The Best Way to Create Recurring Tasks in Notion (2023)

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Notion Automated Recurring Tasks 2022

This tutorial will show you the exact, step-by-step process to create recurring tasks in Notion and completely automate them.

That means you’ll be able to check off a task, and everything else simply happens for you – the due date gets moved, the Done checkbox becomes un-checked, and the task is ready and waiting for you the next time you need to do it.

Yes, seriously.

The method I’ll show you in this article requires no coding and can be done for free. Additionally, once you’ve completed the initial setup, you’re good to go – your recurring tasks will just work.

Here’s a breakdown of what we’ll be doing:

  1. Set up recurring tasks inside of Notion
  2. Automate those recurring tasks using Pipedream (free)

The automation here is driven by the Notion API, and by some code that I’ve written for you.

All in all, this automation should take you no more than 10 minutes to set up. Let’s go!

Before you can automate your recurring tasks, you’ll need to set up a system to add recur settings to those tasks in the first place – e.g. “Every other day”, or “Every 2 months”.

Fortunately, we’ve done this work for you. My team and I have added a set of powerful recurring task features to Ultimate Tasks, my free task manager template. I recommend starting by adding the template to your workspace:

The Ultimate Task and Project Management Template for Notion

Use this template to move ALL of your task and project management into Notion.

Get it Free

Ultimate Tasks also has a ton of other features that will allow you to manage your tasks and projects completely in Notion:

  • Projects (with built-in progress bars)
  • Sub-Tasks
  • Smart Lists (Today, Next 7 Days, etc.)
  • Cold Tasks (long-overdue tasks get out of your way)

Ultimate Tasks also comes with a detailed wiki that includes tutorials and deeply detailed reference docs.

For the rest of the tutorial, I’ll assume you’re using Ultimate Tasks (or its big brother, Ultimate Brain).

However, if you want to implement the recurring tasks features from Ultimate Tasks into your own template, you can see all of them in my Advanced Recurring Task Dates template. This template exists as an educational proof-of-concept, so it’s less useful as an actual task manager.

To set up a recur interval for a task, open the task as a page. You’ll see a Due Date property, as well as three properties for setting up a recurring task:

These give you all the tools you need to set almost any recur interval you could want.

  • Recur Interval – A simple number property that works with Recur Unit.
  • Recur Unit – The available recur units, including
    • Day(s)
    • Week(s)
    • Month(s)
    • Month(s) on the Last Day
    • Month(s) on the Last Weekday
    • Month(s) on the First Weekday
    • Year(s)
  • Days (Only if Set to 1 Day(s)) – this will let you set a task to recur on specific days on the week – e.g. Mon/Wed/Fri
    • Recur Unit must be set to Day(s) and Recur Interval must be set to 1.

Once you set up a recur interval, you’ll also see a property called Next Due. This shows the next due date for the recurring task.

Here are a few examples of recur intervals you could set up using these three properties:

Due Every 3 Days:

  • Recur Interval : 3
  • Recur Unit: Day(s)

Due Every 2 Months on the Last Weekday

  • Recur Interval: 2
  • Recur Unit: Month(s) on the Last Weekday

Due Every Tuesday and Thursday

  • Recur Interval: 1
  • Recur Unit: Day(s)
  • Days (Only if Set to 1 Day(s)): Tuesday, Thursday

As you can see, there are many combinations of these three properties that will let you create most of the useful recur intervals that you could create in other apps like Todoist, Asana, or ClickUp.

If you’re so inclined, you don’t have to leave everything in English. If you’re using Ultimate Tasks, or have copied the formulas from the advanced template linked above, you’ll also have a Localization Key property that looks like this (the full version has some commented out instructions we don’t need to repeat here):

[ ["Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday", "Sunday"], ["Day(s)", "Week(s)", "Month(s)", "Year(s)", "Month(s) on the Last Day", "Month(s) on the First Weekday", "Month(s) on the Last Weekday"] ]

If you simply swap out any of those entries with your own words for the weekdays or the recur units, you can use them in the Recur Unit and Days (Only if Set to 1 Day(s)) properties! If English isn’t your native language, your second brain can now work even better with your first. (Note that the English names will always work, no matter what other options you set up.)

