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Feature Requests

Recurring Tasks

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  1.  
    • Michael
    • Nov 7th 2006 edited @ 09/22/2008 3:12 pm
     

    A new Intervals user asked us about re-occuring task support for monthly tasks.

    At present Intervals does not have true "re-occurring" tasks but there is a quasi way to do it. What we do is track the time, make updates, notes, etc. and then use the "copy task" link on the left hand side of the task detail page. So we close out the task for the given month, then spawn it's twin for the next month. We actually tinkered with true "re-occurring" tasks, but found that it created too many tasks and created overload so we decided to focus on one task at a time. "Copy" task creates a new task # but with the same summary, project, module, etc. then we schedule it for the next month. In fact, we often "copy" a task for a given project to a new project.

  1.  

    We are in the process of adding more flexbility to tasks within Intervals. Specifically we are removing the due date requirement and allowing a task to be assigned to noone or multiple people. Since we are adding in more flexbility, it seems like a good time to revisit recurring tasks. We are considering adding recurring tasks that are not true recurring tasks, but serve the same purpose.

    Here is what we are thinking:

    1. create task
    2. make it recurring
    3. select the recurring interval (weekly, daily, monthly, etc.)
    4. instead of cluttering up the system with a bunch of tasks, only create the new task if:
    a. the due date has passed
    b. the current task is marked as closed

    Here is a quick real-life scenario. I have a weekly backup rotation task assigned to me in our Pelago IT project. Presently, I rotate the backup, make notes on the task, then update it and move it to the following week. With recurring tasks, I would do the same steps but instead of scheduling the task out a week I would close the task. When the task it closed the recurring rule would know to create a new task with the same information due next week.

    Would you use it? Is the complexity a necessary and welcome addition? Do you need more or less?

  2.  
    Would be very useful for me. Thanks. Craig.
  3.  

    I recently transitioned over from TaskAnyone.com which has recurring tasks. I was using the recurring tasks for the following example tasks. My company does PR and business development, just to give some context...

    1. Lisa, monthly - check in on and update client wikipedia pages
    2. Irena, weekly - send out 'insider' marketing email
    3. Petra, monthly - look over blog, use dead linker checker and remove dead links
    4. Irena, monthly - review pres hits and send update text to client to add to their website

    Also, personally, to my assistant who looks after my home in Florida...
    1. Every 2 weeks - Mow lawn and clean up garden
    2. Twice a week - Feed cats, change litter (robot litterbox) pick up mail, check in on roommates
    3. Twice a month - Deposit checks in the bank

    Its definitely handy having recurring tasks. I look forward to you adding them. In the mean time I'm keeping my TaskAnyone account live to look after these and other tasks.

    • yorktown48
    • Oct 19th 2008 edited @ 10/19/2008 4:00 pm
     

    Michael, You can change the code....so that it is a loop.

    Make recurring tasks auto appear after the last one is gone.

    So, lets say we have a monthly task.
    After Oct 31 it goes away (completed or not), the Nov 1-30 task pops in. You can edit and remove the recurring portion of the task (an additional checkbox for your database).

    Also, thank the guy above, or turning me on to your system. It does rock.

    Marc

  4.  

    I would LOVE to have them be re-occurring, similar to making an apointment on my google calendar.

    thanks guys!

    -trent

  5.  

    Hey everyone!

    Recurring Task function would help us out a lot too.

    Cheers

    Scott

  6.  

    What about re-occuring projects?
    We have clients that pay monthly for a set number of hours. I want to put these in as monthly projects so I can see how much of their work we have completed each month, but each month it is fairly boring having to copy the project - sometimes I do this for over 80 clients. if I could set a project to be a re-occuring project then I wouldn't have to do this....?

  7.  
    Any progress on recurring tasks? While I admit it would be very handy, I think that you'll find you will end up reproducing the functionality of a calendar, don't you think? Instead of recurring tasks, how about calendar integration (e.g. CalDav), with the ability to link a meeting with a task or assign time to a meeting? If the meeting is recurring, then the task would be too. What do you think?
  8.  

