Tags, People, Actions, Links, and Lists

Agenda is more than just a basic note taking app. It has powerful features for organizing notes, task management, and cross referencing. In this section, we introduce these features.


Tags are labels which can be directly inserted into the text of a note. They are useful for imparting extra information into content, but also for search purposes, and creating saved searches.

The tags in Agenda may contain parameters, and even dates.

Entering a Tag

To start entering a tag, on Mac you can use the menu Note > Make Tag, and then type the tag. On iOS you can create one by tapping the hash (#) icon in the popup menu that shows after tapping the plus button in the bar above the keyboard:

The tag can contain letters, digits, and symbols, but no spaces, commas or periods. To complete the tag, simply enter a character that doesn’t belong in a tag, such as a space, or move the cursor elsewhere.

There is also support for creating tags with a textual shortcut: you can type the hash symbol (#) followed by the tag, e.g. #important.

Editing an Existing Tag

To edit an existing tag, simply click or tap inside of the tag to trigger a popover that allows you to edit the tag.

Tag Parameters

Most tags are simple labels, but it is possible to use parameters within tags. For example, you could use the tag importance with different parameters for each level of importance. So one piece of text might contain the tag #importance(low), and another #importance(high).

You can mix and match as well: a tag can be just the tag ( #priority , #important , etc), or can have a value associated with it in brackets following the tag, these values can be:

  1. text, e.g. #priority(high) , #priority(low)
  2. numbers, e.g. #priority(1) , #priority(2)
  3. dates, e.g. #priority(today) , #priority(2 days)

The advantage of using these values is that you can then search both for all notes with a #priority tag in them, or specifically for notes of say high priority by searching for #priority(high) . In the future we aim at extending this functionality such that you could do a search for medium priority and higher for example.

Due Tag

You may want to give list items or other paragraphs a due date; you can do this with the due tag. If you use the tag label ‘due’, and give it a date as parameter, you can later search for notes that have due items. For example, you could enter a tag like #due(3/3/2018) in a list item, indicating it is due on the 3rd of March, 2018.

To search for notes with due items, enter a due tag with date into the search field. For example, if you want to see all notes containing items due on or before today, enter #due(today) in the search field. You can even save this search as an overview in the sidebar (requires premium purchase).

As you may have noted, you can enter dates in a variety of forms, including informal variants like today, tomorrow, 2 days and so forth.

Note that the due tag is just an example of a type of tag you can create with dates as values. The keyword is up to you, can also be say deadline(2 days) .

Searches currently show whole notes, not only the matching item or paragraph. In future, we hope to allow a summarized form where only the items that match are included in the results.

Symbolic Tags (e.g. star)

There are a few tags reserved for special uses. For example, if you enter #star, the current paragraph will get starred status. On Mac you can also apply a star using menus or the paragraph styling popover, which appears when you click the small button to the left of a paragraph. While on iOS you can insert a star via the plus button in bar above the keyboard.

Saving a Tag Search as Overview

Searching for tags is as easy as entering the tag, and then clicking Search for Tags in the menu that appears. But even more powerful is to save your most common searches as saved searches.

If you find yourself repeating a search often, to save it as an overview in the sidebar, click Search in All Projects, and then Save Search as Overview. You can give your search a name, and it will appear in the left column.

If your search includes a date or range of dates, you will get the option to indicate whether that date should be fixed, or if it should be relative to the current date, moving with time. As an example, imagine it is the 1st of January, and you have selected the 3rd of January in the search. When you save the search, you can choose to have it always search for the 3rd of January, or to search for 2 days from whatever the current date is.

This feature is only available after you purchase the premium feature pack.


Because the people you deal with are so important in your notes, Agenda includes a special type of tag just for them. The rules for entering person tags are very similar to standard tags.

Entering a Person Tag

To start entering a person tag, on Mac you can use the menu Note > Assign Person, and then type the name or initial of the person. On iOS you can use the bar above the on screen keyboard:

The name you use can contain letters, digits, and symbols, but no spaces, commas or periods. To complete the person tag, simply enter a character that doesn’t belong in a tag, such as a space, or move the cursor elsewhere.

