Second Brain?

I don’t formally do that, but, yes, Agenda is all I use in general, and I do put useful information into it that I want to possibly use in future.

But if you want to build a really big repository of info, you are probably still best with DevonThink or similar apps. They have very powerful search and can probably handle much larger bodies of data.


One thing I love about this community is Drew and Alexander’s confidence and integrity, always being straight shooters about what Agenda can do and what to expect.

My intent is to use Agenda for active projects only, but projects can collect…

Are there suggestions for where/how to unload archived Agenda projects, to keep the data intact??

I did see this: Export all notes from a project with the attached files? - #2 by drewmccormack

Can this go to DevonThink as is?


I don’t know how you could dump it in DevonThink. Perhaps some sort of export like that is worth thinking about in future.

Note you can archive your projects in Agenda. This should keep them more out of the way, without having to remove them entirely.


I export to PDF and save the PDF in DT.

It would be really cool if an Agenda project export had a quick look plug-in. Then you could store that file directly in DT, but still have it be viewable, searchable, or convert to PDF. Because it’s an Agenda export, you could reimport it easily.

I admit I don’t care so much about re-importing - I figure that if it’s worth moving archived project data from DT to Agenda, I can spend a few minutes copy and pasting the relevant info.


Hmm, you make some very good points. So we should definitely think about a QuickLook plugin. Has been a bit of a blindspot for us I think…

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Agenda for active projects.
DEVONthink for archive/repository.


Exporting an Agenda project to .textbundle format works well when imported into DEVONthink. It’s a cleaner import than HTML and the TextBundle includes images.

One additional feature i would like to see with exports from Agenda – either as individual note(s) or something like TextBundle exports – is to insert links to calendar events at the bottom of notes that are linked to those calendar events. I treat calendars like diaries and never delete events, so having the link available would be helpful.


Ive been using a similar system for a while now, but personally, for my needs, I couldnt get used to DT.
I found Notebooks app much easier, it has a watch app as well to help capture information and exporting from agenda is easy as Notebooks syncs directly with icloud file system, meaning anything can be saved in Notebooks folder (Weblinks and pages, pdf, rich text, markdown) and Notebooks can handle it.


There’s no doubt that DEVONthink is a hill to climb. But in terms of what you can throw at it, there’s nothing that matches it. It took a good while before I became confident in my use of it, but it’s absolutely essential for me at this point. The Second Brain indeed.


I’m quite happy archiving projects in Agenda. What is the advantage of exporting elsewhere?


Sheer scale for a start. You get add the notes to all the other elements in a project. The diverse forms of media/files you can combine with it, video, audio, word docs etc
More ability to organise and group.

DEVONthink is more of a digital asset manager than Agenda intends to be.


I use Agenda to work in from day to day. When a project is finished, I export it to the iCloud file system and make a markdown file of it so I can also (besides Finder and Spotlight) search and see it in Obsidian. If needed I can even still make changes there.
After that I delete the data in Agenda, in order to keep the Agenda files as compact as possible, so keeping up the performance there.
Obsidian is my second brain or zettelkasten.


I like that setup you have, and makes sense to me, personally. It helps keep Agenda “clean”.
I like Obsidian for that, Notebooks was the choice I ended up using because I do a lot of writing, and it syncs well with Scrivener app as well. But all the options mentioned here (DT, Obsidian, Notebooks) are fine options. One note is that Obsidian and Notebooks are both cross platform.

I used to use Agenda as a database actually, storing important docs, emails in here, but I found it cluttering after a while and preferred to have information stored elsewhere for easier searching. This is different for everyone, of course.

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Yes - I’m doing that right now.

I have a particular set of details I like to capture, so have created a template for just that. I clear the “On Agenda” and Date stamp because those specific details (at least, for my knowledge base) are not as critical. Once my research is complete, I slip it into an Archive, so I can still refer to it later without taking up a bunch of active resources.

URLs, sketches, reference charts, cross-links to other KB articles - Agenda handles it like a champ.

The predictive tags feature is the piece I’m really anxious for. I have a hard time remembering what tags I’ve created (that’s why I need to curate at KB!). Once Agenda can prompt me for pre-existing tags, I expect to be using that a great deal!



Just a heads up that Agenda 14 is available now, and includes the tag autocompletion and tag browser mentioned.


And I can tell you it is working great!

iA Writer, though by no means intended to be a comprehensive knowledge system, allows wikilinks and markdown. It’s an incredible app for writers. You could probably set up a second brain this way.

Hi Drew - I am new to Agenda. Where would I find the instructions to relate one note to another?

Thank you!

Here’s info about linking notes: Tags, People, Emoji's, Text Actions and Links

We have a new way to do it too: just type two open square brackets like this [[
You will get a menu to choose a note.

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New and working my way thru select topics. Hope no one minds me reviving this one. I’ve had DEVONthink for a while. It’s the repository for all reference material from research papers to interesting reads. It’s linked to as needed from Agenda to Ulysses, OmniFocus for larger projects, and others. EVERYTHING starts and/or lives in Agenda. It works, keeps improving and just makes sense.