    Example tasks that i need to reoccur for my team...

    Lisa - review client blog and do round of social media marketing on most interesting blog posts - every Wed
    Petra - do quarterly reputation analysis of client tradename on Yahoo and Google and produce report for client - every quarter, stepped for each client
    Irena - pay contractors - monthly

    etc, etc. Recurring tasks is a gaping hole in your current offering.

  9.  
    Agreed. It would be helpful for us as well
  10.  

    Michael

    Your described functionality (posting 15 July) would be very helpful to us and we would use it. We have only been using your product for a couple of weeks but are now planning to sign up and stick with it. From a challenging team who have rejected all previous attempts to pin them to a consistent way of working I have, to date, had thumbs up from all.

    Thanks!

  11.  

    So, I don't mean to be the squeaky wheel, but word on the street is they get the grease.

    Any progress on a recurring task?

    The description from 7/5/08 sounds GREAT!

  12.  

    We could definitely use the reoccurring task capability. I think when opening the task, as you described, and being able to set it as reoccurring is perfect.

    Especially in maintenance projects (like web maintenance) or editing, review, daily tasks, that sort of thing can be set to reoccur. This is a great option that would add to the functionality and operation of time task!

    • jreeve
    • May 26th 2009 edited @ 06/24/2009 10:05 am
     
    Thanks everyone for all your comments on our recurring tasks feature. We have this feature tentatively scheduled to launch late July and will send out an email once it is live. Thanks again for all your comments. Please keep them coming.
  13.  

    The roadmap now says fourth quarter; but the post above suggests July - any update?

    BTW - I have about 12 tasks that recur each week. the workaround I use is to assign them all to one milestone (August 1 Tasks), then on August 1, I copy that milestone to August 8 tasks - and the tasks get copied en masse and are stored safely (I set the priority so they don't appear on my task list), and then go back to the August 1 tasks and reset the priority for "do it now" again as a group since we can now select multiple tasks and reset priorities all at once.

  14.  

    Any update on the status of recurring tasks? This will likely be the selling point for us if this feature is added.

    Great product you guys have!

  15.  

    Please insure that a a recurring task interval of any number of days is possible, such as: 90 days rather than 3 months. I have noticed a common implementation of a daily interval, which of course occurs every day.

    By the way, we have search the planet over the past 3 months looking for a on-line project management solution to end up finding a provided located in our home town. Small world?

    Congratulations on a very good product.

  16.  
    When we build out the recurring task feature we'll be sure to take the number of days into consideration. Glad to hear Intervals is working out for you. It's nice to have some locals on board. Email us your contact info and i'll drop off some shirts :)
  17.  
    Will there be recurring Projects as well?
  18.  
    At this time we do not have plans for recurring projects. However, projects are pretty easy to replicate by using the Copy Project link in the project profile. For Intervals users who want to approximate recurring projects, we recommend setting up a template project, complete with team, tasks and documents. Then simply copy that project each time you need it to recur. Although it is not automatic like true recurring projects would be, it only requires two clicks or so to setup your next project.
  19.  

    Any update on recurring tasks?

    I read here you were going to launch this is Q4 last year. Maybe I'm just missing it? Is it implemented yet?

  20.  

    The recurring task piece has definitely been a moving target. It has been on and off the roadmap and we haven’t done a great job communicating around the feature. We have found that it is a feature that is not asked for heavily in feature requests from within each account in terms of volume of requests but for those that do request the feature it is a very high priority for them. For comparison, the modification to clients with contacts and granular permissions for executives that will launch in the next few weeks is probably asked for fifty to one when compared to recurring tasks. We agree 100% that it could add a lot of value and we would use it ourselves but the biggest challenge is that there is a wide divergence in how people would like to see it implemented. Some want full blown calendar functionality akin to Microsoft Outlook whereas others want a more basic implementation more like what has been discussed here in the forum.