There is also support for creating tags with a textual shortcut: you can type the ‘at’ symbol (@) followed by the name, e.g. @Tom.


Agenda supports a number of text actions that allow you to insert the date and/or time in your notes by simply typing \date, \time, or \now. These will be expanded to the respective current date and/or time. You can further tweak the behaviour of these actions using parameters, similar as when typing tags with parameters. For instance like this \date(short), \time(full), etc. You can even add timezones or locale parameters. For a complete overview, see Creating and Using Templates


Agenda notes can include links to web sites, other Agenda notes, and even files in the Finder. Anything that can be represented with a link can be included.

Entering a Link

To add a link, on Mac you can use the menu Note > Link To… > Add Link… This allows you to enter the URL for the link. On iOS you can use the plus button in the bar above the on screen keyboard. But there are other ways to do it. For example, just entering a link URL like http://agenda.com will be recognized as a link and converted for you. (On Mac you can control this behavior in Edit > Substitutions.)

Another way to link is using markdown syntax. Type the link anchor — the text that will be readable — in square brackets, followed by the URL address of the link in parentheses. For example, to link to the agenda web site, you might enter [Agenda Web Site](http://agenda.com), and Agenda will convert this to a link with the text “Agenda Web Site”. Clicking the link would take you to the web site. This Talk Article shows a number of handy examples where you can use this technique.

Linking to Files in Finder

You can create links to external files in Finder – as opposed to adding a copy as an attachment– by simply dragging the file into your Agenda notes and dropping it while holding the Control (⌃) key. When you click the link, Finder will open at the file.

Note that due to security restrictions, Agenda cannot open the file for you — it can only bring you to the file so that you can open it yourself.

Linking to Other Notes and Projects

Agenda supports special links for notes and projects in the app. You can use agenda links to reference other items in your Agenda notes, or you can insert them in other apps to open Agenda notes when clicked.

To insert a link to another note at the cursor, on Mac you can use Note > Link To, and choose a note or project. On iOS you’ll find the same option under the cog wheel menu in the lower right corner of the selected note.

Linking from Other Apps to Agenda Notes and Projects

Links for notes and projects can be copied, and pasted into other apps, so that when you click them, Agenda is activated and the note or project in question is shown.

To copy the link of a note or project to the clipboard, select the note or project, and on Mac choose Edit > Copy As > Agenda Link. On iOS you find this option when you tap the three dots next to the selected project in the sidebar. Paste the copied link anywhere you like, and Agenda should open and show the item when you click it.

Creating Links in Other Apps using Share Menu

The Share menu allows you to share your Agenda notes and projects in many different formats, with any app that supports sharing extensions. On Mac this menu is in the main menu at the top of the screen, on iOS you find it in the cog wheel menu in the bottom right corner of the selected note.

One of the options supported by many apps is sharing of an Agenda Link. The advantage of using this option is that you can easily find your way back to a particular or note or project from another app. You could, for example, add an Agenda Link to a task management app or to-do program, and have it link back to a particular note with more detail.


With Agenda, you can mix hierarchical lists in with your other notes. The app supports number lists, bullet lists, and check lists.

Creating a Bullet List

You can create a bullet list on Mac using the menu item Format > Lists > Bullet List. The list options can also be triggered by clicking the dot in the gutter to show the formatting popover:

On iOS you find the list options by tapping the ¶ button in the bar above the on screen keyboard:

Once active you should see a dash (bullet) appear at the beginning of the item. Pressing enter creates a new item.

Alternatively, you can use markdown syntax to start a list. Just begin the line with a hyphen (-) followed by a space, and start typing your first list item. The paragraph will automatically turn into a bullet list item.

To exit the list, you can choose a different paragraph style from the Format menu (eg Body) or keyboard bar, or you can go to a new line, and press backspace to delete the bullet.

Creating a Numbered List

In a number list, items are numbered in order. Numbering applies to a single level of indentation; if you indent to create a nested list, it will have a separate set of numbers to the original list.

To create a number list on Mac, use the menu item Format > Lists > Numbered List, or use the markdown syntax by beginning your first item with “1.”, followed by a space and the item text. On iOS you find the list options under the ¶ button in the bar above the on screen keyboard.

