Recurring Tasks

Create tasks to capture routine work.


Recurring tasks allow you to create tasks that you need to do on a regular basis. Unlike a recurring meeting on your calendar, recurring tasks are best suited for work that needs to be done each day/week/month but the exact timing doesn't matter.


How to use

Creating a recurring task · 0:00

In order to create a new recurring task, start by creating a normal task in Sunsama. Then open the task, click the "..." menu at the top of the task page, and then click "Repeat".

Sunsama will copy the various details of this task into all instances that will be created when you make it repeat. It's best to set things like channels, subtasks, notes, and time estimates before you make it repeat.

Weekday Tasks · 1:35

To make a task repeat only on Weekdays (M-F), select the "Weekdays" option.

If you want tasks to repeat only on certain days of the week, select "Weekly", then select the days you want the task to appear.

Selecting a "Roughly at" time · 1:44

The "Roughly at" field tells Sunsama, approximately when you like to do something. You still have the flexibility to pick the exact time each day to accommodate the day to day differences in your schedule.

For example, you might pick "9:00 AM" for your "Review Inboxes" task and "7:30 AM" for your "Daily Journaling" task. That way, your "Daily Journaling" task will always show above your "Review Inboxes" task. This should mean you need to shuffle tasks around less when planning your day.

This video explains how recurring tasks are ordered in depth:

Editing a recurring task · 2:35

If you want to edit a series of recurring tasks you can open the task then click "Edit task series".

  • Stop repeating: This will keep the current instance and any instances before this task in tact. All instances after this will be removed.
  • Delete all instances: This will delete all incomplete instances of this task. If you previously marked instances of this task as complete, they will not be deleted.
  • Update all incomplete instances to match this task: This is the option you want to use when you want to edit all items in a series. You do this by making changes to this individual instance e.g. changing the title, adding subtasks, notes, etc and then choosing this option. Please note that this will change all incomplete instances not just instances after the one you clicked.

FAQ and Common Issues

Understanding Rollover

The rollover behavior of recurring tasks is slightly different than normal tasks.

Unlike normal tasks, recurring tasks rollover until they collide with another instance of the same task. For example, if you've got a daily recurring task for "Check Email" and you don't check it off today, you will not see two instances of it tomorrow. You will only see tomorrow's instance.

There is one note-worthy exception. If you make significant edits to a task (changing its title, notes, subtasks, etc) Sunsama will preserve that task. In other words, Sunsama only hides rolled over recurring tasks when they provide no valuable information.

In our example above, if we were to add some notes to today's "Check Email" task, then we'd see two instances tomorrow. The one from yesterday with notes and today's un-edited task.

How to change the approximate or "at roughly" time of a recurring task series

To change the approximate time of a recurring task series, you will have to end the task series and set it up again. Do this by:

  • Click on the task and click "Edit task series"
  • Click "Stop Repeating"
  • Set up the task as a recurring task series again, with the new approximate time, and click "Save".

Recurring tasks versus recurring calendar events

Recurring tasks give you the flexibility to decide exactly when you'll work on something each day or each week. In Sunsama, recurring tasks don't have a time on the calendar on each day of their occurrence by default. As you plan each day, you can add them to your calendar by dragging and dropping them to the calendar or by right clicking on the task and saying "Add to calendar". This gives you flexibility on exactly when you do it each day.

Recurring events (meetings) are best used when the work is an "appointment" and it has to happen at that time.

For example, I have a daily recurring task to review my email but the time I do this changes each day based on my other obligations. If you have tasks that you need to do at a fixed time everyday or don't want that flexibility e.g. "pick up kids from school" or "morning journal" then you should create a recurring event in your underlying Outlook/Google calendar. Then, as you plan each day in Sunsama, you can just have those imported into your task list.

Subtask behavior

If you create a recurring task with subtasks, by default, all the future instances will show the subtasks as collapsed so as to not clutter your daily task list.

If you want to show or hide all subtasks on future instances of a recurring task series, here's how:

  • Show/hide them on an instance of the task series
  • Open that same task
  • Click "Edit task series", then "Update all incomplete instances to match this task"
  • The rest of the task series will now match that task when it comes to subtasks being hidden or shown.

Best practices

  • Creating a daily task to go through inboxes can help you feel less overwhelmed by your inboxes. Learn how here.