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Q: Is Agenda a journal, a calendar, a task manager? A: It’s all of that.

The Agenda app. Composite of interface elements. Review.

Often apps that perform many different tasks ultimately perform none brilliantly. Once in a while, though, there comes along a developer who has a vision, creates and sells an app, listens to its users and succeeds in making that app a powerhouse without losing focus. Examples are DEVONthink Pro and Agenda. The latter is a relatively new app that’s available from the Mac App Store for free with premium features requiring a subscription. It’s worthwhile downloading this app for many reasons, but here is the most recent one.

It’s rare that I write a piece on software that I use and pay for myself, as it tends to be too anecdotal, but for Agenda, I must make an exception. Agenda started life as a journal based on the notes paradigm with very simple task management included. At first – and to me – it failed as a task manager simply because the developer started from the desire to have a journal for recording events and projects without obliterating them when you’ve finished them. When the app was released about two years ago, I downloaded it, gave it a try and removed it from my system again.

Until a year ago, that is, when I revisited the app and realised it had huge potential. We’re now almost another year further down the road and Agenda is a powerhouse and most of that is due to the developers listening carefully to users and implementing features faster than a Japanese bullet train swishes past. They do all that without losing the original focus.

The latest iteration of the software has brought support for Apple’s Reminders in addition to the already existing support for calendar events. Agenda doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. For events, it simply creates them in your macOS Calendar. Calendar is good enough; it’s actually brilliant in its simplicity and user-friendliness. Other attempts at creating such an app have resulted in adding features that only add clutter, making it actually harder to plan your day, week or month.

Agenda’s new Reminders support integrates Apple’s Reminders app in that you can create reminders right from within Agenda and that you can pull in existing reminders into Agenda. Now, I agree with you that Reminders is far from a powerful task manager such as OmniFocus, Things or others. It’s simple and straightforward but lacking in many ways.

That’s probably the reason why it took the Agenda developers so long to implement the integration in the first place. But then Apple announced macOS Catalina which comes with a re-designed and much more powerful Reminders app. And Agenda’s developers answered the call of their users immediately.

The app now supports Mojave Reminders and it’s been implemented in an equally user-friendly way as its previous features. Reminders support is a premium feature. It includes creating a reminder in a Note (via the menu and a shortcut) and you can create a dissociated reminder in the sidebar (as in not-associated-with-a-Note; accessible from the pop-up menu). It allows you to select only the Reminders lists you designate in the Preferences.

On Mojave, it already works like a charm, so imagine what it will be like when Catalina becomes available. For those of us who use OmniFocus or other “real” task managers, we can pull in the Agenda reminders via Apple’s app, but personally, I don’t see why you would like to do that.

Although this is a premium feature, I much recommend you to download Agenda and try it out for free. You’ll most probably like it, even without the Reminders integration. Judging from what my subscription fee has brought me over the past year in terms of new useful features, I can only say a subscription is worth the money – even as I loathe subscriptions.

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