Agenda is a date-based note-taking application. It incorporates notes and planning in one application. If you want to type your notes, add different attachments and chronologically track them; this is the app you want to get.
Payment and Subscription
The app is available for your iPhone, iPad and Mac. It is a free application with an in-app purchase for premium features. This subscription permanently unlocks already released (to date) premium features. You will also receive all the new updates released that year.
This article reviews the premium version of Agenda for the iPad and iPhone only.
Agenda has one working space that divides into three columns. The two small ones are sidebars. The left sidebar is for navigation, and the right is for planning. The middle, most prominent column is your main working space where you do all your writing.
The Middle column
Creating notes in Agenda
To create a new note, tap the plus icon, on the top left corner of the middle workspace. You can then select the project to add your new note. The default title of your new note is today’s date. You can change the date by tapping today. If you want to prep for classes or meeting, you can change the date to a future one and assign date.
Creating events in Apple Calendars
You can add scheduled notes to calendar events. Agenda allows you to pick the calendars you want the event added to, location for it and related URL. This event appears on the right sidebar at the top.
Agenda has no font options for creating your notes. The app only has one font. If you enjoy playing around with fonts, you might not like this.
The keyboard toolbar
Let’s you add things to your notes:
- Heading options, H1- H4
- unnumbered lists/bullet points
- numbered lists
- interactive checklists.
- code (in preformatted text)
- superscripts and subscripts.
- hyperlinks between related notes.
You can add attachments to your notes: audio files, videos, zip files, PDFs, images, etc. After trying a few different files, this app seems to support ANY FILE. However, there is a massive lag when you attach big files. The lag makes the app practically unusable, slowing down everything. It is best to attach small files.
You can also decide how the attachments look; inline, thumbnail or thumbnail and title.
When you tap on the attachment, you can preview it in a separate window. It is not very useful, especially when you want to write notes on or about the attached files. PDF markup tools will be helpful.
I love the fact that I can copy and paste my notes from Notability into Agenda. But again, there’s not much I can do with them once in Agenda. I can’t annotate them or make any modifications to them.
You can add star icons to mark favourite sections of your notes. Those stand out when you are going through your notes. That is how you know something is important.
You can add photos from your library or take one with your camera. When you tap on your images, you can annotate them using Apple Notes tools.
Adding reminders to Apple Reminders
You can add sections of your note to Apple Reminders, using the clock icon. You can name your reminder, set a date and time for it and choose a list for it. Create a reminder without leaving Agenda. Once, created, it goes to the right sidebar.
You can tag people in your notes using the @ icon to make your work easier to catalogue. It helps you track your coworkers for different projects. You can also tag your notes with hashtags. Tags are useful for searching for your notes because the app gives you the option to search for hashtags or people specifically.
You can scan documents into your projects and add handwritten notes. Considering this is not primarily a handwriting note-taking app, I think it is decent they have an option to add sketches into the app. The app uses Apple Notes tools, and they work well. There is no page customisation, you just get a plain blank page. I’d say this is strictly for those things that you REALLY can’t type (graphs, diagrams).
I look at Agenda as a safer Notion alternative. Once you have finished creating your notes, you can
- copy them as different formats
- move them to different a project
- export them
- create a Siri shortcut
- see information about the note (number of words, characters, spellings )
- delete the note
Bookmarking sections of your notes
The dot icon in front of each topic has options to:
- Mark as on or remove from the Agenda
- Mark as done
- Pin to Top
- Make into footnote
- Collapse Note
Marking your notes as On the Agenda lets you access them on the top left bar. It bookmarks notes you are currently working on. When you finish working on them, remove from the Agenda.
Another way to bookmark notes you’re currently working is to pin them to the top of your project. In the same way, you can make a section/block a footnote. If you never want to see it again.
Navigating through your projects/notes
Agenda automatically creates an outline from your section/block headings. You can sort the contents page from earliest dates first or vice versa. Tap on the project heading (at the top) to see all the blocks/notes in that project.
You can jump through different projects by tapping subcategories and categories at the top of each project. Each note, at the top, shows you it’s exact organisation level in the app. You get your Category, then your subcategory and then projects. The project is what you see in the middle column.
You can collapse your blocks to see only the headings of your sections/blocks. It is essentially another outline. For a minimalist look, expand only sections you’re currently working on.
The left sidebar
It is your navigation bar.
- On the Agenda shows bookmarked notes for easier access, regardless of their date.
- Today has notes created today and those scheduled for today.
- Search All searches through all your notes. You can save your search results, bookmarking your most common search terms.
- Bin keeps all your deleted notes. You can recover them from here.
- The bottom arrows on the right navigate through your history in the app—the sort of navigation you find in a web browser.
- The plus icon on the left lets you add a new project or category.
Agenda organises your notes as categories, subcategories and projects. You can collapse your categories and subcategories for a minimalist look; expand them at will. Agenda allows you to have subcategories within subcategories. Projects contain your dated note sections.
- Notes sections
The three dots on the side allow you to:
- add new project in category
- edit category: rename it, change colour or delete the category.
- add subcategory
- delete category
The three dots on the side allow you to:
- rename projects
- copy as the project as Rich Text, Markdown, HTML, Plain Text or an Agenda Link. If you want to paste them in other apps.
- Share your notes in multiple formats: RTF, PDF, Markdown, Plain Text, Agenda Link or Agenda file.
- print (we highly disapprove)
- Add to Siri for creating Siri Shortcuts.
- Archive projects when completed. At the bottom of each category, you get to see the number of archived projects.
- Show info on the project: last edited, showing editing devices, created at and file size.
The right sidebar
It is the planning part of your application. It keeps track of all the date-related information in Agenda. It has sections for your Apple Calendar, Apple Reminders, Recently Edited notes and Related notes.
Contains information from your Apple Calendar (scheduled events and holidays) from your selected calendars. You can create and edit events for Calendar without leaving the app.
The plus icon on the top left corner lets you create a new event (to add to your Calendar app) or a quick reminder. Your events can link to notes. If you have a scheduled meeting with prepped notes, you can easily access them from this section.
The app only shows reminders with deadlines, not all your reminders. Only reminders with dates will appear in Agenda. You can add reminders to the selected note in the currently opened project. You can then tick off your reminders as you complete then.
Under your reminders, you have recently edited and related notes. Related notes contain similar tags and people.
The app has a massive database of How-tos. Not many apps have that. It’s beneficial if you have trouble with something. And you also get the opportunity to request new features from the developers.
- Decide the Cloud service for syncing your notes (iCloud or Dropbox).
- Pick calendars to show in the app and the reminders’ lists you want appearing on your right sidebar.
- You can customise the look of your app:
- Appearance: system, light, dark or black mode
- Accent colour: eight options for your app colour
- Note Text size and line spacing
Who should buy this Application?
Agenda is excellent for planning and note-taking. It’s great for anyone who wants to take dated notes, keep track of them and their modifications. Its minimalist approach ensures that every note you create in the application looks the same. Some might not appreciate this restriction. For one who doesn’t support subscriptions, I believe this one is reasonable. You pay for new updates and keep the ones you already have, for a lifetime.