Using meta projects for an inbox and templates

two things people want at the moment:

  1. an inbox
  2. templates

I’ve come up with a way of approximating both features, and I figured the community might get something out of me sharing it

the Templates project

I’ve read through a bunch of posts on here about workarounds that add template-like functionality to Agenda. there are two basic variants:

  1. use text expansion software (not tried this)
  2. create a template note and copy it each time you want to use it

I started with (2), but I was getting frustrated with the question of where to keep that template note. I was pinning it to the top of the project for a while, but then that clutters the project view and effectively hijacks the pinned notes feature making it less useful for other things

so I took (2) further by creating a dedicated Templates project. this project has multiple templates for multiple purposes

to use a template, go into the Templates project, select the template, and drag it over to the project you want to copy it to. important: hold down the option key. a green plus icon should appear over your mouse cursor. when you lift the mouse, the template is copied over to the project and can be used as a new note

I don’t use the mobile version of the app enough to know if this works on iOS or iPadOS. please comment if you have feedback, suggestions, etc.!

the Meta category

to make the Templates project visible and easy to access, I have created a Meta category, that sits at the top of my category list

which leads me on to…

the Inbox project

now you have a Meta category sitting at the top of your categories list, you can add an Inbox project at the top of that category. this should now be the top-most project on the sidebar, and a convenient place to dump any new information

specifically, I have started to use the Inbox project on my mobile as a quick place to dump thoughts

addendum: feature request

on using the inbox: it is a little awkward just trying to bung a note into Agenda on the go when the app dumps the text carat into the note title textbox. that means that the first thing I have to do after creating a note is either select the note title text to replace it or move the caret to the description box before I can start typing

here’s a feature request: I hate mandatory titles in note-taking apps! I’m supposed to be taking notes, not creating and titling documents. it’s a very jarring experience for me. when I use a paper notebook, I sometimes use page titles, for sure, but I don’t title every new chunk of writing

Apple’s handles this quite nicely: notes are just notes. you can start with a title if you want, or you can skip it. when the app displays a summary of the note, it uses the first line as if it was a title

(I can separate this last section off into a new feature request post if it would help the developers?)

1 Like

I’ve created an Inbox and have been using it like you describe for a while now - it’s really useful.

The bit about titles - I’ve no problem with the title in MacOS, because I have the option set so the title is todays date. I edit it later, but can start typing in the body of the note right away.

However, in iOS, the title is a pain. This is because I generally only create new notes on my iPhone when I’m on the move and want to capture an idea using dictation. Having to touch the screen to move to select title and then text partiialy defeats the object! And the idea I want to capture generally wont have a title until later. Not sure what the solution is, but it’s a pain.

Re: feature request, we believe the titles are necessary if only to demarcate the beginning and end of individual notes (as we don’t have much UI to begin with). Also, it’s good practise in our opinion to force yourself to add a title. Having said all that, I think it boils down to where you hit this, when you try to quickly capture some thoughts. This is where we have a number of ideas and things coming later this year, starting with a sharing extension, which should help to make it easier to get things into Agenda. Later in the year we hope to bring some features that are very much in line with the inbox workflow you describe, stay tuned!


I’ve noticed several places in the Forum where you indicate you are not in favor of User voting on features, but…IMHO, a Sharing feature into and out of the app is THE major missing ingredient of Agenda at this time. Anything you could do to prioritize this feature would be greatly appreciated! ”Later in the year” is a REAL bummer!

But this has nothing to do with user voting, it has been of the two major features (alongside localisation) that we have been working on for the past two months that we aim to ship next…

1 Like

Great! My whole point was not the voting. It was Sharing. “Next” WORKS! :pray: