps me to see all the inbetween and little things that come up during a day. Or maybe I just have a bad memory. :wink:

Thanks for reading!
Markus

The short answer to this is no. Agenda provides the basic framework for this, but it’s essentially a manual process. Tags are probably the best way you can streamline this today, and I have hope that Agenda will introduce a couple new features that will streamline it further.

What I’d suggest is bite the bullet just a tiny bit :slight_smile: and introduce a single tag to your workflow. You can call it #todo #wip #open whatever you want to call it. When you make a note that needs to be done, add this tag to it. Create a saved search for this tag, and it’ll show you all undone items. When you finish a note, remove the tag.

The only way to bulk assign notes to a date is to assign them to today (I asked about assigning multiple notes to a different day, +1 that thread if you’d like to see this behavior). So basically if you want to assign notes in bulk, you have to wait until that day to do it. I suppose you could temporarily change your computer’s date as well…

There are two features that would go a really long way towards streamlining this process:

  1. Filter notes based on complete / incomplete status (note: I don’t think this should just hide completed notes; I want to see completed notes in my timeline; I just need to be able to filter based on note status, similar to how I can with OTA)
  2. Bulk assign notes to a particular day

I will say that I don’t want Agenda automatically moving anything to a different day. One basic principle that I’ve learned is that the fewer things that automatically appear in my todo list, the better. But Agenda already provides the basic tools for deciding what should go on what days, hopefully they improve the tooling to streamline that process better. It would be great to get an overview of WIP notes (which today we can do with tags), select some of them and assign to a date (which we can’t really do yet).

Nice, I used to do that too, but now replaced it with just having notes across projects appear On The Agenda. Now instead of making a day list, I just look at everything on my agenda each morning, and spend the day completing whatever makes sense. Those I complete I shift+cmd+enter and alt+cmd+enter (assign to today, mark completed, remove from agenda).

Now I don’t have to maintain daily lists, just make sure to add any new work-chunks to whichever project it belongs (goes on the agenda by default).

That’s a cool idea. I only do a pinned note for a few projects where I need an overview of some sort. Otherwise, I prefer individual notes on days I had the thought/feedback come in. I haven’t had a project long enough yet that it needed the overhead of a more elaborate home/summary. We’ll see.

Pretty sure that if you have notes assigned to a date, then a button shows up on top right of each day in the timeline that pops up the list of those notes. Wait, are you using the timeline view? Is it paid only?

Even when a note is assigned to the day when you’ve done it, there’s still a date when the note was originally written stored on it. It’s just not the one shown in the corner, and not the one where the note appears in the timeline.

My compromise solution of using On The Agenda instead of Today to pick what I want to do actually solves this problem. Now I no longer have dates assigned to notes on creation (well, again, they do have created at timestamp stored internally). I just assign them to today and mark done upon completion. My todo list is the perpetual On The Agenda view, and I don’t have to move anything anymore.

Interesting, knowing when I wrote the note is never needed in my work.

Yeah those features could be helpful. Thankfully in the meantime the arrangement I described here solves the same problem differently.

Yeah I was thinking, and couldn’t help feeling that On The Agenda could essentially serve as this exact tag.

Which is why in my approach when I complete a note on the agenda I press cmd+shift+enter and cmd+alt+enter. It assigns to today and marks done. I realized I only need date assingment on completion, not on note creation. As long as I can see all notes need doing on the agenda view.

Very interesting ideas! :heart: Appreciate ya’ll sharing how you work.

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I agree, I don’t love tags for this. The thing is, I need some mechanism of focusing on notes that I’ve flagged for work. So like I might select 10 notes to work on today, but at some point I want to focus on two of them at a time.

Do you have notes on the Agenda for a couple days, or even a week or more, until they’re finished? For some reason, that would drive me nuts. When I’ve decided what I’m going to work on right now, I really don’t like seeing a bunch of unrelated stuff. BUT I do need some way of indicating that some of these notes need attention in the next week / month / whatever.

Anyway I go back and forth between using OTA for my focus flagging and tags for long-term, and vice-versa. I think what I really want is multiple OTAs. Yellow Agenda is all of my open loops (some of which I may not work on until next week). Blue Agenda is all the things I hope to get to today. Red Agenda is what I’m currently focused on. Something like that… but again, I can get there pretty well with tags. It just feels a bit off.

This is intruiging to me. I guess you must have a bunch of projects that have only 1-5 notes in them?

Do you have Agenda projects for long-running projects (say you’re on A, B, and C projects for the next 6 months), and each work-chunk is a note in those projects? Or are each of those long-running projects more likely to be categories, with individual work-chunks become their own projects, and invidual notes serving as a record of what you got done, and when?

I’m curious to know how in this case, you concluded that “helping a colleague setup their programming environment” is its own project as opposed to being part of the A project. Was this specific thing just not related to any of your active projects? And if it had been, would you still have created a project, or would you have filed those notes under the relevant project?

Interesting. I tried using On The Agenda like that but there were too many things on it that are relevant for the next few days. Rather than toggling them off and the needing to find them again and put them back on the agenda, I use my day book to set down the specific things I want to achieve today.

So On the Agenda is a sort of long list and Daybook is the short list.

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I’d quite like to use Agenda like this, but I often want to keep notes associated with the creation dates, especially meeting notes.Though I suppose if the note is linked with a calendar event, the actual date associated with the note is irrelevant. I’ll experiment.

Great thread guys with lots of good tips and suggestions, as well as good overviews of the workflows you’re using. Since it good be of help to many and doesn’t per se applies to Shortcuts, I’ve moved the topic to the Talk section of the community.