I was recently browsing through old posts on the French Quo Vadis bloga great way, as it turns out, for me to practice the schoolbook French I never use anymore when I came across a nifty little etymology of the word agenda. It comes from the Latin agere, which, as the blog explains, means to do or to act (actually, like many Latin verbs, it’s a little more complicated than that, but never mind).
The word agenda, then, means that which must be done. In French, it now refers to any sort of item or device (like a planner or a PDA) that enables people to associate that which must be done with specific moments in time. In English, of course, it can also refer to the actual plans themselves, as in the question, What’s the agenda for today?