Searching and Filtering

Agenda allows you to quickly filter the notes in a project for a term or tag, but you can also search globally across all projects. What’s more, you can restrict searches to a range of dates, and also to notes currently flagged as on the agenda.

Filtering on a Search Term

To search for a given term in the currently selected project…

  1. Click the magnifying glass button to start the search.

  1. Type the term you want to search for in the search field.
  2. To highlight the next match in the text, use the Edit > Find > Find Next menu item.
  3. To move to the previous match, use Edit > Find > Find Previous.

If you enter multiple terms, only notes containing all will match and be shown.

Filtering on Dates and Date Ranges

To restrict search results to a notes in a given range of dates…

  1. Click the magnifying glass button to start the search.
  2. Enter any search terms desired.
  3. Click on the calendar button next to the search field:

  1. Click a date in the popover.
  2. If you want a range of dates, either…
    • Click/tap and drag across the dates, or…
    • Click the start date, and then click the end date while holding the Shift key on macOS.

Tip: Dates that have a note associated with them will have a yellow dot, making it easy to zoom in on the dates you’re likely looking for.

Filtering on Status

Notes with the yellow dot button selected are the ones you are currently working with. They are on the agenda.

To include only notes that are On the agenda in the search results…

  1. Search as above.
  2. Click the round button on the left of the search field, and choose Marked as On the Agenda as the search filter.

Similarly you can also filter on notes marked as Done or not yet marked as Done.

Tip: Command-clicking the round button instantly activates the Marked as On the Agenda filter, while alt/option clicking the button activates the Marked as Done filter without a need to go through the menu.

Searching Across All Projects

To extend an existing project search to cover all projects…

  1. Setup the search for a single project, as above.
  2. Click the Search in All Projects item in the menu under the search field.

To directly make a search of all projects…

  1. Select the Search All overview in the sidebar on the left (source list).
  2. Enter the search details.


Searching for Tags and People

Terms entered in the search field will match any note text, including tags and people tags. If you want to, you can restrict the search to only match tags or people, rather than all text.

To search for a tag…

  1. Enter the tag text.
  2. Click Search for Tags in the menu under the search field.

Note that you can also directly enter the search tag preceded by a hash (#). E.g. #kitchen

To search for a person tag…

  1. Enter the person tag text.
  2. Click Search for People in the menu under the search field.

You can also enter the person search tag preceded by an @ symbol. E.g. @Tom

Creating a Smart Overview from a Search

Whenever you perform a search across all projects, you have the option to convert it into a smart overview that will be continually kept up-to-date and become an entry in the source list.

For example, if you search for notes that include the tag #work, and have today’s date, you can save it, perhaps giving it a name like “Work Stuff for Today”. This overview will automatically update as you edit and add notes. You can open the overview to see any notes that contain the #work tag, and include a date range that includes today.

To save a search…

  1. Make a search across all projects.
  2. Either…
    • Select Create Smart Overview in the menu under the search field, or…

    • Click the Create Smart Overview from Search text under the title of the project, or…

    • Click the Save button that appears on the Search All item in the sidebar on the left.

  3. Enter a name for the new overview in the sidebar.
  4. If your search includes a date, you also need to make a selection at the bottom of the popover. This indicates to Agenda how you want your date to be interpreted. (See next section.)

Premium: Saving of searches is a premium feature and requires you to have purchased the premium feature upgrade.

Relative Dates vs Absolute Dates

You may wonder how dates are handled in saved searches. When you save the search, you get the option to have dates interpreted as relative to the current date (e.g. tomorrow), or an absolute date (e.g. 22nd January, 2018).

A relative date moves over time, as the current date changes. Tomorrow will always be the day after the current date.

An absolute date does not change. It is fixed in time, regardless of what date the search is performed.

Open Quickly

To quickly find any note, project, or overview in your Agenda library, you can use the Open Quickly feature.

On macOS, or if you have a hardware keyboard on iPadOS:

  1. type ⎇ + [spacebar] or ⇧⌘-O to reveal this popover:


You can also simply tap on the category name at the top of the note list (“Work” in the screenshot above).

  1. start typing to filter down the list of results and use the arrow keys and/or hit enter to select the note, project or overview you wish to jump to.

Tip: See how the quickly open feature works in practice in this video on our YouTube channel.

Premium: The Open Quickly feature is a premium feature only available upon purchase.

On iOS:

  1. tap and hold the project title at the top of the screen and it will show the quickly open menu:

  1. start typing to filter down the list of results and tap or hit enter to select the note, project or overview you wish to jump to.

Tip: If you pull down any menu in Agenda for iOS and iPadOS you can reveal a search field to filter the menu. If you continue to pull down the menu the search field will automatically gain focus and the keyboard is shown, saving you an extra tap. This works in any menu.

Besides filtering on title, the Open Quickly panel also supports the following queries:

  • date searches like today, yesterday, last week, 21 march, etc

  • recent: notes edited in the last 48hrs

  • now: notes going on now

  • next or upcoming: notes coming up in the next 48hrs\

  • earlier: notes from earlier today


Search Syntax Cheatsheet


Enter a single term in the search field to show only notes containing the term in the text content, title or tags.

Typing “cat” will cause only notes containing “cat” in the text, title, or tags to be shown.

Multiple Terms

If you enter multiple terms, notes will be shown that include all of them.

Typing cat dog will show notes which match both “cat” and “dog”.


Entering a term will also search a note’s tags. If you want to restrict the search to only tags, use a # symbol.

To search for notes containing the tag “cat”, enter #cat in the search field.


Entering a term will also search a note’s person tags. If you want to restrict the search to only person tags, use a @ symbol.

To search for notes containing the tag “Bob”, enter @Bob in the search field.

