What is your method for creating recurring tasks?

I have a Task List sheet which is pretty standard stuff. Task Name, Due Date, Assigned To.

But we create some tasks that are a recurrence, like, "Check on Person A Every Two Days."

Obviously, I can manually (using a formula to increment my dates =WORKDAY([Due Date]5, 2)) create a bunch of tasks out into the future, and then use some filtering to hide the far future items from active task lists. But I'd like to be more creative about this (and I'd like to be hands off and let my users run this thing).

I'd love to create a workflow that takes certain fields (Task Name and Assigned To) and copies them to a new record, and adds two days to Due Date and writes that date to the Due Date column in the new record. Is that possible? Because if I can do that, I can trigger the workflow when a user check the Done box.

I can't figure out how to do that ^ so I thought I could write the record to a holding sheet, add two days to the due date in the holding sheet, and then copy the fields back to the Task List. The problem is that I can't figure how to add two days to Due Date in the holding sheet and then copy that updated data back to the Task List. This is because Due Date writes to Due Date, and writes back to Due Date.

Does anyone have a solution to this?


  • James Keuning
    James Keuning ✭✭✭✭

    This is driving me crazy. I feel like I am really close. What I am doing now:

    When DONE is checked on the TASK LIST, if that record has the RECURRING TASK checkbox checked, the row gets copied to a HOLDING sheet. The HOLDING sheet has a CREATED DATE system field. Then I have a TRANSFORM sheet which uses VLOOKUP to pull details for the MAX of CREATED DATE record from the HOLDING sheet. That means that whenever a new record gets written to the HOLDING sheet, the records in the TRANSFORM sheet "change." But this isn't a change that triggers my action, which is to copy this new row back to the TASK LIST. I can trigger that action by manually editing any random field in the TRANSFORM sheet, but I'm not about that - I need to trigger the action via this formula. Or come up with an alternative approach.

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    Hi @James Keuning

    Do you have multiple possible cadences for when these tasks would be recurring? For example, a dropdown list that indicates how often a task should pop up, so "Check on Person A Every Two Days" and "Check on Person A Every Ten Days", etc.

    If you have a column that identifies this per-row, we could set up recurring workflows based on what's selected in this "Recurring" column.

    1. The first thing I would do is have a Record a Date workflow set in this sheet to populate a "Last Completed" Date column in your sheet, triggered when "Done" is checked.
    2. Then we can use a Clear Cell workflow where when that Completed Date is 2 days in the past, it clears out the "Done" checkbox so that row is waiting to be completed again.
    3. Then your users could either work directly in this sheet, using a Filter to see what needs to be completed that day, or you could set up a Report for them so they're always viewing the filtered list.

    I would create multiple Clear Cell workflows with different conditions, depending on what is selected in the Recurrence column. For example, the "every 2 days" recurrence could use a workflow like this:

    Then the next recurrence would have a different number of days and a different condition.

    If you need to see a historical record, you could also have a Copy Row workflow to a tracking sheet when that "Done" box is checked.



  • James Keuning
    James Keuning ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks @Genevieve P., that is a creative solution. I have not used the x days after workflow, and that's a creative use! The only issue is that I need to log the completed tasks. I know I could use Smartsheet's Activity Log, but I prefer to have the info in the sheet.

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin

    What about having a second sheet for the "log"? Each time the "done" is checked you could send that row to the secondary log sheet and track progress there.