To exit the list, choose a different paragraph style, or press enter to create a new empty item, and then backspace to delete the number marker.

Creating a Checklist

Checklists are useful for tracking tasks or items you need to handle. Creating a checklist is as simple as selecting the menu item Format > Lists > Checklist on Mac, or using the ¶ button bar above the on screen keyboard on iOS.

You can use markdown in various ways to create a new checklist. You can enter “[]” or “-[]” at the start of a line. To create an item that is already checked, use “[x]”.

Checking Off in a Checklist

The advantage of a checklist is that you can check off items as they are completed. As you would expect, this is as simple as clicking on the circle to the left of the item. You can toggle a checked off item to be unchecked again by clicking the circle once more. On Mac there is also the option under the Format > Lists menu.


All lists and other paragraph styles can be indented. Hitting tab is the easiest way to indent, but you can also use the Format > Indentation menu on Mac, and bar above the on screen keyboard on iOS.

You can mix indented lists. For example, you could have a check list, where one item has a nested numbered list. Perhaps that item has a number of steps that you need to remember, so you enter those as a sublist to ensure you don’t forget.


Any thoughts about integrating the macOS tags? I use macOS tags to tell me if an item needs attention sooner or later. I have a tag called “Now” which means it’s top of list and needs daily notice if not daily actions. Then a second tag called “Later” which means that an action is needed making it an “open item” rather than simply a record for the archive but is not in the immediate future nor has a “by when” date.

If Agenda could import the items or folders I’ve tagged in macOS it would save me creating duplicates.

The Finder with documents in the cloud has become my action manager and if I’m going to use Agenda I want everything there making it my new home base. When I have to manage my actions in two or more places I’m heading down the path of complexity not simplicity.

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I don’t really see the Finder tags as being related to tags in Agenda. I could imagine the two don’t overlap very much. The set of tags for Agenda would likely be very different, and have a different purpose, than in Finder.

What do others think about this?


I would like to colour code my tags but cannot find a way to do that. Maybe I am overlooking something, but it does not seem obvious. Thanks


Tags simply are a way to mark items for recall as individual items or sorted as a list of items. They allow separation, selection, and organization within a group. The reason or purpose for separating depends on the need of the moment which is going to vary widely. Creating project categories or pegging items to a timeline are other sorting/organizing methods. Having a broad palette of sorting methods broadens the app’s utility and appeal.

As tags are integrated into macOS I’ve come to find them useful. Integrating that utility by extending their reach into Agenda expands Agenda’s scope beyond its current project focus if that’s a worthwhile direction to head in at this early stage development.

When might this how-to be finished?


We are working on them a little at a time. Very busy with the launch. Sorry.

Are all of the features implemented that the how-to’s are showing? I am sure the community (including myself) would be happy to write these ourselves if it helped.

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We are getting there with them. Just a few to go.

Yes, they are all implemented.

The advanced tag features are a bit buggy, but I have just fixed that. Will be in the next release, probably next week.

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Could you please provice a clear description of how to use tags and then how to create a project with all notes that have that tag? Is that possible? Will the premium option help with this? I understand that you can save search to sidebar.

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The way you would do that is to simply put a tag somewhere in the note (eg #important). Then you would do a search for #important across all the projects. You then get the option to save that in the sidebar (requires premium features). When you do that, you get an overview (which is like a project), that shows any note with #important in the text. This updates continually.

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How do you add due dates to checklist or any list item so that it shows up in the calendar? I found the message that said to use a tag like #due(21/05/2017). That seems to be for searching.

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There is no way to do this at the moment. You can only link a whole note to a calendar event.

The due tag is useful for searches, but does not put a calendar event in.

#tags how do i use #tags to sort and categorize? i.e. see Bear-writer. is this possible?

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Bear’s system is totally tag focused. There is no other way to organize.

We organize around projects. Tags are there at this point for labeling things, and for search. We have future plans to add better tag management and organization, so they will get more powerful over time.

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Please prioritize having a tag browser. Tags are kind of useless without it. Search can fetch me notes even if I don’t have them tagged.


+1 for some kind of tag browser/list.

clicking on a tag to perform a search for that tag elsewhere would be good too.


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