Tag with Parameter

You can include a parameter in your tags, such as #color(green). If you enter “color”, you get all notes which include the tag color, regardless of the parameter. If you include a parameter in the search, only tags with that parameter will match.

Entering #color will match a note with #color(green), as well as a note with #color(yellow).
Entering #color(green) will only match notes containing the tag #color(green).

Due Tag

The tag “due” is special: it can be given a date as a parameter. The date can be absolute, like “due(22 Jan 2018)”, but it can also be relative. If a relative date is entered, it is converted to an absolute date. E.g. If you type #due(tomorrow), Agenda will automatically replace tomorrow with the date of the next day.

When searching, you can enter a due tag with a date. This will match any note that contains a due tag with a date that precedes or coincides with the one in the search field.

If you enter the search term #due, it will match any note containing a due tag.
If you enter the search term #due(22 Jan 2018), it will show any note that has a due tag on or before the 22nd January, 2018.


To search for a note that contains a star, enter the tag #star in the search field.


Is it possible to search for unfinished checklist items? Or, even better, display all unfinished checklist items at the top of a project?

For example, in your sample project “High Tea Inc.” there is are two unfinished “Actions” (checklist items) listed under a meeting from the “Meeting About Tom’s Disappearance” and another unfinished item from last week’s “Meeting on Nepal Trip”. This means a user has to scroll through the entire project to look for unchecked actions. So, I want to know if there is a way to consolidate all the open actions in a single view?



For the time being, you would need to add a tag (eg #action). We do have plans to add various summary views at some point.

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Any plans on adding support for filtering out all other content except for the line that contains a tag/person? i.e. for tasks or mentions only the block of text would show up in search results.

It seems like you guys already have support for a “line” based object in agenda so doing this seems feasible. I think this would really help out when search across multiple projects/categories/notes.

Bonus points for adding some kind of link to the note that the matching line of text came from.

Awesome app btw…. really hoping this turns out to be the “one app to rule them all” :slight_smile:


Yes, this is something we would like to do. Some way of summarizing.



Adding a tag (like #action) is not a good workaround as it implifies extra work when the unfinished item changes to finished. I agree with @thomashe: adding search for unfinished checklist items would be a great improvement.


Totally agree, the suggested feature would be extremely powerful and useful.

TBH, without something like that, actions (for me) are better kept in a separate task tracking app as they are all in one place and I can easily see what is left, coming up etc. Trying to keep track of any actions I have keft open across many notes is not workable.

Fingers crossed this will be implemeneted at some point. :blush:


As saving searches is a premium feature, I wonder if editing a saved one to updating the search constraint could be also a future premium feature?


When I create a search, I’d like to see a way to order them all by Date rather than Date by Project. Right now, it finds all of the correct notes, orders them by Project and then by date but it exports things in a very haphazard-appearing way because the export doesn’t include project names.

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When I create a search, I’d like to see a way to order them all by Date rather than Date by Project.

We’ve indeed seen this request more often, to basically not have them grouped by project right, we’ll do our best to add that option.


I know it’s early days, and looking forward to this evolving!

But, I’m trying to work out how to handle tasks and due dates. I’ve played around with #due and relative dates. Cool, though a date selector pop up would be useful to visualise and select a date (thinking… after the weekend, but not Tuesday etc)

And then, there’s an awful lot of typing to create a task and give it due date:

  • type the md for checklist
  • write the actual task
  • type the md to create due date
  • type the actual date
  • type #action

I suppose the checklist isn’t essential but it’s visually powerful. And when I check the task off as done, it still appears in the #due search! I can understand why at the moment, but in future surely the check list should actually interact with the #due tag in some way to delete or disable it. Perhaps recording the date it was ticked off or done - as part of the notes!

I also suppose I don’t need to use #due and #action. In fact #action is redundant! Unless I wanted to emulate Things’s ‘sometime’ tasks with #sometime.

Not sure if it’s my syntax, or what, but searching #due(after 1 March) or #due(before Monday) is no different to #due.

So, for now I think I need to stick with Things, but unfortunately selecting text and adding to Things using Services or keyboard commands doesn’t create a back link to Agenda. I can copy the Agenda link and paste it into Things, but it would be cool to have this happen automatically.

Not complaining! I know these things take time!


Yes, we are certainly thinking about how we can best handle dates with list items and the like. That is quite a big project. The due support in there now is pretty rudimentary, almost experimental. We aren’t emphasizing it that much at this point. But we have ambitions to become a lot more powerful in those areas.


I’ve been using #due (date) to track tasks that have a deadline, and #action for tasks that don’t have a particular deadline - like ‘sometime’ in Things.

Just tried creating a search to find all tasks: #due OR #action but Boolean search doesn’t seem to be supported.

I suppose I could use #due without a date instead of #action, but psychologically it feels wrong.

Perhaps I should do that for now, while waiting for a more sophisticated task system.


Boolean searches are not yet supported indeed, on our list.


4 posts were split to a new topic: Confusion about search

I would like to support s.newave’s post. It is difficult to find a person’s you have tagged amongst a miriad other lines of text that may be also tagged to differing people as well. A way to just see the line that is tagged for a person would be very very helpful and practical for following up to do lists for individuals

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I agree!!! Please please support even for a saved search for “- [ ]”

The ability to gather filtered notes in saved and continually updated overviews presents a lot of potential for research purposes. Still, the fact that we can attach tags to individual paragraphs provides serious advantages because mark your texts in a more granular fashion. It would be fantastic if we could gather individual paragraphs marked with a particular tag or a combination of tags into a new note that we could print or export for further processing. Agenda could thus become a new form of idea management tool!


Yes, this is certainly a feature we plan to add down the track.


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