    Just to quickly reiterate how features are prioritized here is the general categorization we use:

    1. ruled out
    2. being contemplated
    3. on the development plan
    4. active / under development

    If a feature adds value for most without adding too much complexity we typically move forward with it. The recurring task piece has been falling between #2 and #3 above. The feature is currently being contemplated due to the lack of consensus on the best way to implement it that adds a lot of value for most without adding too much complexity.

    Here are few variations on feedback around the request that we have received:

    After reading how you propose to implement it, I would say that we would prefer that the recurring tasks fill out the calendar – perhaps to a set length of time for eg 3 months, 6 months 12 months depending on the task.

    I would like to be able to drop in ‘Monday 3pm-5pm – Team Meeting and Timesheet Run through’ and set it to occur every Monday.

    I really don't want all of the comments, documents, and time on one task. When the recurring tasks is created it should be its own task.

    My vote would be to reschedule an existing task. Seems like it is a recurring task, not tasks. So each recurrence should carry with it the same task number as the original task along with a running history. For example, if it were a daily task I don't think we would want a separate task number for each recurrence.

    I would love to be able to set a recurring task that creates the 'Monthly Newsletter' task 1 week before the first day of each month.

    As a component of the calendar, in addition to milestones, tasks, and notes, it would be great to include meetings. You can schedule a date, time, select the owner, select employees to attend and meeting subject. Association with a project or milestone would be great as well.

    I have a number of tasks that I do daily. I still have to keep track of the time, but I do them and then need to set the deadline for the next day. It would be great to have a collection of "recurring tasks" that could be re-set to daily, every Tuesday, bi-weekly, etc. You'd set the times, stop the timer, assign it to a project, client or whatever and then do one click to bump it to its next place in the schedule.

    Hopefully this helps articulate some of the pain points around the feature and once again my apologies on not doing a better job of communicating where the feature is at here in the forum. The feature is being considered and we appreciate the feedback. We would love to execute it in a simplistic way that is easy to use and helps manage tasks more efficiently.
  21.  
    I would love it if you had recurring task option. I would use it to schedule backups and weekly customer call maintenance visits.
  22.  

    Any updates on the recurring task issue? It's a big issue for us. Thanks!

    There are all types of tasks we perform monthly.

    • Michael
    • Sep 22nd 2010 edited @ 04/05/2012 7:57 am
     

    There has been no new movement with it and this post is still pretty much current. The feature is being considered but is not on the development plan at this time.

  23.  
    Additionally, as you are updating the Tasks feature, it would be nice to have a "Pending" feature. (Same for a Milestone.) Currently you can mark a task/milestone as "In-Progress" or "Completed". It would be nice to be able to mark the task or milestone as" Pending". Often a tasks/milestone gets "tabled" for a period of time. During this time I do not want the item showing as overdue, but would like to be able to view Pending tasks/milestones. I do not want to delete the task/milestone as it will eventually become active again (however I would not know an estimated new due date, so simply changing the due date is not an option), but I do not want it sitting in overdue tasks.
  24.  
    1 year later, we'd still love it!
    • yourmanstan
    • Jan 20th 2011 edited @ 01/20/2011 11:58 am
     

