In a previous post, I wrote about my iOS Shortcut that connects Agenda to OmniFocus. With thanks to everyone for their questions, I wanted to follow up with some additional details around how I use the Shortcut and what my workflow is like.

This is all surrounding the fact that I attend a lot of meetings, so the goals here are to:

  1. set myself up to take good meeting notes
  2. store these notes for later reference
  3. peel out and handle the actions arising from the meeting
  4. share all of the above with the other attendees

This sounds like a lot, but this is why automation is awesome.

I’ll start off by making a new note in Agenda and linking it to the appropriate meeting in my calendar. This brings over text from the event that might be relevant, and also gives the note a temporal assignment (my favourite part of Agenda is how things get dated by when they happen, and not necessarily when they are created/edited).

During the meeting, I take notes as bullets, and identify actions as checklist items:

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At the end of the meeting, I use the Share function to send the Markdown (this is a premium feature of Agenda) to my Process Meeting Notes iOS Shortcut.

This does a couple of things:

  1. It creates a project in OmniFocus called “Complete Actions from ”, including each action in the note and an additional flagged action (Review these actions for contexts, due and defer dates, or other needs) to draw my attention to the project:

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  2. It starts an email to whomever I like, using the title of the note prefaced by “[NOTES]:” as the subject line. The body of the email is the notes but with action items (and completed actions) grouped under a heading:

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This workflow is a massive timesaver for me, and also helps me to manage commitments with others, while also helping others to also be aware of how I perceive both their commitments and my own.

Also, I meet all four of those goals with one note and one Shortcut. Not shabby.

11 thoughts on “My Agenda Action Workflow

  1. Thanks for this – very useful and it will greatly assist my own workflow. Much appreciated!

    Is there any way to expand you iOS shortcut linking Agenda and OmniFocus to also insert the ‘Agenda Link’ to the Agenda meeting note into, say, the notes field in each OmniFocus action?

    • Thanks so much for reading, Jan! I’m glad this is useful.

      What you are suggesting is totally possible, as is, perhaps, adding some text to the end of the Agenda note saying something like “Processed to OmniFocus in Project X”, and then linking to that project.

      I might just do some tinkering here. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Hey Scotty,

    I‘m playing around with the new Agenda Meeting Wrap-Up shortcut and am wondering what you us „//“ for. I thought it was used to make a comment in your Agenda notes but in my tests, the two slashes are simply deleted and the test after them is still taken into the mail text.

    • Oh neat find! So yes, I use “//“ to separate an action from notes for that action in OmniFocus. So if there is a line like:

      – [ ] Call the auto shop to arrange repair // Ask for Sally

      … then the action of “Call the auto shop” will be created in OmniFocus with a note of “Ask for Sally”.

      I don’t really use it as much as I thought I would, but it wasn’t worth the work to take it out. Maybe it’s useful for you, though!

      Cheers!

  3. Man o man did I enjoy using this shortcut today! I’m trying to adopt Agenda and heard your sponsored podcast on Nested Folders. Super snazzy and I felt like a real Automator.
    Is there a way to format the Header so that the font size is smaller?
    Also, do you use something similar on the Mac or are you Agenda-ing only on iOS? I’m using the Mac more while home bound.
    Thank you again

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed this!

      The styles in Agenda are a fixed format, but you could try using second- or third-level headers to toe it down a bit, I bet.

      I do Mac sometimes, yes, but admittedly, not that much. And because my automatons are all based in Shortcuts, I’ll often use Mac to type and write, and then process via iOS.

      Cheers, and thanks for listening!

  4. Thanks for this Scotty – I have just discovered your Shortcut ‘process meeting notes’. I did try to install the updated version, but that seemed to fail (not sure why – potentially b/c it’s trying to grab email addresses and the way I have calendar configured may’ve blocked it).

    An ulterior motive for using this was also to learn how shortcuts are scripted. To that end I have tried to read and understand each step in the flow to parse what’s happening and then grow my own understanding of how to build a shortcut. One question, then: at one step you have “Replace PROJECT with WORLD in WHOLE”. I see PROJECT, and I see WHOLE, but what is ‘World’ in this context? It goes on to appear a couple of times in the script, but I can’t figure out what it’s for, or what it refers to. Is it a Taskpaper signifier in some way?

    If you could help me understand it, I’d much appreciate it. I want to learn!

    Thanks in advance!

    • I had to go look – you had me scratching my head!

      In the “Replace Text” Shortcuts action, there is placeholder text in a new action to replace `Hello` with `World`. If you leave the second spot blank (as is done in this case to replace things with nothing), the placeholder text remains visible (though dimmed).

      So this is a Shortcuts thing, and the true action being taken is to replace a specified bit with null, thereby removing it.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for checking it out!

      • Aha – that makes sense! Thanks for clarifying!

        Appreciate this, Scotty. I’m now wondering whether I can replicate this shortcut as an Applescript for MacOs. I take most of my notes whilst on calls on my desktop mac, and it would be seamless to have the same workflow over there as on iPad.

        Thanks for making this shortcut. Already useful.

        • Very possibly! I don’t speak AppleScript, so I’m of no help there, though. Shortcuts is definitely the right level for me.

          I take notes on desktop sometimes, too… then pull out my phone and run my Shortcuts on my content 😂

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