Use one note for the day or multiple notes for a day?

I’m trying to organize how I capture notes. I still keep categories and projects for things that are really specific, such as documents, receipts, my diet, and studies. However, for the majority of things, I decided to write in a project called daily notes. Everything I capture is currently going there. If it is a movie I watched, it goes there; if it is an information in my job, it also goes there. Video I watched with curiosities? Daily note. Ideas, journal also are daily notes.

I’m wondering if I should keep everything in a daily note or add multiple notes for a single day, depending on what it is. Let’s say it is a cooking recipe. Should it have its own note? Or I should just write it in a single note and add a hashtag for recipes as a smart view? I’m already doing that, but wondering if it is the best idea. What do you think? How do you approach such notes?

1 Like

A nice topic.

I also proceed in a similar way.
I have a folder structure and there are categories and subcategories matching the topic or area (private, work, hobby, holiday…). I have a special “Current” category at the top with “todo” + “inbox” projects. I put everything in there that doesn’t fit into an existing category. Current and important prio1 notes are also left there. After editing and low status, I move these notes to a suitable category or subcategory. It is not a final solution for me. I’m still looking for methods in Agenda that can effectively replace the habits with Bear, Obsidian or Paperback. I realise that Agenda can’t replace everything, but I still want to have the data in one place if possible. My deep category structure was probably also created out of necessity. The search in Agenda has too many limitations and doesn’t work effectively enough for me. But …I hope…that will change soon.

Sorry, my English is not so good. Hope the content is understandable.

1 Like

Your system looks similar to mine. Some stuff would clutter my daily notes, so I think it is better to organize them in separate categories. One issue I find with adding too many categories is that I miss these notes when doing the weekly review. If they are important in two different places, I’d rather link this daily note where it fits. It would be nice if we could view previews inside other notes (read the whole daily note inside another note) as it can be done in obsidian.

One issue I find with adding too many categories is that I miss these notes when doing the weekly review.

I solve the problem with the saved overviews. I then use a tag like #prio2 to find the notes from different categories. I have also used a tag like #cw11 to find all the notes from a calendar week and display them in a list. And of course there are also the filters for the calendar in “Search all”.

If they are important in two different places, I’d rather link this daily note where it fits.

I write my daily work notes in a project called “Notes 2024”. These notes are relatively short and usually only contain individual points, lists or checklists. If necessary, this is followed by further notes with more details, descriptions or instructions. I assign these notes to a specific category and link them on both sides to the specific text or point in the daily note. In combination with a suitable tag, this allows me to keep an overview.

It would be nice if we could view previews inside other notes (read the whole daily note inside another note) as it can be done in obsidian.

Yes, I also miss such functions in Agenda. Just like the callouts and a few other good things. But that’s often an individual wish list.

1 Like

I also found myself grappling with this, but I’ve managed to find a solution.

Personally, I find it doesn’t always help to be strict about categorizing without any duplication or omission. If something fits into two categories, why not duplicate it? Taking notes is a tool for my own memory and reflection, not a showcase for others. So, don’t sweat it, go ahead and duplicate where you need to.

I dive right in and treat a whole to-do as a single project. You probably think I’m crazy, that would make Agenda’s sidebar overflow. But I’ve found that it actually won’t. I quickly found that some to-dos were actually subordinate to others. This way, I swiftly identify the key to-dos in my life.

Every 3-6 months, I will export some projects that I no longer need and put them in Notion, which I use as a repository to store some cold data. And in the local app, only the data that I am working on recently is stored.

I don’t know if this is the fact, but I have a distinct sense that Apple style apps don’t seem to be designed for infinite amounts of data like Windows style apps are, instead, they are designed for the moment and finite data. Just as a person’s stomach, although there is a lot of food, there is a finite amount of food needed.

These key tasks could be super important things, or simply tasks that are a little challenging for me. Emotionally, it feels like hitting a wall sometimes, not being able to do things as well as I’d like. In these cases, I create items and categorize them according to the key difficulty, like goal-oriented, preparedness for something, outdoor stories, reflection, need to track, making a decision, not the actual category they fall into like travel, research, cooking, or work. Of course, most projects are not categorized and exist among Other Projects. This helps me look back and reflect, as well as build and maintain new habits.

I only jot down things related to Actions or Events on Agenda, leaving the info-level stuff for apps like Obsidian. Things like my research, daily running logs, observations, and other informational items live on Obsidian. If I need to build an article, I turn to Ulysses. For documenting special moments of my moods and feelings, I’ll use Dayone and Photos. In short, take full advantage of the unique strengths of each app and don’t get hung up on implementing everything on one app. Some stuff is hard to separate, so in those cases, just copy-and-paste! In my opinion, the brain is the best tool for integration. The brain registers the context of something, such as smells, environment, colors, sensations, and the multitasking you are doing at the same time. And, of course, the brain tends to structure things, so try using @object to refer to a noun, such as @Ratatouille (food), @Dead-Poets-Society (movie), @explore (approach), @Grand Canyon (travel), @Algorithmic Symphony (project). I would use Notion to set up a home for these Objects. Then set properties, and categories, adding backlinks. I named the database Object Contacts. You can read this post of mine.

I review the Today Overview to get a complete picture of my day, which means there’s no need to create a Daily Note. If I’m working on a particular note today, as I was yesterday, I’ll extend a day to today for the assigned date. If a note is ignored, it will stay at the last date. The great thing about this is that I can clearly see where I tripped up and moved on, instead of having a note get lost in the depths of my memory because I paused for a day. Of course, a small percentage of notes are scheduled, and I’ll make a note amongst the notes on whether or not I worked on this note on that day.

Hope these helps :wink:


Maybe I haven’t understood this in detail yet, but what can @people do better than #prio or any #tag in this case?

A different approach. I tried to keep notes as todos, but quickly found that it wasn’t for me.
I still prefer to use one app for everything. Agenda is the app I use for daily notes, journal, class notes an so on. If I keep switching, I’d get lost and no get any output for my notes, but that’s me.

1 Like

I feel like it doesn’t matter. Could be useful to differentiate these two tools, but I still use them to mention people (actors, authors, teacher’s emails)

1 Like

Sure, it’s possible to use #, but it’s not a technical distinction. What I wish to emphasize, however, is an approach to storytelling. Think of a particular noun as a contact. Then, this person can have their own homepage, with various attributes characterizing them, and may be given different meanings in different projects.
If I write the project as a life story, then these nouns are the characters in the story. These characters can have their own traits, or they can have different role identities.

1 Like

makes sense and is an interesting approach indeed, thanks for sharing

Just to add another thought: you can create notes for individual characters, and then link to them using [[ (two open square brackets). I could imagine that might be a way to link up all the people with their pages, without using tags of any kind. Ie referring to people with links instead of tags.


But this would show all notes related to it at the right bottom corner, while using hashtags and @, clicking on it would show all notes as a timeline (correct me if I’m wrong)

Yes the related notes would show all of them. I just meant you can make explicit links between notes, and click them to navigate.

1 Like