Trying to understand how to create a shortcut

I’m struggling to see how to create a shortcut to dictate a new note in my Agenda inbox.

I’ve had a look at the shortcut ‘dictate to Bear’ which refers to ‘body’ and ‘title’, but I can’t work out where to find these fields for Agenda.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

See the x-callback-url reference:

Thanks. Maybe I’m being stupid, but I thought the Shortcut app was supposed to make doing this intuitive, just select options from the list?

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I’m afraid it’s a bit more complicated than that, best thing to do is to download some of the other shortcuts in this section of the community and have a look how those are set up.

What exactly are you trying to do?

At the moment, when I remember something important I need to do, or I have an idea I don’t want to forget, I use Siri to create either an Apple Note or a Reminder. I find it easier to do this by dictating as I often have these ideas while walking the dog, and I don’t have my reading glasses on, so typing on an iphone it tricky. I later copy these into Agenda.

But I’d rather add them directly to my Agenda inbox. I’d like to be able to:

  • create a new note in my Agenda inbox
  • dictate the title of the note (end by pausing)
  • dictate the body of the note (end by tapping)
  • end

Any suggestions welcome!

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This is a quick and dirty version:

You’ll need to edit the url in the second last action to use the right Project name - it’s currently using “Journal”

You can use “Add to Siri” in the settings for it in shortcuts to record a phrase to trigger it.


Thanks! I’ve got this working now.

Couple of weird things though:

  • Short cuts take so long open I think I’d be quicker opening the app and navigating to the inbox!
  • The Dictate to Agenda shortcut doesn’t open via Siri. The command is recognised, but Siri says “Sorry, there was a problem with the app”. This seems to be a known issue, and the fixt suggested in this Reddit thread doesn’t fix it!

Sometimes Shortcuts are slow, sometimes they’re not. I guess they’re faster on an Xs than my 7.

It gave me trouble the first few times. Try running it from Siri unlocked? I have a funny idea it asked for some permission or something - as you can see from the the timestamps I spent about 15mins putting that together so I don’t promise much on robustness!

Thanks! I’ll keep playing with it!

I’m using a 5s which might have something to do with.

I really appreciate the 15 minutes you spent on it - would have taken be much longer, if I’d managed it at all.

A 5s would be annoyingly slow, I suspect.

I have the exact same problem, @trebso . And no disrespect to the Agenda Community, but it feels like literally every single person on these message boards (and Bear’s and, well, any quality writing app’s) is either a developer or someone who understands x-callback, and I’ve got to tell you, that is profoundly disheartening and impenetrable as a writer who is trying to get all their apps to work together and requires as much automation as the next person. I know that Agenda didn’t create x-callback, but it’s pissing me off that in order to organize my life and work, I have to learn a new language first. It just reinforces this notion in the app community at large that it’s normal to write code: it isn’t. The vast majority of your users will not be able to penetrate URL schemes; I’m sorry, but it just makes people tolerate their inconvenient workflow or go for the absolute most basic, standard shortcuts available.

I don’t mean to knock Agenda at all, and I know it just seems like I am griping, but it is disconcerting how comfortable everyone on here is with a sort of glaring issue: namely, a shortcut isn’t inefficient if it has to take a detour. I think it’s on the cusp of being my all-in-one app at some point (maybe in about a year or so? Depends on the progress of the updates) and there’s just a quality to its design that is really elegant and alluring to me, even if I do have some gripes in that department, which I’ll post elsewhere.

I came to Agenda because I am struggling to integrate and organize aspects of not only my personal life, but my obligations and creative output as well, and it just seems so counterintuitive to me that the people who need native integration or the automation provided by Shortcuts the most are just kind of floundering (plus, the “minimalism” of the Shortcuts UI just just seems arrogant. No tutorial or help options? Come on). I understand this isn’t Agenda’s fault, but also don’t lose sight of the effect that has on ideology: It’s enabling the entire app development community to think that they are making things easier for people, and it will, as long as you understand and implement x-callback, which is immediately more complicated and daunting than anything they are currently (already!) struggling to organize. Be mindful of that?

I understand that things like task management and workflow are a process and take time, but I’ve been sidlining my professional and personal goals for almost a month now & truth be told I don’t know that I’m any closer to finding something that works.


Unfortunately a lot of all this stems from all the limits Apple has placed in iOS/iPadOS on integration possibilities between apps (in contrast to the mac, although there too it becomes harder and harder as security measures are added, which is a choice by Apple that could fill an entire forum of discussions by itself). x-callback was literally developed as a way for apps on iOS/iPadOS to even do anything at all in terms of interoperability.

I agree it’s a power feature, though with the Shortcuts app and shortcuts that can be shared, things do become easier. The latest addition to iOS13 are parametrised shortcuts that kind of make the x-callback-urls no longer necessary to create more complex shortcut based workflows. We plan to add support for these to Agenda in the coming year.


Sure, I really can’t fault Agenda for that, it’s just my growing frustration with the process of deducing a suitable workflow. I concede it’s hard to fault Agenda for that.


This sounds a good news. Actually, since the beginning I didn’t understand well the function and the use of x-callback, and still I have some difficulties to understand all the potentiality of this shortcuts system. I agree with @theforrestferguson about the fact this system is too complex at the present state and more undesirable for developers than for normal users.