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Recurring task date

MR

Recurring task setup issue happening on Web, Windows, and Outlook platforms.

Setting up a recurring task for "every second Thursday starting May 15" continually fails to set the starting date correctly and sets it for May 8th. Using syntax "every 2nd Thursday starting May 15" has the same result. The task says it is starting on the 15th but shows a first due day of May 8 and "7 days left" in the pop up.

See https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=28380A73191A8D97!1791&authkey=!AMXc5SDCRLOEWMc&v=3&ithint=photo%2c.png.

I've tried on the Windows, web and Outlook platforms all with the same results.

All responses

Brendon Wadey staff
Replied on May 01, 2014 - 23:45 UTC

Hi Michael,

The second Thursday of May is the 8th, which is why this keeps adding it to the 8th. It shouldn't really be accepted at all. The 15th is the third Thursday of May.

Regards,
Brendon.

MR
Michael Royer premium
Replied on May 02, 2014 - 00:04 UTC

"every second Thursday" is not the same thing as "the second Thursday". And in numerous ToDoIst support articles I have found reference to the language I used as well as it is plainly called out in the DATES and TIMES help at https://win.todoist.com/Help/DatesTimes. There it is using the example of "every 2nd monday".

Brendon Wadey staff
Replied on May 02, 2014 - 01:32 UTC

Michael,

It states "every 2nd monday" and it works correctly. Every second thursday is the same thing. It's getting added correctly.

I am not sure what the difference between "the second thursday" is, if that is not the case, then what are you expecting the result to be?

Regards,
Brendon.

MR
Michael Royer premium
Replied on May 05, 2014 - 15:27 UTC

"every 2nd Monday" (or Thursday or whatever) is _not_ the same thing as "the 2nd Monday". Saying "the 2nd Monday" connotes an agreed understanding of when "the 1st Monday" is because of the built-in reference to the starting point, hence everyone can agree upon when "the 2nd Monday in June" is because it has an explicit understanding of when there is a 1st Monday in June. Saying "every 2nd Monday" does not have any referential point until one adds "starting on.....", at which point you begin counting the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.

Examples:
the 2nd Monday of January 2015 should create a one-time schedule of Jan 12th, 2015

every 2nd Monday [of the month] starting in January 2015 should create a recurring schedule of Jan 12th, Feb 9th, Mar 9th, Apr 13th, etc.

every 2nd Monday starting January 5th, 2015, should create a recurring schedule of Jan 5th, Jan 19th, Feb 2nd, Feb 16th, etc. THIS IS THE ONE NOT WORKING. ToDoIst is assuming incorrectly that the referenced start for a "2nd Monday" is the beginning of the month rather than what is the explicitly stated reference point for starting.

David Trey staff
Replied on May 05, 2014 - 16:27 UTC

Hello Michael,

Unfortunately, we don't support a single-occurring due date for one specific 2nd day of the week in a month. For that, please pick the date from the mini-calendar and it will set a task for the one specific date.

"Every 2nd Monday" works correctly - it sets a recurring tasks that repeats on every "2nd Monday" on each month so - the second Monday of May, then the second Monday of June etc.

If you wish to set a task that just repeats every 2 weeks, please type "every 2 weeks" into the date field. You can also of course specify the starting date "every 2 weeks starting Monday". This is the same as "every 14 days starting Monday" and will recur as it states - every 2 weeks (14 days) from a certain day or date.

As for starting dates in general - they don't affect the recurrence pattern only the starting instance if the starting date is pass or before the expected "next best" default. So if you set a task to "every 5 days" - it will start on the next best day that is - today. If you set it to "every 5 days starting Friday" - it will override the default and set the first occurrence to Friday, but it will not change the pattern to "every Friday" just because it's the start date - it will just begin there.


Best regards,
David

MR
Michael Royer premium
Replied on May 05, 2014 - 17:24 UTC

Thanks David. That's the detail I needed to fix my recurring task issue. I appreciate the explanation.

jtherry premium
Replied on Aug 08, 2014 - 15:43 UTC

I wonder if it's possible to set recurring dates that expire. For example, I need to work on a task daily until August 18. How can I set it to do "every day until Aug 18"? That would be extremely useful, actually indispensable.

David Trey staff
Replied on Aug 08, 2014 - 16:19 UTC

Hello,

That's unfortunately not possible now, but you can hold the SHIFT key while checking off a recurring task and when you do that, this will complete it "for good". That is - move it to the history and make it never occur again so you could post the end date as a reference in the task's name and on this day hold SHIFT while checking it off (as a workaround).


Regards,
David

Alex Szalinski premium
Replied on Sep 14, 2014 - 19:22 UTC

How do I set a recurring task for Every 1st Sunday in October? Thank you

David Trey staff
Replied on Sep 14, 2014 - 20:49 UTC

Hello Alex,

That can't be done, unfortunately, but we'll consider adding such date formats in the future. For now, as a workaround, you could set the task to "every 1 Oct" to make sure you won't miss it even if the 1st day of October will be a Sunday.


