How to set a recurring task

The main purpose of creating recurring tasks is to periodically remind us of our obligations within the preset days and times. In GTD® it is called "areas of responsibility". This may concern both professional activities (like tax payment, personnel training, etc.) and personal chores (like house cleaning, checking child’s homework, going to the gym etc.). With a flexible setting of recurring tasks in MLO you can fully automate the display of these actions in your To-Do list.

The recurrence options are identical in MLO on all supported platforms. Some advanced options are not available in the mobile versions, but you can configure them in the desktop version and then synchronize the data. Below we'll walk you through examples from the desktop version.

To set up a recurrence open Properties in the Edit mode -> Timing & Reminder section -> Recurrence.

Main recurrence options

Advanced options

Combinations of options

Skip occurrence

Setup rules

Main options for recurring task

There are Main and Advanced options for repeating tasks in MLO. Main settings are mandatory, the task recurrence will not work properly without them. They determine the frequency and order of task recurrence.

Recurrence pattern

For each recurring task you can select or build your own recurrence pattern as a construction set. There is no need to limit oneself to standard repetitions daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.

Recurence pattern

Choose your recurrence option that fully reflects the cycle of your task:

Next occurrence

For the correct display of the recurrence cycle, the following parameters are required:

Next occurence

Start and due dates may be the same. For example, for the task "Send a Valentine's Day Gift" the start and due dates will be set as of February 14, because it is too early on the 13th, and on the 15th is somehow too late.

Dates may be different too. For example, you need to pay utility bills before the 20th of each month. But it is not necessary to do it on this day. You can set the start date from the 15th of each month.

End occurrences

By default the number of task occurrences is set to "Infinite". You have set recurrence, and the task will now be displayed at a certain frequency without time limit. But if you need to specify occurrence limitations, you can do it:

Example: Suppose you have bought an annual subscription to the gym. You create a recurring task, for example, on Monday-Wednesday-Friday. And for the same task, you can specify that this mode is maintained until the date this subscription expires. Unless, of course, you are going to renew it regularly.

End by limit

Advanced options

Advanced options are more fine-tuning options. If you are an experienced user of the MyLifeOrganized task manager and the suggested recurrence options are insufficient for you, there are additional options used to substantially extend the functionality of cyclic tasks.

Automatic resetting of subtasks when the task recurs

In MyLifeOrganized recurring tasks can have their own subtasks, which can be repeated or not repeated together with the main task. If a recurring task has subtasks, you can set how the system should deal with completed subtasks. In particular, when to display them next time.

There are three options for automatic resetting of subtasks when the task is repeated:

Automatic recurring behaviour when subtasks are completed

In MyLifeOrganized, recurrence can work not only after you complete a recurring task, but also after you complete its subtasks.

There are three options for automatic recurring behaviour when subtasks are completed:

Create / Do not create a completed copy of the task on recurring

For a recurring task you can specify whether to create a completed copy or not.

The cases when a completed copy is necessary:

- to track your productivity in the lists of completed tasks;

- to quickly create a copy of the task, but without recurrence.

Combination of options

You are not limited to use only a specific automatization option. From the options described above you can create any combination you need for each specific case.

Example: There is a periodic task "Personnel training", for which it is necessary to conduct classes on various topics with a certain frequency. Add these topics as subtasks and set the following options for the parent task:

- reset all subtasks to uncompleted, if they are all completed;

- automatic recurring on completion of any subtask.

When the time comes to conduct classes, choose any topic that is most relevant at the moment. At the completion of the subtask, the recurrence will work. But the next time the task is displayed, all the topics will be shown, except for that already studied.

After all the subtasks are completed, you will see the entire list again.

Skip occurrence

If a situation arises that you will not perform a recurring task, you can skip its occurence. This is necessary so that:

- the failed task would not be displayed in the list of completed tasks;

- the tasks that you will not complete this time do not clutter up lists of active actions.

You can skip the occurrence either by clicking on the task with the right mouse button with the choice of the corresponding function, or you can assign the hotkey to skip the occurence in the settings and perform it using the keyboard.

Skipping the occurrence is especially useful during the evening review of tasks for tomorrow. If we see in advance that we will not be doing some tasks tomorrow, we can move them to the next relevant date, not waiting for them to become overdue.

Rules for setting recurring tasks

It is necessary to stick to some rules so that working with recurring tasks would be convenient and would not give failures.

1. Edit in Task Recurrence window or by clicking Due Date in task area

After the task has become recurring, all changes to the settings must be made in the Task recurrence window. This is necessary not to break the cycle established earlier. To open the window, click the recurrence description line in Properties. Or, just click the Due Date in the task pane.

Open recurrence settings

2. Correspondence of the next occurrence date and recurrence pattern

If you have set the date of the next occurrence with a weekly pattern, this date must correspond to the specified day of the week. If there is a discrepancy, the program will warn you that this day is not, for example, Tuesday. In this case, you can accept the suggested option of auto-correction or manually change either the date or the day of the week.

The similar thing is with monthly and yearly recurrence patterns. For example, if the date is set on the 1st day of the next month, and the recurrence is “every first working day of the month” - this date should be exactly the first working day of the month.

Correspondance of dates

3. Do not set time and reminders if the option "Regenerate new task..." is selected

The recurrence with the "Regenerate new task..." on will occur exactly within the specified period after the task is completed.

Regenerate new task

If you take this example, the first time the reminder will work at 3 p.m. And if you click to complete the task at 3:24 p.m., then the next reminder will work as early as 3:24 p.m. of the following day.

You should set time and reminders only for tasks with the recurrence of every day, week, month and year.

Please note that in the “Hourly” pattern the only option we can set is "Regenerate next task x hours after each task is completed".