After two months of intense usage, I think I have enough basis for a suggestion: “On the Agenda” should, I feel, be some global switch, affecting every other perspective (Today, Searches, Projects).
There has been complaining and requests from users to implement an “archive” feature in the Agenda. To me, this request seems to be misdirected and, IMHO, perhaps even contrary to the core purpose of the app. Note-taking is an ambiguous term. There are many kinds of note-taking. For those requiring long-term archiving and retrieval, there are options on the market. Mainly, I use The Archive for conceptual, deeply-linked notes related to scientifical research and DEVONthink Pro Office for general notes and document management. They’re both excellent applications for these purposes, while not providing anything similar to what the Agenda can do. They are genuinely complementary in my toolbox, and they do not compete against each other as they have quite different functions to help me in my work.
I think the Agenda should stick to its purpose of being a tool for note-taking which is sensitive to the passing of time, so to speak. It is, I think, a tool that helps you seize the right opportunities when planning your work, as you can see how things unfold in time, measuring priorities and urgency, developing strategies on what to do when etc. That’s why I think the idea of having things “on” and “off” the agenda is fundamental: we are talking about things that are relevant for some time, after which they would better be “forgotten”.
The Agenda is a place where I register very practical and concise thoughts – usually to elaborate them somewhere else. I have been using it to keep a Bullet Journal-inspired Daily Log, to plan my writing, lectures, academic and business projects, to make arrangements for trips and shopping. These are roughly the different “Projects” I have configured, though the name “Projects” is perhaps a bit misleading. I think they are more appropriately speaking different perspectives usually connected to some context requiring a particular “focus”. If, on the other hand, we define a project more strictly as something that has a more or less precise date to come to an end, I’ve found it’s better to organise projects of this kind by using tags. For example, I’ll create notes for a particular course linked to different class dates, and all those notes will reside in the “lectures’ Project” with a specific tag. And this approach works very well, as I have the whole “timeline” of lectures, helping me developing strategies before and during the course. Also, if I don’t do any filtering for a particular class, I can have a glimpse of all my academic assignments and elaborate on what should be done when, or perhaps sketch some ideas here and there etc.
The annoying thing is that the “On the Agenda” feature, as it is currently implemented, only works effectively for the first Project in my list. For the other Projects, the requirement of having to scroll down until you find them is not practical. That’s why I reserved this first position for the Journal, as it would be vital to “forget” all of the gone-by daily and weekly notes when the month changes while keeping the month-to-month overviews of the past in their appropriate logs.
I think, therefore, it would be excellent to have an option to turn on and off the “On the Agenda” filter when I focus one of the perspectives (“Projects” or Searches). Because this “focusing” is what matters when doing some actual work (the Agenda will be either opened or quickly accessible by a global shortcut while I write in Ulysses, or when I do some reading and elaborate more extended notes in The Archive etc.).
I don’t care, in sum, for archiving projects that come to an end – and if I have to, I will use the export function and store them with a more appropriate tool, such as DEVONthink. Otherwise, I would like simply to let them go and disappear from view.