Regards,
David

PE
P Earle
Replied on Sep 22, 2014 - 19:05 UTC

Please add the "every 2nd Monday" and "every 2nd Monday starting" examples to the DATES and TIMES help. It would have saved me a lot of frustration trying to set up repeating tasks.

Also, explaining that "every 2nd Monday" implies "every 2nd Monday of the month of " would also help. I assumed it meant "every 2nd Monday from today". Very different result.

To show how the repetition works, your example could include a list of the first few dates on which the task is posted, similar to how Michael illustrated his example above...

"every 2nd Monday [of the month] starting in January 2015 should create a recurring schedule of Jan 12th, Feb 9th, Mar 9th, Apr 13th, etc."

While I appreciate that this app attempts to use natural language, in reality, there are many nuances that make a difference as to how language is interpreted. I feel like I'm having to learn this app's language, rather than just use my own.

Menghan Zhong premium
Replied on Sep 22, 2014 - 19:12 UTC

Hi P Earle,


Thanks for your suggestion! Our dev team is working very hard to constantly improving our due date syntax! Stay tuned!


Regards,

Menghan

Steve Vincent premium
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 16:48 UTC

I'm finding this whole repetition thing frustrating because my "natural language" keeps coming out "every 1 month beginning..." and it fails because I'm only allowed to use the word "starting." You should probably get a few people off the street, put them in a room and give them some recurring tasks to add while you watch them. Make notes of what they try that doesn't work and if they're trying things you consider reasonable, add them to the natural language algorithm.

David Trey staff
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 16:51 UTC

Hello Steve,

We've actually done that a few times :-) We will add more date options in the future, though.

For now, please set monthly tasks using the much shorter and more reliable syntax "every X" where "X" is the day you want the task to repeat. For example - "every 5" or "ev 7" for a task due "on every 5th day of the month" or every 7th day.


Regards,
David

Steve Vincent premium
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 17:42 UTC

Thanks David. And what about years? I tried "Every 1 year" and "Every 1 years," both of which failed, and finally gave up and fed it "Every 12 months," which worked.

Steve Vincent premium
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 17:56 UTC

I also tried to enter "annually" and "yearly." Neither of them worked either.

Steve Vincent premium
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 18:01 UTC

But "every June 6" seems to do the job. I wish there were some graphical way to enter it and to view the successful schedule of repetition. The best I've been able to figure out is that I can put my cursor into the date field and scroll through my original natural-language input in the little text box. I have to assume that the program understands it the same way I did, but it appears to say it back to me in my own words so if I understood something differently from the app, it won't show me how it's actually interpreted.

David Trey staff
Replied on Oct 13, 2014 - 18:57 UTC

Steve,

Exactly, "every June 6" is the correct date. As I've said, we will improve this. In fact we're planning to rewrite our old date parser completely which will make it more flexible and much easier for us to support other date formats and maybe even a UI, but the change of the date parser will have to be the first step to have a better base to work with :-)


Regards,
David

Steve Vincent premium
Replied on Oct 14, 2014 - 14:08 UTC

Natural language is inherently tricky. Remember the guy who felt that "every second Tuesday" meant every two weeks from whatever Tuesday he started on? It was a reasonable interpretation, but not the machine's interpretation. Here's my suggestion:

Right now, when I click into the date field a calendar pops up. We can type in a date or a natural language description of what we want, but when our requests are simple it's easiest to select a target date on the calendar. You can extend that idea quite easily if you add a "recurrence" button below the calendar. Upon activation, we get a Recurrence Dialog Box with one line that looks like this:

ListBox1 NumberBox1 ListBox2 "starting <date selected in calendar>"

ListBox1 has two options: "Every" and "After".
NumberBox1 receives whatever integer the user types in.
ListBox1 has options for time periods, "days", "weeks", "months" and "years." You can throw in hours, minutes and decades if you support them.

When the user is done, he has formed a valid natural-language string with very little typing and less opportunity for confusion. For example:

"Every 3 months starting November 1, 2014."

Boom. Done! ;-)

KR
Kendra Ray Stewart premium
Replied on Oct 15, 2014 - 16:42 UTC

Hi -
I have a recurring task that happens every other Tuesday (every 14 days starting blah blah blah). I'll be out of town next Tuesday, so I need to do this task tomorrow, well ahead of time. If I move Tuesday's task to tomorrow, is that going to change all of the recurrences so that they are now on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays? I'd love a calendar view so that I can easily see past the next 7 days! Thanks!

David Trey staff
Replied on Oct 15, 2014 - 17:15 UTC

Hello Kendra,

If you right-click on this task and use the icon that says "tomorrow" (it shows up under "more" on the web), then this will not affect the recurrence pattern of your task.

However, what's the current due date of this task? If it's still in the future, then completing a task rescheduled to tomorrow will more the task's date to the next available occurrence which may be the same you've had before. If the task is overdue, then that won't happen.

In other words, if you want to complete a task scheduled into the future early, then please don't reschedule it at all, but just check it off tomorrow as you complete it.


Regards,
David