Keeping the right date for recurring tasks

I could use a little help on workflow here.

Let’s say that I have a task that I want to do at the start of every month. So I set up a recurring task for 1 month. But… Maybe it isn’t critical to get done immediately, but does need to be done by the 15th.

If I defer it by a day, it will mess up the timing of the repeating. I have tried using the 1st weekday of every month type option, but it seems that deferring will either mess up the next due date or defer date. Is there a way just to “sleep” something for 24 hours, without messing up the defer dates?

Alternately, I could do something like adding a “Wednesday” tag, but that would also get carried forward to the next month’s task, unless I remember to delete it.

So an alternative approach would be to create a “master” repeating option, where the next repetition of a task is not influenced by what you do to this instance - is this possible?

That’s what I do with recurring tasks. With your example, I would duplicate the task, defer the “master” version to the next iteration, then make the duplicate non-repeating. I’ll also sometimes add a clarification to the task name: e.g., if the task is “make quarterly estimated tax payment,” I might change the single-instance one to “make 2020 Q3 quarterly estimated tax payment,” just so I don’t later confuse it with the “master” task.

I usually do that only if I miss the due date, though. If I pass the defer date, that means the task is available, so it should show up on my action lists. I will use defer dates as ticklers for one-off tasks/projects, but I try to avoid it for recurring ones.


Thanks, this has worked pretty well for me. I’m now trying to figure out if there is a way to automate the duplication, complete the master so it defers properly, then strip any dates out of the active task so I can work with it properly.

Things 3 implementation works better imho. Each new instance is its own item and any changes made to the new instance do not effect the “master”

If I understand it, you want to complete the task near the first of the month, but you must complete it by the 15th. In that case, I would set the defer date to the 1st, and the due date to the 15th. I would not mess around with either date after the 1st of the month arrives. The task is available (you can do it starting on the 1st), and it’s not yet due. So it should appear in your available tasks list. Once the due date approaches, it will start to appear in your due soon list in the Forecast perspective. If you want to be nagged more aggressively about it, you could tag it with whatever tag you have set to appear in your Forecast (my tag is called “Soon”).

It seems to me that a regular review, not a defer date, is the best way to handle this scenario. If it’s a task, not a project, put it in a Single Actions project that has a frequent review date (daily if that’s absolutely necessary). If you want to be reminded that a task is available before it reaches your due soon window, and you really should act on it, make it part of your daily, or near daily, review.

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