Recurring tasks in software

There was a recent thread in the Evernote user forums about how people are using the Tasks features since it’s “missing” so many things, including recurring tasks. I said:

I love Evernote Tasks; for what I do, I don’t miss recurring tasks. If I get an agenda or schedule with tasks I need to complete, I create a note with the document attached and a task for each item along with the due date. I use “Flagged” as a “Today” sort of thing; an item only gets flagged during review on the day I intend to do it. A full-fledged task manager is typically overkill for me; but if I needed one and was all in on Apple I would use Things 3.

There is ONE THING that absolutely drives me bonkers, though: the date picker on mobile. It should be a calendar like on desktop NOT the scroll wheels. That would let me see the day of the week which often matters more than the date, for me. Because they already have this built into the desktop app and it’s a standard UI element on iOS, I’m hoping this will be adjusted. I’ve already submitted feedback on it.

User Boot17 agreed and added this about recurring tasks:

I know there is a beta going on right now (that I’m not part of) with recurring tasks and it will be interesting to see how recurring tasks are implemented. In the Mac Things app, it seems that they just clutter up the history of completed tasks. I’d rather not see my history of other completed tasks get cluttered up with a history of a daily or weekly recurring task. So it remains to be seen if I will even use the repeating task functionality once it’s available.

Here’s the process they use in Evernote:

  1. Append [REPEAT {frequency}] to the task title.
  2. After completing the task, instead of checking it off, move the due date out.

I also like this idea:

I will sometimes also open the note and add a comment in a table of completion that I have with some description of the activity that was completed (where the description can be different every time).

I like the flexibility this provides because it reduces cruft in the task log while maintaining history and context on the tasks where that matters.