Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lotus Agenda's Categories

As regular followers of this blog know, I have a certain nostalgia for Lotus Agenda. I am always on the lookout for a serious re-write of the program. Chandler which was supposed to be Agenda re-incarnated fell seriously short and seems to have fallen into oblivion. There was a rewrite for Linux, called Beeswax. It looked good, but there seems to have been no development since the end of 2008. There was also an attempt of a rewrite in PHP. It also seems to be stalled since September 2010.

The author of the last attempt does, however, offer an interesting discussion of categories in Agenda. See here and here. He notes that "one of the neat things that Agenda will do is run through the text looking for category matches. Once these categories exist then Agenda will become 'smarter' and make these assignments automatically."

I think he is right. Automatic category assignment and automatic date recogniton is what sets Agenda apart even today. The latter is easy to implement. In fact, I have written some AutoHotkey scripts that recognize "/tomorrow" or "/next Tuesday", for instance, as dates and substitute a date that is recognized by my favorite note-taking application (ConnectedText). The former seems hard. To be sure, there are many applications that allow you manually to add "keywords" or "tags" to your text, but I am not sure that there are any that do it automatically. I wonder whether it can (or should) be implemented in my favorite application.[1]

1. Just discovered that Evernote can apparently do it. Checked it out, but find it is nothing to write home about.


Anonymous said...

I know you haven't really bonded with Tinderbox, but you might want to take a fresh look at it in this context. Tinderbox isn't *precisely* Agenda, but it's strongly influenced by Agenda and I think you'll find it does a nifty job of automatic categorization.

MK said...

I understand that Tinderbox is a very powerful application. I do not, however, own a Mac any longer, so I cannot use it. (One of the reasons I had gotten a Mac originally was Tinderbox (and DevonThink.)

I waited a long time for the Windows version, but it does not seem to be coming ... or is it?