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Chained ToDo's


Can a todo be tied to another todo so that one starts when the previous link in the chain is finished? Can they be based on duration instead of date?

Suppose I have a chain of 5 tasks with a date of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday ... and I was wildly optimistic at the speed I could accomplish the tasks or I get swamped by something else. In either case I don't start the Monday task until Thursday. With today's features I already have 3 tasks screaming "overdue."

I'd like the option to say that the second task is not overdue until the first task is finished (without constantly having to re-edit the dates of the subsequent tasks). I only want one task in a chain of sequential tasks to scream "overdue" at any given time.

It would be even better to be able to also be able to place a duration on the task so that if the second task in the chain is 1 day in duration.. it does not show up overdue until one day after the first task has finished. This would also allow an estimate of the end date of the chain of sequential tasks (or how much the end of the complete chain of tasks has slipped.)

All responses

Paul Sterk
Replied on Sep 15, 2011 - 21:24

Similarly the chain could work in the following way: As soon as you completed task a and thus mark the task as complete, the next task in the chain will get the due date of today.
Phil, I feel like this might be an easier way to solve your problem than adding a (based on my gut-feeling) more complicated tool of duration for the tasks?!

Phil Hartman
Replied on Sep 18, 2011 - 03:09

Paul, thanks for the comment. What you propose would definitely be useful and might be a good compromise to my proposal.

Replied on Oct 27, 2011 - 00:21

Here's an interesting way that one could use this if the feature was also able to work in reverse (and even with repeating events!)

Let's suppose that I am responsible for organising a meeting. The agendas need to be circulated at least 7 days in advance, so I will need a diary entry 7 or more days earlier to remind me to do this (this is better as an actual task, rather than a reminder email or text, which can get overlooked). I might then need an earlier task linked to be x days in advance of the agenda circulation, to invite items for the agenda and accompanying papers. If the date of the meeting moves, then obviously it'd be great for all the preceding tasks to be moved as well. Now, this feature becomes even more useful if the occurence of the base event is predictable, so that one could have a reoccuring chain of events. (ie the meeting is every four weeks, and the reminder event is automatically set too).

Replied on Mar 21, 2012 - 01:59

Please implement this feature if possible. It would really help in managing projects.

Allan Christensen premium
Replied on Mar 31, 2012 - 15:44

I agree I keep postponing tasks because I’m too optimistic in my planning, and many tasks are part of a sequence so I can’t start them before I have finished the previous one. It would be a nice feature if a task that is chained to another won’t appear in my main view before I have ticked the previous chained tasks completed.

Shiri Dori-Hacohen
Replied on Jun 18, 2012 - 14:49

I voted for this, but I don't need the due dates -- I just want a "next action" list that allows for dependencies, so that I can specify actions that can't be done before others are completed.

Please vote for this related suggestion of next actions:

Alice Merlino premium
Replied on Mar 29, 2013 - 04:18

I vote for and prefer the functionality Paul suggested, "As soon as you completed task a and thus mark the task as complete, the next task in the chain will get the due date of today"

Alexandros premium
Replied on Apr 04, 2013 - 11:16

I feel that the today/7days etc view will help you with it. It helps to queue your tasks from different projects. at least for now

The only problem with it is that is that it doesn't remember the position of the tasks if altered and you can NOT interlap tasks from different projects.

I understand that that is a search tool shortcut. I feel that chained ToDo's will help to make task streams queue and will help multitasking.

I found my self trying to organize my day by picking tasks from different projects, I found that the Today shortcut was the closest think that helped me but It couldn't help me with queuing my tasks.

As is wrote before , it didn't remembered the positions of the tasks after a reload and it didn't let me to put a task from another project in between tasks of the same project. To hop between projects.

Scott Croom premium
Replied on May 23, 2013 - 10:20

I like this idea. It's basically a giant IF/THEN statement that would trigger other tasks once a certain task is accomplished.

Working on mutliple projects like I am right now, a lot of my todo is dependant on other todos and not having to remember to postpone a bunch of todos would be nice.

Replied on May 23, 2013 - 14:48

Good idea. It would help in projects!

Patrick R premium
Replied on May 28, 2013 - 11:28

In my experience so far, there are two very common situations where chained tasks (I call them "domino" tasks) would be very helpful:

1) When planning a project in advance and laying out a series of steps, each one dependent on the previous one.

2) When completing a task which has (usually unexpectedly) "spawned" an obvious next step. You want the satisfaction of ticking off what you just did and archiving your progress, but you know there is more to do. Before checking it off and having the task disappear forever into archives you want to note down the next follow-up task.

Suggestion to implement: include two simple icons within the task edit dialog box, a left and right arrow.

The right arrow either a) creates a new domino child task within the same project and with the same tags and puts you in editing mode for that new task, or b) brings you to the pre-existing child task if you have already created one.

The left arrow brings you back to the parent task, if there is one. Otherwise it is either not visible or greyed out.

