Second Brain suitability for Agenda

I enjoy using Agenda. I am refinning my “second brain” system and I’m curious how suitable Agenda will be for this. My main concern is file storage. For example, if I take photos–let’s say 15+– and try to store them in an Agenda note, I get a warning about storage.

Is this going to be a problem? Is there a way around it? I’ve seen several approaches to this and none or completely satisfying. Examples are everything is on the web (Notion), everything is stored in two places in their entirety (Evernote), everthing is stored in a local database (Devonthink).

What I’m hoping for a hybrid where files…especially large ones…are stored and offloaded locally as needed and depending on how relativly they were accessed and how often. That would require some smarts.

So…exactly how is Agenda handling this and will that make or break it as a primary Second Brain for me and maybe others?

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Not sure you know this, but DEVONthink can just “index” files - refer to files outside of the DT database.

You might also find this thread useful: Zettelkasten, Roam, Obsidian, RemNote, Notion and Cong does not work as expected

Yes, I do know that, but then it makes it a bit more difficult (at least with Devonthing Pro 2.5) for the mobile app to access those notes. It has been my experience with Devonthink that I have to consolidate the file into the database for access to files on my other devices.

You might find Hookmark a useful tool to link to other items from Agenda:


Interesting topic. I’m also currently working in the best way to use my second braind and the file storage for many projects. Here are some thoughts:

  1. I don’t recommend use Agenda for longterm file storage. It will made your app slow, probably it will crash sometimes, my experience.

  2. But, yo can create a list of URL link related to files (or group of them) storaged in, for example, Devonthink. I’m trying this as a “control-quick access” path, because sometimes I use Notion to storage specific files (for short term storage) or in Logseq, where I put Youtube videos and make notes using a pluging that allows you to do “note-making” linked to specific section of the video.

  3. I recommend to choose just “one app” for long term storage in order to avoid the mess of having several apps for long term storage. I was tempted to use the app Keep-it as a sort term file storage (save files there first, review them, select the important files for X project, and then, move them to Devonthink), but, it crashed or made slow my iCloud system, too many huge files. Agenda can be useful to make a list of the files (websites, papers, etc.), and use a link for quick access to them. You can do this in Devonthink also, but, in my experience, I prefered to use Agenda as the “base-project-management” for everything and then, jump to other apps, but Agenda is my “control system”, is my “Big bang” (I tried Craft docs app for this…but…Agenda is just better).

  4. I use Agenda to storage main files. For example, I’m working in a proposal now and I have in Agenda the file of the Call-funding because I can review it anytime, without go into another app, quick view here works great for this. Also, in the same project, I have there another working documents (first draft, first ideas) for quick reference. Sure, you can I use Notion for this, but it will make you open the entire file and you don’t have this quick view access.

  5. I recommend to design an algorithm for the file storage. You can use Mindspace app, Obsidian canvas, Apple notes… to build it. All the files will have to follow the designed path. My example is this for websites: A) quick save in Things3 for further reviews, B) review and make a list-links of the relevant ones on Agenda, C) move the selected files to Devonthink for a deep review and long term storage, D) I indicate in Agenda the winner files and mark them as “read” or “done” or whatever.

  6. Sadly for me, I discovered yesterday that you can make an “overview” in the Overviews left side of Agenda, with “tags” !!! Perhaps, I missed this in the video for Agenda-15. Thus, you can tag where you put files in Agenda and just click the, for example, files storage X, and you have there all the notes where you put files.

Happy to share my thoughs and ideas.



I hope that the suitability for longterm storage is something that they are able to improve. I wholeheartedly agree that there should only be one place for longterm storage. It would be terrific if Agenda could fill that role. If I start seeing the issues you mention, I may have to go to back to Evernote…really don’t want to.

Hello there… Is a good answer given to this question since february, nor good ideas?
Is someone interested by the subject?
Thanks for the return…

Since this post was made in 2017, Agenda has improved a lot. It can handle a lot of data, but it is better for time sensitive data and planning. Often it works best if you use another app for things you just want to keep forever for search purposes, and Agenda for structuring your projects and tasks. But if you don’t have too much data, you can certainly put a lot of it in Agenda. Best to break it up into different projects, rather than one huge project.

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Most of my notes are daily journal entries, stretching as far back as 2020, full years since then. I’ve got 1164 entries in one category with yearly folders of at most 349 notes in a project. This is the first notes program I’ve used where scrolling from the top to the bottom of a large folder like that is quick with no lagging nor lazy loading at all. I’m impressed. Most of the programs I’ve used were really writing apps and not really notes apps.

I tried NotePlan for about 10 minutes. Deleted when I found it was very difficult to import and especially to assign dates to my journal data. Agenda did that task nearly effortlessly.

Other than that, the most I have in a category is 134, across 8 projects.