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Concept of parent task


I'm not able to udnerstand the concept of parent task. I supposed that when I mark as completed all the subtasks then the parent task would automatically been marked as done, this is evidently not true.

Is there any possibility to achieve this?


All responses

David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 18, 2013 - 22:13 UTC


Completing a parent task does indeed complete the entire task structure, that is - all sub-tasks below it. I've just checked and it seems to work as expected.

Please tell me - what exact due date does the parent task have and how does the structure look like (on what levels are the sub-tasks)?

Note - if the parent task is recurring, then it will not complete all sub-tasks, it will just move its due date to the next occurrence.

Best regards,

Replied on Oct 18, 2013 - 22:48 UTC

Thanks David for your prompt reply. However what I mean is that if I complete the subtasks I would like to have the parent task automatically marked as completed, not the other way around.

No dates assigned, all subtasks are on the same level.


David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 18, 2013 - 22:52 UTC

Thanks you for clarifying, that's indeed not possible. The parent task is after all also a task which must be completed even if you complete all sub-tasks.

We may consider changing this in the future, though.

Best regards,

Adrian  premium
Replied on Oct 18, 2013 - 23:25 UTC

Please do!

It seems only intuitive that sub-tasks = components of whole, which, when completed, complete the whole.

Example: Prepare for picnic.

Subtasks: Get wine, Get stuff for sandwiches, get plastic bags, make sandwiches, etc.

Currently, clicking on the "main task" completes the sub-tasks ... what use is "prepare for picnic" which completes the sub tasks?

Is it not simply more intuitive that as I check off the sub-tasks, the main task is checked off because by definition, when I've done all the sub-tasks of preparing for the picnic, then the picnic is prepared by default?

Is this a technical issue with regards to the code, or a design issue because if it is technical that's one thing but if it's a design I'd gladly start a feature request que ...

Sherwood Bishop  premium
Replied on Oct 20, 2013 - 07:20 UTC

I like it the way it is. I'm often adding new subtasks to a parent task until the parent is finally completed. In the picnic example above, the weather may change, so you might want to add umbrellas or hot cider to your picnic fare. I'd prefer to be able to keep deciding when to finally mark the parent itself as actually completed.

David Trey  staff
Replied on Oct 20, 2013 - 11:20 UTC

Hello Adrian,

I'm not sure if it's a technical limitation, but we can't always assume that the parent task does not require any further action other than the sub-tasks. It can often be something that doesn't represent a main "project" (in which case, you could also create a sub-project instead of a task structure), but also a separate action required a completion.

That said, you're welcome to add it as a feature request to our Votebox.

Best regards,

Adrian  premium
Replied on Oct 20, 2013 - 15:53 UTC


So then maybe if it auto-undid this as you add tasks or even uncheck previously thought of as done but not done tasks?

Like, if you add a task to the list, the auto-complete then auto-uncompletes?

Brad Edmondson  premium
Replied on May 11, 2015 - 20:21 UTC

I'm with David on this one -- just because you have completed your currently-entered slate of subtasks doesn't mean that you would subjectively consider the parent task also complete. You might finish everything you had in Todoist, but then plan to add another subtask or do something else (in real life, leaving Todoist alone) before the parent task is complete.

Lots of stuff in Todoist's model of a task's parent-child relationships are wrong or counter-intuitive, but this isn't one of them. Leave this behavior as-is.