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How do you handle recurring tasks in Trello?

Of course, I use Trello on a daily basis since I work for Atlassian! Here's a glimpse at my Trello board:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 9.02.46 AM.png

However, one challenge I have is with recurring tasks. Right now I use Trello for everything except recurring tasks, which I put on Google calendar.  

I know there are lots of Trello productivity experts here (@Jodi LeBlanc, I'm looking at you) and wondering how you personally handle recurring tasks. Do you use the Card Repeater Power-Up* and do you find that this works for you? Or do you handle it another way?

*I haven't tried this because I never use due dates -- just drag from one column to another -- but I may have to experiment with this one. 

13 comments

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Feb 28, 2018

Thanks so much @Monique van den Berg for your kind words :) I have used the card repeater in the past and it worked great, however I don't have many daily recurring tasks (mostly weekly), so I have reverted to using the "copy" card feature, and then I assign due dates manually.

I love using the due date feature, because it allows you to check off that you completed the work on the card (turning it from red or yellow to green). This is a to-do-list dream (the checklist is awesome too), as I missed the ticking things off manually from my old days of my pen and paper to do lists. Does anyone else relate to the accomplished feeling when you tick off a completed task? That feature is small but mighty :)

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Feb 28, 2018

Wow I really need to start using the card-repeater power up, I just tried it out again after your post, I didn’t realize it was for weekly and monthly tasks, I thought it was only for daily. I’m going to get back to using that right away, thanks @Monique van den Berg - it will save me at least 10-15 mins of manual work :)

I think Card Repeater Power-Up  actually works better if you don't use due dates, as it doesn't handle due dates correctly.

For example, if I create a "File Taxes" card that repeats every February 1 with a due date of April 15, 2018, then February 1, 2019 (and every Feb 1 from then on) it will create a new "File Taxes" card with a due date of April 15, 2018. That is, it doesn't update the due date relative to the new card's creation date.

As a workaround I created a calendar in Google Calendar just for repeating Trello cards, and I use Zapier to turn these events into cards. The card is created when the event starts, and the due date is set to the end of the event. I can then use Google Calendar's repeating event functionality to have repeating events with sensible due dates. I can even look at future instances and tweak them before they fire (eg: if the tax deadline next year is different, I can adjust the due date in calendar before the card is created).

@Laurence Gonsalves Ooh, that's very interesting, since I currently already use my Google calendar for repeating tasks, this might be very handy. I will check out Zapier, thank you for the tip!

@Laurence Gonsalves Could you please elaborate on how to make the recurring event appear more than once in the Trello calendar? I followed your instructions (by creating using zapier), but the recurring event appears currently only for its first recurrence.

Wow. I have never heard of Card Repeater Power-Up. I just move the card everyday (which now sounds stupid). Thanks, I am going to try it.

Hi there, please assist an enthusiastic newbie!

As a bookkeeper, I am a veteran lover of checklists and have been lured to Trello (which I have dabbled with in the past) by the lack of checklists in Todoist.

I love the card repeater power-up but seem to be using it wrong on my "Recurring Tasks" list. The cards seem to multiply (duplicate) on my list like rabbits and I'm not sure what I am doing wrong! :-) 

A simple example: A daily card reminder to check all bank balances every morning at 07h00. When the daily task is completed, what is my next action on the card? My instinct is to tick it off on a checklist but I prefer to use the card repeater function.

Please advise on this - I realise - rather silly question? Thank you, Eileen 

it depends on the setup of your board and how you use Trello.

Since you asked what happens to the cards later etc, I'll describe a little of how my cards 'flow' through the lists in trello.. 

I use a Personal Kanban style board, so I have lists like a backlog, a list for the work I'm hoping to get done today, and DONE lists (daily, weekly).   I also have a 'recurring' list where I keep all the cards for repeating tasks and meetings.

I use the repeater power-up to make a copy of the recurring cards and put them in the 'today' list, with the time set slightly before the start of the workday (not when the event itself happens).   When I start the task or meeting I drag the card to the Doing list..  Then to the Done list when the task/meeting is completed. 

In my case, those 'done today' cards move daily to a 'done this week' list, which I review with my manager in a weekly 1:1 (it's like a little mini retrospective).  After that's done and I take care of any followup, the weekly done list and all cards in it get archived and a new blank 'done this week' list is created. 

Like Eileen Janeke likes this

How/Where do we request enhancements to the powerups?  for example, I have meetings that happen 'every other week', and some that are like on a given day/week of month combination (e.g. 'second tuesday').

It would be really spiffy if the repeater powerup could handle cases like that, in addition to the daily, weekly, monthly options. 

Katrin Anger Community Leader Feb 12, 2019

I am using Butler for setting up recurring tasks in my boards.

It has a lot of triggers (by day number, by weekday, every first, second, third [?day], etc.) and recurring modes that allow me to set up basically any recurring task I need.

Like # people like this

I use the Repeat Powerup for recurring tasks.  While using the Repeat Powerup in the past, the "new" cards would show up on my board with an empty checklist.  All of a sudden, I'm now having new cards show up with a completed checklist.  The new cards are copies of the completed cards.  I now have to either uncheck all of the items or delete the checklist and add a new one.

I much prefer having the unchecked checklist on my new cards.  Any way to change it back?

Like Hubert Kut likes this

You have set up a repeating card which already had a completed checklist on it. Maybe you completed the checklist on your 'master recurring card' and thence forward it is faithfully repeating that card.

I always have a list on all my boards just for recurring cards/tasks. Only repeating cards live there! When setting up the repeater, I then have the card to be actioned show up on my "To Do" or other similar list.

IMO, never have the repeated card to be actioned showing up on the same list as the 'template'.

I used to have a script calling api and creating recurring tast. Currently using templates  and/or  Repeat Powerup addon.

Brittany Joiner Community Leader Sep 09, 2019

I use the card repeater power up and that generally works well for me. The only hold up i have is when there's certain things i need to change about the card, but usually i get around this by just having a repeating card that is a task to update my other repeating cards. 

 

I do believe Butler has some cool stuff for that as well - as mentioned above. (I am still a novice with all things trello automation though, so i can't speak to that piece as well.

I use repeating cards for my log on and log off routines as well as weekly items. I set them up, set the repeat, then immediately archive the card so I don't accidentally check things off or move the card. You can edit the cards by clicking on "repeats" at the top of your board, then edit the card you need to. 

So much good advice here, my mere copy card is a thing of the past!

I use the Butler and one example of a command is for when I get my hair cut.

I don't get it cut on a set 6 week schedule. Sometimes it's later than that and if I use an "every 6 weeks..." command, it may only have been 4 weeks since I had my hair cut.

So...I use the following command:

"when a card named "Haircut" is moved into list "Done", create a new card with title "Haircut" in list "Someday/Ideas", and set due in 6 weeks".

Then, it doesn't matter when I get my hair cut, once that card is moved into done, the next one is set for 6 weeks into the future.

(I also use other Butler commands to move cards out of "Someday/Ideas" to "Active" three days before they are due).

I use a manual method right now, which works great for things that happen weekly or monthly.  I create a template card that describes what I need to do complete with checklists.  Then I create a black label named "Recurring" or "Template".  When I need a new one, I copy the template updating the name for the specific time period I need and then move it to my working column.  It works great for me.

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