    i definitely agree that if you are going to spend the time to create this feature that it should be done in a way that is simple and offers the greatest value for the greatest number of users. i'm spending quite a bit of time here to see if i can articulate a guide as a group who would find tremendous value in recurring tasks. first let's describe the problem
    <ol>
    <li>no recurring tasks presumes that all clients are one time developments. we build it and then never touch it again? that simply isn't the case. building long term relationships is the goal (hopefully for all businesses) and creates stronger businesses. that means that there will be routine tasks</li>
    <li>for budgeting purposes, recurring projects would be just as useful as recurring tasks. for example, we allocate up to $5,000 labor per month for a project. in current form, we have to add the allotment each month for every single project. this is time consuming and risks human error. it seems that adding recurring projects wouldn't be much more effort if already creating recurring tasks</li>
    <li>recurring tasks may be something like:
    create monthly traffic report: <i>recurs monthly on first monday.</i>
    write a press release highlighting client's developments: <i>recurs every three months on the second wednesday.</i>
    prepare meeting agenda for friday's phone call: <i>recurs every two weeks on thursday</i></li>
    <li>simply put, we tried to avoid monthly contracts with clients in order to accommodate intervals, but it is bad for business. so now we have to jump through hoops to make it work - which we only do since intervals is so strong in other ways :)</li>
    </ol>
    Below you outline some of the pain points of determining the correct way to implement, which i'll address
    <blockquote>After reading how you propose to implement it, I would say that we would prefer that the recurring tasks fill out the calendar – perhaps to a set length of time for eg 3 months, 6 months 12 months depending on the task.</blockquote><blockquote>I have a number of tasks that I do daily. I still have to keep track of the time, but I do them and then need to set the deadline for the next day. It would be great to have a collection of "recurring tasks" that could be re-set to daily, every Tuesday, bi-weekly, etc. You'd set the times, stop the timer, assign it to a project, client or whatever and then do one click to bump it to its next place in the schedule.</blockquote><blockquote>I would love to be able to set a recurring task that creates the 'Monthly Newsletter' task 1 week before the first day of each month.</blockquote>
    all of these appear to deal with how the task should recur. meetup.com is probably the highest used system for recurring events that i can think of and their system is quite simple:
    <a target="_blank" href="http://awesomescreenshot.com/00b67yl9c">http://awesomescreenshot.com/00b67yl9c</a>
    <a target="_blank" href="http://awesomescreenshot.com/05a67yv9c">http://awesomescreenshot.com/05a67yv9c</a>
    the following should accommodate all of the variations of what people may want out of recurring tasks
    <ul>
    <li>for weekly, you can choose to repeat every week up to every 10 weeks, then simply select the days of the week to recur on.</li>
    <li>for monthly, you can choose to repeat every month up to every 12 months, then simply select the time of month (first monday, last sunday, second tues, etc.)</li>
    <li>optionally set an end date</li>
    </ul>

    <blockquote>I would like to be able to drop in ‘Monday 3pm-5pm – Team Meeting and Timesheet Run through’ and set it to occur every Monday.</blockquote><blockquote>As a component of the calendar, in addition to milestones, tasks, and notes, it would be great to include meetings. You can schedule a date, time, select the owner, select employees to attend and meeting subject. Association with a project or milestone would be great as well.</blockquote>
    ignore these. this sounds like someone who wants intervals to act as a meeting calendar... that doesn't seem appropriate to me. project scheduling is completely different from time/meeting scheduling. recommend tungle or google calendar.

    <blockquote>I really don't want all of the comments, documents, and time on one task. When the recurring tasks is created it should be its own task.</blockquote><blockquote>My vote would be to reschedule an existing task. Seems like it is a recurring task, not tasks. So each recurrence should carry with it the same task number as the original task along with a running history. For example, if it were a daily task I don't think we would want a separate task number for each recurrence.</blockquote>
    these two seem somewhat opposed. create a new task or simply reschedule the existing task? on one hand, creating a separate task would be great for time budgeting (say we budget $500 per month... we don't have to reset it each time). on the other hand creating a separate task would cause tons of redundant task which would make the reports, piecharts, and general navigation much more cumbersome and less useful.

    i suspect the reason why the first wants separate tasks is so that budgeting can be managed. i suspect the second wants to simply reschedule an existing task is so that they don't get flooded with duplicate tasks. i think there is a way to make everyone happy. for tasks/projects which recur, the start and due dates are simply rescheduled... but the budget gets grayed out and a new "recurring budget" box is added. here's how it would work:

    the recurring budget is automatically added to the total budget on each recurrence date. so say we have a task that recurs each week with a recurring budget of $500. week 1, overall budget is $500. week 2, overall budget is automatically upped to $1000. week 3, overall budget is upped to $1500, and so on. users could not directly affect the overall budget since it is automatically increased by whatever the recurring budget is set to on the day it recurs.

    i think that covers everything... hopefully if you read it is agreed that this doesn't have to be such a challenge if it is done right.