As for viewing and searching, it seems to me that child tasks should automatically be indented by one under the current parent task when viewed and the due date should be a value that a) links it to the parent task so that it toggles to whatever date the parent task was completed on, and b) prevents it from showing on searches of tasks without due dates.

Child tasks could possible have some other form of visual marker so that they are easily identified as "queued" child tasks, for example when viewing a whole project.

My two cents'worth. Congratulations on a beautiful app!

David Trey staff
Replied on May 28, 2013 - 15:57

Hello Patrick,

Thank you for your feedback. For now, as a workaround, you could simply create sub-tasks. Use the arrows on the right side of the input field while adding or editing a task to indent/unindent it. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+RightArrow and Ctrl+LeftArrow.

Note - this feature will not hide the sub-tasks and make them accessible upon completing the parent task, but still, you'll have a detailed task structure that could simulate it.

Same applies for projects - you can use the arrows to indent projects while adding or editing them.

Best regards,

Josh Firth premium
Replied on Jun 13, 2013 - 18:11

Hi David,

Can you please confirm whether or not there is a way to regenerate or recur subtasks when the header-task is completed?

In other words, is it possible for inherited recurrence & structure?

Many thanks,

David Trey staff
Replied on Jun 14, 2013 - 06:22

Hello Josh,

Unfortunately, that's not possible. If your sub-tasks are recurring and so does the parent task then completing the parent task will only push the due date of this one task forward. Sub-tasks will remain their own dates.

Best regards,

DanH premium
Replied on Jul 11, 2013 - 03:41

This request makes good sense. Based on project management principles and how Gantt Charts are layed out.

Stephen Bruington premium
Replied on Jul 22, 2013 - 07:38

This may not be the place to ask, but is this the way tasks are associated in Wedoist?

David Trey staff
Replied on Jul 22, 2013 - 07:45

Hello Stephen,

Unfortunately, it's not possible to chain tasks in Wedoist either. You can create separate lists of tasks in a project in Wedoist, but they will not be linked together or have any dependencies between each other.

Best regards,

Ali AlShaikh premium
Replied on Aug 26, 2013 - 16:28

That would be superb!

Andreas Skielboe
Replied on Aug 28, 2013 - 15:16

I think the idea of chained todos is an interesting one. I often run into the situation where I have multiple dependencies between todos. A lot of the time it is simply impossible to add todos beforehand because the future todos very much depend on the outcome of the present ones.

Of course you can add future todos for each possible outcome (if outcome X then call Y but if outcome K then e-mail J), but it can clutter your todo list quickly if not properly managed.

I'm not sure that there is a simple solution to this problem, or that it is even relevant to the present proposal, but its interesting to follow the discussion nonetheless.

James Tu premium
Replied on Aug 31, 2013 - 02:24

Dependency is a great idea. Often I would need something to the effect of:
Ask for something
Nudge for response
Get a response by a certain date.

It would be nice to be able to have a template for chained/dependent tasks.

Henry Maynard
Replied on Oct 19, 2013 - 15:05

On what I think is a similar note, I've noticed that in the 'Today' view, if you have a parent task and a child task with the same due date, the child task will appear both on its own and under the parent task. This would occur if I had:
Prepare for presentation
Make slides
With the same due date on 'Prepare for presentation' and 'Rehearse'. To some extent I think this is just me using the app badly (and I would love to hear any tips??), but when I have, for example, two presentations and a report due around the same time I end up with lots of very similar tasks in my 'Today' section.
Further to this, I think you can add a task, and then add a subtask with a due date after that of the parent task. Obviously you'd be a bit of a muppet to try to make the slides for your presentation the day after you gave it, and I'm sure this could be useful for some workarounds, but you know what I mean (I hope?)
But any way, this has turned into quite an essay (sorry), however I would like to add that I LOVE todoist. I started using it a few days ago and am notorious for forgetting/ getting bored of/ giving up on things, but I'm sure this is something I'll pursue.

tl;dr: I think adding a kind of logical dependency feature to subtasks would rock. :)

Paul Chambers
Replied on Oct 28, 2013 - 16:35

I often have situations where I have more than one dependency for a given task - e.g. I need both a product definition and user interaction design before I can start in ernest. And graphic assets need to arrive at some point before the work is complete (often I get draft versions, and final versions later).

So to be truly useful to me, a simple chain would only solve half the problem. I'm fine with chopping up the work into multiple tasks to express intermediate deliverables - makes the dependencies more visible.

Todoist is great in so many other ways, this is the one aspect that's preventing me adopting it wholesale.

I agree with the desire to keep it simple, but I regard many-to-many end-to-start dependencies to be fundamental - it's what distinguishes todo lists from project management, IMHO. I'm not looking for Gantt charts and resource leveling, just simple dependencies...

Hope dependencies will make an appearance in Todoist soon :)

- Paul

O'Boise premium
Replied on Oct 30, 2013 - 09:25

This is something that i would find immensely useful as well, but more along the lines of a followup to a task. Typically, as I'm adding new features to software, it would be handy to have the ability to followup on a completed task x days after implementing to be sure it meets the users needs.
Something along the lines of the postpone feature where instead of just resetting the date to date++, a close and copy of the current ask properties to a even a date++ which could be easily adjusted.

