The two types of repeating todos

We all have tasks that we do repeatedly, on a schedule. Things lets you create repeating todos to make these tasks easy to track.

Now, there are two different types of repetition in Things. So let's talk about the difference between these two types of repeating todos.

Lesson transcript:
[00:00:00] There are things in life that you do repeatedly. So how can we use Things to keep track of these things that you do repeatedly? That's what we're gonna talk about now. Because you've learned how to work with dates in Things, so it's time to talk about repeating to dos and repeating projects. And we'll chop this up into a few different lessons because it's a complicated topic. No worries. We'll cover all of it and you'll learn how to do it. But we do need to do it step by step. 

[00:00:25] In this lesson, let's go ahead and get started and talk about the two different ways in Things that you can set up a repeating to do. I'll talk about those two different ways using some examples. So let's just jump in and get started. 

[00:00:38] I'm here in my health area and now let's say you need to take a certain pill every day. Take my pill. So this is a task that you want to repeat every day because you need to do this every day. You'd like to keep track of that in Things. How arewe going to do that? You can actually go ahead and right click and click repeat. Now there's a keyboard shortcut as well. So feel free to use that if you want to. But I'd just like to go ahead and do it this way. 

[00:01:05] So the first things are—Things pops up with this screen and it asks you, when do you want to repeat this task? So you can either repeat this task a certain number of, you know, a certain time after you complete the previous instance of the task or you can complete it on a set schedule. So those are the two different ways to make a task repeat in Things: on a set schedule or a certain number of days after you complete the previous task. 

[00:01:28] So let's think about this a little bit. If I have a pill that I need to take every day. What happens if I forget to take it today? Well, perhaps I then just need to take the double dose tomorrow. That may be how it is. May not be how it is. I'm not a doctor. I'm not giving you medical advice. But let's assume for this example, that if you forget to take the pill today, you should take two pills tomorrow. Take a double dose. So I would like to set that to repeat daily. So if I don't check off the task today, then Things will show me two copies of this to do tomorrow rather than if I chose after completion. If I then do not take the pill today, Things will wait because I haven't completed the task yet. But then if I wait until tomorrow to do it, it will generate a new to do that's due the day after tomorrow. That's not the behavior that I want here. So I will choose repeat daily and don't worry, the second example we're going to talk about in this lesson will be an example of the other way of doing things. 

[00:02:21] So I want to repeat this daily. And here I can just set some of the date settings so I can choose every day or every three days or whatever. But I want to do it every one day. So Things then helpfully tells me when the next dates are. Today is Wednesday, August 7th. So August 7th, August 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, et cetera. You set this to every three days you'll see that it jumps by three days. But for my purpose this is one day. 

[00:02:43] And if you'd like to, you can set a start date at sometime in the future. You can just go ahead and edit this. You can also set an end date if you want. Or youcan say ends after so many times. So maybe you're doing like a 30 day challenge or something. Then you can create a repeating to do in Things and say end after 30 times and they'll actually tell when it—well, I guess you can't see exactly when it ends. Anyway, I don't want that. I just want this task to keep going. Then I'll just click OK. 

[00:03:09] Now, what happened? Two things happened. So Things created a sort of master copy of this to do. And you can—you can recognize it as the master copy by seeing this little recurrence icon over here. And that's under upcoming. And so this is the master copy of this task. But every time this to do should repeat, which in our case, for this example, is daily, Things will generate a separate one off instance that you can check off. And what it will do is on the day that, you know, on the repetition day, Things will add that to the today view. So you can see that this task, this one off instance for today has the star because the star is the Today symbol. Actually, if you go under today, it'll say you have one new to do and take my pill will appear under today. 

[00:04:01] Now, what happens if you check that off? If I check that off, boom, it goes away. When we hit tomorrow, Things will again create just another, you know, tomorrow will be today and Things will create another instance of this repeating to do, which will appear under today. So that's how you can create a repeating to do in Things that repeats on a set schedule. Of course, if you'd like, you can go ahead and change the set scheduled to be weekly or monthly or yearly. We'll talk about that more in a little bit. 

[00:04:33] Now let's go over an example of something that you'd like to repeat, but not on a set schedule, but you'd like to repeat it a certain amount of time after you've completed the previous instance of this repeating to do. And the example I'll use is to water the plants. I've got a bunch of plants at home and I need to water those every now and then. So create a task: water the plants. 

[00:04:54] Now, I do this every four days, but if I skip a watering session, then it's not like I want to give much more water in the next section or the next time I do this, because even though I've skipped it and the plants are not getting as much water as they maybe should have gotten, I don't then want to overwater them the next time because maybe that will you know, the extra water will sit at the bottom of the pot and it will start accumulating the—you know, it might start rotting. So I don't want that. I just want to have a new instance for this to do four days after I complete the previous one. 

[00:05:29] So here's how you do that. Go to repeat. You say repeat after completion. Set it to four days. Now it will create a new—Things will create a new instance of this to do four days after the previous item is checked off. And you can set that to days, weeks, months or years. OK. Again, Things created the master copy with the recurrence symbol as well as a copy for today. And now you'll see that Things says waiting over here, because Things doesn't know yet when it should generate the next copy of this to do, because it has to be four days after we complete it. And Things doesn't know yet when I'm going to complete this task. But if I check off today's task, you'll see that Things now knows. Four days from today is Sunday. So the next copy will show up on Sunday, will show up under today when you hit four days from now, which is Sunday. 

[00:06:20] So those are the two different ways of making a to do repeat in Things. Now, another neat thing you can do is let's create another example. I'll go into business and I have a task here already. It says send a status update to my manager. So let's say you have a 9 to 5 job. You work Monday through Friday and every weekday you would like to send a status update to your manager. How can you go ahead and do that? 

[00:06:46] Well, let's make this a repeating task. This repeats on a set schedule. You might be tempted to say daily, but actually, if you'd like to do this only on weekdays, what you might want to do is weekly—or what you want to do is weekly and say every one weeks on Monday and you can hit a little plus sign here and it'll say and on Tuesday and on Wednesday and on Thursday and on Friday. Now you'll see Things will generate a new copy of this repeating to do on—this is today, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. It will skip Saturday and Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, et cetera. You just click OK. This is today's copy. Tomorrow we create another copy. 

[00:07:32] You can also change that schedule. For example, a monthly can say every last day of the month, every 12th day of the month or, you know, every second Thursday of the month. So you got a lot of options here. You can go ahead and change those here, if you like. So that's the basics of repeating to dos in Things. And that's enough for this lesson. Let's move on and talk about some other examples and setting reminders and deadlines in the next lesson.

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