Seeking your best practices for viewing and creating tasks

Hi. I’ve been looking for a way to add my reminders here instead of Things, as I like the idea of running my tasks from same place where my notes are. I’m not the biggest fan of Apple Reminders, so I’m looking for ways that I can view my tasks from same place in Agenda. I know I can create a project/page dedicated to writing twists, but that’s not my best workflow, as I like adding a task/reminder from the note I’m working on. However, I can’t figure out how to view all my tasks in one place here in Agenda.

I’m sure there’s some tagging/automation system that allows me to do this, but I haven’t found it. Can you please point me in the right direction?

Bonus points if you teach me a way to get tasks that I haven’t clicked as done to keep recurring. I struggle with this in Things, and then just lose sight of what I have pending.

Thank you!

imo, the best way to think of Agenda notes and content today is that each note is a sheet of paper. Searches and overviews let you view a subset of those sheets of paper.

If you think of how you might write tasks or notes on sheets of paper, that’s what you can do with Agenda. That means manually organizing things the way that you want them to appear. It also means making tradeoffs. If you want to see tasks separately from prose, then you need them in separate notes and ways to view them separately, perhaps with tags and overviews. If you want to mix tasks and prose in the same note, then you will see them together and just have to focus on the part of the note that you’re interested in and ignore the rest.

Yes lots of people want to filter to just see tasks, and yes it’s on the roadmap, but I’m telling you what’s possible with Agenda today.

Beyond that, the approach available today is to use scripts / workflows / etc to process and modify the text content of the notes. e.g. creating tasks in OmniFocus: Add todos to OmniFocus

So… I think of it as sheets of paper that are easy to use. It’s easier to cut and paste than it is to rewrite. It has some nice formatting. But, it’s smart sheets of paper, it doesn’t have the kind of atomicity as task managers. If you want to use some external automation to process the content, you can give it a shot. Though you can see some atomicity at work, e.g. in checklists where you can move checked items to the bottom. Drew and Alex have stated that there is more to come in that regard.

Reminders integration works well, when it works. I’ve repeatedly had bad experiences with it, so I’ve deemed Reminders untrustworthy and don’t use that feature anymore, which is a bummer. But I also don’t see many people reporting issues with it, so it’s possible there’s something wrong with my Reminders setup or I’m just unlucky there. I encourage you to use \remind and see if it works for you.

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Personally I’ve come to see the friction of task management in Agenda (compared to bona fide task managers) as a good thing.

In most task managers, tasks are database items that you can view in various different ways. This adds lots of flexibility, but it also means that tasks are all uncoupled from each other, they don’t belong anywhere clear, they all float randomly in some kind of opaque bottomless morass from which you have to find ways to extract them. There is always in my mind some possibility that a task that I can see today in a given view might disappear tomorrow, and become lost forever.

In Agenda each task has a very definite home, the note it lives in. The task never shows up anywhere else than in this note. If you want to see it elsewhere, you need to cut and paste it manually. You never fear the task will somehow escape you. For me it makes the tasks more concrete, more consistent. If I put task B below task A, I can rest assured both tasks will always show up together, and in that particular order, unless I move them around myself. In my opinion, this consistency has value, and I would be disappointed if Agenda started treating tasks like the thousands of other existing todo apps.

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Hi Pat,

With regards to Reminders, I think Ventura (and its “I” coparts) shows progress. I’ve also experienced weird and unpredictable problems at times but the latest betas work well.

Rob

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Over the past several months I’ve pared down my use of OmniFocus and shifted to tracking tasks with Reminders. I find Reminders in Monterey pretty reliable, and the tags and smart groups are useful, to some extent. For me a main reason for using Reminders is quick capture on the Watch and iOS with Siri.

Apart from capture, I use Agenda notes with maybe 10% of my reminders – those that relate that tasks that need detailed sublists or attachments. Mostly, though, when I use Agenda with the Calendar it is for extensive notes relating to events. Long before Agenda, I’ve used multiple calendars (work, clients, home, shared with family, etc.), and these calendars are the hardscape that provides historical context that I can review or search going back years. Agenda came along and added a useful dimension to recording events on calendars.

I also use Agenda on Sundays to plan out the coming week; deciding which reminders or events will need notes, etc.; creating templated notes and assigning to dates, so they appear on Today when needed, etc. It’s time well-spent.

I have a mental spectrum of tasks/event ranging from super-ephemeral reminders (“take the garbage to the curb every monday”), to super-critical memories (“Charlotte’s Wedding Saturday at 10:00 AM in Albuqueque”). Agenda fits well with the upper range of that spectrum.

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Only recently picked up Agenda again, mainly for keeping a structured record of my meeting notes. Still using Things as my primary task management app.

For the moment when I need or want to as a task in Agenda, I add a reminder at the end of it with date/reminder etc. I have Things set to read that nominated Reminders folder and Things automatically imports this into the Things Inbox (this process also deletes the Reminder entry and greys out the alarm icon in Agenda).

Perhaps a little inefficient, but it works ok.

Ideally I would use the Share to Things as Agenda Link to created a link between the Things entry and Agenda, but currently the link generated does not work correctly (just opens Agenda - not the specific meeting note). Ticket lodged for this one.

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Update: if you use the Share function from the cog in the bottom right hand corner of the note, and select Things - Agenda Link, it creates a popup entry with the correct link that will bring you back to the correct note in Agenda.

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