Jamie premium
Replied on Nov 13, 2013 - 14:41

The more I think of the possibilities of using chained tasks, the more useful they sound. Is there another system offering this feature or could it be a major first for Todoist?

Adam Kramer premium
Replied on Nov 20, 2013 - 01:26

This is how OmniFocus works. For every level of indentation you can choose whether the tasks are parallel or sequential. This leads to an amazing level of flexibility.

_jm premium
Replied on Jan 15, 2014 - 06:04

Very good poind. Need an inspiration on how this could work, try OmniFcous

Replied on Feb 02, 2014 - 23:46

The "chained" tasks suggestion is there since 2011.

Without this IF/THEN with TIME spacer, I don't know if Todoist is really useful for me?!
As soon as a team mate is late in a project task (often), I have to spend my time readjusting all the tasks dates behind.

@Todoist Team : Any scheduled plans for this in the next Todoist updates?

David Trey staff
Replied on Feb 03, 2014 - 07:26

Hello Gregory,

Unfortunately, we're not working on this feature yet, but will consider it for the future. Right now the only way to "imitate" such option would be to create a list of sub-tasks under a task and check them off in the correct order, as a workaround.

Best regards,

Jacob Greif
Replied on Feb 05, 2014 - 12:40

Just to chime in...

I'm new to ToDoist, and it's a huge bummer to find this hasn't been implemented yet.
I was really excited about ToDoist, but I'm afraid the search for a task management solution will have to continue.

Nicolas premium
Replied on Feb 14, 2014 - 10:06

+ 1

Ryan Moelter
Replied on Feb 21, 2014 - 18:15

I think that a good way to implement this would be to have an option to set a due date to "the day after ___," where the blank is any other task. I feel like that would be a simple way to chain tasks that doesn't add too much complexity and doesn't clutter the interface at all.

Obviously I agree that this would be a brilliant feature haha.

Jacob Greif
Replied on Feb 24, 2014 - 11:32

That's a great idea, Ryan.

Or maybe another way to go...
You could select multiple items and then 'group them' as an ordered list...
that way you could just use the current drag and drop functionality to put the items in order.

Mike Timson
Replied on Feb 25, 2014 - 00:29

Please, this is a must have! I like Ryan's idea. I know there is a "+days" that sets a date the number of days in the future. Something similar that is a relative number of days to offset the task (or sub-task) and Ryan's suggestion to tie the parent task to the prior dependent task would be awesome!

Dave Amor
Replied on Mar 04, 2014 - 15:58

I am using todoist for a hobbiest project that really doesn't matter when it starts or ends, I just want to sit down and decide what needs to be done and in what order, so when I have 5 mins spare, I don't have to think what I am doing or waste time editing dates.

+1 for Chaining Tasks.

also if possible making two consequences of a single task becoming complete and back again e.g.

task 1 - quote to customer
task 2 customer accepted quote
task 3.A) Start hardware
task 3.B) Start software,
Task 3A,1) Schematic capture,
task 3A,2) PCB Layout,
Task 3B,1) Code,
Task 3B,2) Test code
Task 4) (if 3B2 and 2A2 are complete then) integrate hardware and software
Task 5) Test solution
Task 6) Ship solution

all dependant on task 1 and 2 complete but 3B is not related to 3A

I think you already know what we mean!

Keep up the good work.

Adam Kramer premium
Replied on Mar 10, 2014 - 01:01

I wrote a python program that uses Todoist's API to tag tasks with a @next_action label in both parallel and sequential styles. This will allow for chained todos, (a parallel list) as well as having a single task's completion fan out into making multiple tasks active.

It requires setting up filters and having a place to keep a python program running in the background, but since I have both of these it works for me.

demonstration video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFfd2_tCbI4
source code is here: https://github.com/akramer/NextAction

Tim Neale premium
Replied on Mar 12, 2014 - 03:43

Cheers Adam that's great - I'll give it a go - thanks for sharing, very much appreciated my friend :O)

Rashid Garuba premium
Replied on Mar 16, 2014 - 13:06

PLEASE implement... I had a very organized week but I fell ill.. Then I had to move each task 5 days forward so the order remained intact. This is VERY essential.

Replied on Apr 09, 2014 - 08:17


I often notice that I have to wait for someone/something to continue working on things - having chains would definitely help me in keeping todos organized.

Denis Trofimov premium
Replied on Apr 10, 2014 - 00:22

80% of my todo item chained (use subitem but it's not logical when subitem has different date)

Wez premium
Replied on Apr 14, 2014 - 22:00

adding my +1 to the chain suggestion

2 minutes thought about how to keep the interface simple and uncluttered perhaps:

-subtask 1
-subtask 2
-subtask 3

how about due date for sub tasks 2 and 3 [ same day previous completed] as a way of activating a task or series of embedded tasks.