Recurring tasks

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Answers

  • jennifer blow
    jennifer blow ✭✭
    edited 02/21/21

    I think I've figured out a way to add recurring tasks to my sheet - one that I don't think I've seen described here (I've searched many, many forums before I worked this out).

    Hopefully this isn't pointing out the obvious...

    You need 2 sheets:

    • Sheet 1: Request tracker sheet (this could be your project plan sheet)
    • Sheet 2: Recurring tasks sheet

    Instructions:

    • Create the task on sheet 2 that you intend to be recurring.
    • Add a workflow to trigger when a date is reached. Set this to your desired frequency.
    • Set the condition to the name of the task.
    • Set the action to 'copy rows' and choose your request tracker/project plan sheet.
    • Et voila, your task pops up on your project plan at your chosen frequency.

    Caveat - I've only just figured this out, so it remains untested (I have to wait for the date to be reached). If anyone has a better way or can disprove the theory, please comment!

    I'll drop this on a few forums asking the same question!

  • Sam Harwart
    Sam Harwart ✭✭✭

    @jennifer blow That should work. I'll give it a try as well.

  • I agree. This doesn't just make SS inconvenient, it makes it completely unusable for my purposes. Back off to Asana I go I guess!

  • There are those moments when you come across a multi-year forum post that calls for the functionality you need. This is one of the moments. Come on, y'all...is this on the roadmap or what? I don't know of any project management platform that doesn't offer this capability. We all love us some Smartsheets but where you at with this?

  • And it's 2022 and this still hasn't happened.

  • Tim Starkey
    Tim Starkey ✭✭✭✭✭

    Piling on. Would like to set recurring tasks for City Council meetings. In MS project, its pretty straight forward. Set the task to recurring and how often (weekly, monthly, every second tuesday, etc). I have to instruct our managers to create a parent task, and manually enter all of the dates in children tasks.

    Will fill out the form, but would love to hear if this is an upcoming enhancement.

  • David Horowitz
    edited 02/07/23

    Hi - I'm still surprised that this feature isn't available natively. Still, there are a few ways to solve for this, and a feature that I wanted was for someone to be able to populate a form for this and that's it.

    I used a second sheet for this, as well. Sheet 1 is the Main Task sheet, where all tasks for all team members and projects might be located. Sheet 2 is the Recurring Task sheet, where a form can be completed to set up the recurring task, and no further action is required. Columns in the Recurring Task sheet with their formulas or meanings:

    • Level (or Project) - No formula. This might be set to a fixed value. It might be set to a list of project names. The goal of this column will be to help the recurrence instance slot into the correct sort location on the Main Task sheet when it gets copied over by automation.
    • Iterations - No formula. The number of iterations or instances of recurrence. If you wanted daily for a year, for example, you would set this to 365 (and cadence to 1). If you wanted recurrence every two weeks for a year, you would set Iterations to 26 (and cadence to 14).
    • Description - No formula. Description of the recurring event, i.e. "Call Steve and tell him to do his job."
    • Start Date - No formula. Date of first instance
    • Cadence - No formula. Number of days between instances.
    • End Date - Formula: =[Start Date]@row + Cadence@row This could also be called "Next Instance Date" because that's what it really is, but I called it End Date, as, when the row is moved to the Main Task sheet, I want the End Date to slot into the End Date column already set up for when tasks are expected to be completed.
    • Next Instance - Formula: =ROUNDDOWN((ROUNDDOWN(TODAY() - [Start Date]@row, 1)) / Cadence@row) This is the next integer instance. It rounds down to the next instance number. For example, this will show as 0 only on the same date as the start date of the recurrence set. For all days between the first and second instance date, this will show as 1 (i.e. for days 1-13 of a 14-day cadence recurrence).
    • Next Instance Date - Formula: =IF(([Final Instance]@row - TODAY()) > 1, ([Next Instance]@row * Cadence@row) + [Start Date]@row, "Complete") This formula calculates the date of the next recurrence instance, as long as that date is earlier than the last (calculated) recurrence date. If it is after the last recurrence date, then it returns "Complete", which will stop the automation (described below).
    • Final Instance - Formula: =(Iterations@row * Cadence@row) + [Start Date]@row Calculates the final instance date based on the number of instances and the fixed cadence. Used to determine whether the recurrence is complete (see above).

    Then, there is the automation, which simply copies the row to the Main Task sheet when the Next Instance Date is reached:

    The condition of "is a date" obviously won't run when the value in column "Next Instance Date" is "Complete" (which, again, occurs when the next instance date is after the final instance date). The row is pushed to the Main Task sheet, and you can set automation there to ping people about the new row.

    The form to enter a new row on the Recurring Task sheet needs just these values populated:

    • Iterations
    • Description
    • Start Date
    • Cadence

    The sheet will do everything else. You can modify the date values, if you want the instance to push a week before it's due, for example. But these are the basic bones.

    I haven't sorted exactly how to get the new row to slot in to the exact desired location on a highly stratified Main Task sheet, but that shouldn't be too difficult. Just need some helper columns, which can also be hidden.

    I'm not sure why I can build this in 20 minutes but SS can't provide this as part of the software.

    Curious what you all think.

    Thanks,

    David

  • Genesia
    Genesia ✭✭

    This is confusing to me sorry, can someone explain this to me, so Currently, this is what i have on my recurring task sheet.

    So are you saying, based on the formula up above, i need to create new columns, and each column would have a formula, or on my recurring task sheet, for end date, i would have that cleared out and put a formula there so it could populate the new date on my main sheet?


    Im new to SmartSheet and trying to truly understand recurring task to automate populate.