  25.  

    <i>As a component of the calendar, in addition to milestones, tasks, and notes, it would be great to include meetings. You can schedule a date, time, select the owner, select employees to attend and meeting subject. Association with a project or milestone would be great as well.</i>

    <b>Response:</b>
    <font color="#0000FF">ignore these. this sounds like someone who wants intervals to act as a meeting calendar... that doesn't seem appropriate to me. project scheduling is completely different from time/meeting scheduling. recommend tungle or google calendar.</font>

    I don't see meetings separate from tasks. My project plan consists also of meetings and workshops (we are consultants). It's something you have to do, you plan hours and bill them. But you have to be there (task location) at exact day and time. So meeting/workshop is just task with fixed time and location. Since I want to track time, I need meetings defined as tasks. It would be great if I could define task type as "meeting", which will give me option to enter exact date and time and location. Than sync "meeting" view of calendar to google calendar.

    Now I have to manually copy "meeting" tasks to google calendar.

    jang

  26.  
    Seems like the ability to easily manage recurring tasks has been on the radar screen for ... years. Is it ever going to happen, do you think? It's the one big feature you're missing (just my $.02).
  27.  
    Hello Intervals Team, I am a new user of Intervals and we would really like using the recurring tasks feature. I just wanted to get an update on where you are on this feature. Is it available at this time?
  28.  

    Thank you, everyone, for keeping the interest going for recurring tasks. This feature is still under consideration, not because we're trying to put it off, but because our development efforts are being focused on other areas of the application at this time.

    We recently completed a round of questionnaires and customer interviews that are helping to set priorities. Tasks within Intervals are more complicated than simple todo systems and we have concerns over adding additional complexity. That and a wide range of views from customers on how they would like to see this feature implemented makes it more difficult than adding a simple feature.

    We are tossing around some ideas and still consider this to be a relevant feature request. Meanwhile, we still recommend using the task copy feature to repeat tasks or rescheduling tasks as mentioned above.

  29.  
    It seems that because there are many possible ways to create the recurring feature, that Interval decides that it is too complex and not put it in the road map at all. I am contemplating of using another tool because of Interval's lack of recurring tasks. As a developer myself, why can't you start with a simple feature, such as recurring calendar, and then expand from there? You can then create features around recurring task, recurring milestones, and recurring projects. Unfortunately for my company, when we sign on a customer, we do the same set of tasks on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis. It is so painful for us to on-board a new customer in Interval. Right now, we have to "copy" the milestones and their associating tasks and adjust the dates. Well, one time we made a mistake and missed one of the cycles. Our poor customer did not get the delivery for that quarter and we missed our revenue opportunity (thank goodness didn't lose the customer.) It seems Interval is great for one-time implementation but not ongoing managed projects. I have been recommending this project to others, but warned them that if they requirement recurring tasks, they should look elsewhere.
  30.  

    We too have recurring tasks for clients, with ongoing projects .... this is very common for web agencies the world over if they have ANY managed clients.

    Agree ...
    "why can't you start with a simple feature, such as recurring calendar, and then expand from there?"

    Would be even better if on first implementation you could add option to only create next (x) item, when previous one is completed ... that way when you complete one iteration, it will then create the next one (x) number ahead .... not creating an indefinite number at a time. So you could say, when I finish this one, ensure next 1, 2,3 etc are created/scheduled
    next iteration .... have adjustment on interval from when created (eg. completed two days late, so adjust future interval accordingly, etc).

    .... but, just getting a simple calendar repeat would be a great start ... could at least then create for the contracted mount from the start (eg. 6 months, 12 months, etc).

  31.  
    Thank you for the additional input. These are some good ideas. Yes, starting with a basic version is smart because it would enable our Agile processes to then iterate the recurring tasks feature with each launch. Thanks everyone!