You can “complete” a recurring task directly inside of Notion simply by changing the Due Date property to the date displayed in the Next Due property after you finish the task.

Note that you do not need to click the Done checkbox property in this case, as it won’t do anything. If you want to be able to click Done and have the task automatically update its Due Date, then continue on to the next portion of the tutorial.

Using the Notion API, we can automate all sorts of processes inside of Notion that used to be done manually. This includes processing recurring tasks!

If you’re curious about the details, I’ve written about them in the two toggle sections below. Feel free to read those; otherwise, you can skip them and get right to building.

Essentially, an app can have an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows outsiders – including indie developers and even other apps – to work with certain pieces of its code.

Here’s an example of an API in action. In Slack, I can use the Giphy extension – which leverages the Giphy API – to paste a gif right in one of my conversations.

There are several tools – we can call them integration builders – that let you connect different app APIs together. Some focus on providing a set of no-code tools, allowing you to build automations without coding at all.

These include Zapier, IFTTT, Make.com, and others.

Others are code-light; they provide some no-code tools, but also allow you to write your own code – without having to worry about things like authentication, security, and server infrastructure.

Pipedream is one of those tools, and it’s the one I personally use to build all my automations – and to build automations that I can share with you in these tutorials.

If you’re curious, here’s how the automation of recurring tasks works – both in Notion an in basically any productivity app.

When you set up a recurring task and check it off as “Done”, here’s what happens from the app’s perspective:

  • The user has checked “Done”, so run the recurring tasks script
  • Update the Due Date as specified by the user’s recur interval (e.g. “every other day”)
  • Uncheck the “Done” box

There’s another way an app could handle recurring tasks: Instead of editing the task you checked off, it could create a duplicate of that task with the new due date. However, most productivity apps use the method I’ve just described instead.

My Ultimate Tasks template contains all the logic needed to calculate the Next Due Date right within the template itself. This is very useful – it allows you to use the manual method of updating recurring tasks if you want, but it also saves us the trouble of adding very complex date calculation code to our automation.

Here’s all that our automation will be doing.

  • Step 1: Search through your tasks database in Notion, looking for tasks that have been marked Done and that have a date displayed in the Next Due property.
  • Step 2: For each found task that fits those two criteria, update the Due Date property to have the date displayed in the Next Due property, and then un-check the Done checkbox property.

That’s it!

In the next section of the guide, I’ll walk you through the exact steps to setting up your automated recurring tasks workflow.

In order to use the Pipedream workflow below, you need to have the Formulas 2.0 updates for your Notion template’s database. If you’re on an older version, make sure to add the Ultimate Tasks updates or Ultimate Brain updates, at least for the Localization Key, Next Due, and Next Due API properties (in that order). If your template has Localization Key and Next Due API already, you’re good to go!

Now that your tasks database in Notion is all set up, all that’s left to do is create that automation that will actually process your completed recurring tasks.

I’ve built this workflow for you in Pipedream, an automation builder that allows developers to build and share workflows with others.

Since Pipedream allows me to use code to build workflows, I’m able to build truly custom tools that fit the exact needs of Notion users. (When I was using no-code builders like Zapier and Make, there were often a lot of limitations in my workflows – hence why I’ve switched to Pipedream).

To get started, click the link below to import my recurring tasks workflow into your Pipedream account. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one. And yes, it’s free!

Essential
Notion – Automated Recurring Tasks

This workflow adds completely automated recurring tasks to Notion.

Use This Workflow
This workflow is 100% free to use, and this link adds extra perks over the normal free Pipedream account. However, I'll earn a commission if you click this link and upgrade to a paid Pipedream account (at no extra cost to you).

Full disclosure: I’m both a heavy Pipedream user and an affiliate. If you use my link and decide to upgrade to a paid plan, I’ll earn a commission (and if you do, thank you! It helps support my work).

That said, Pipedream has a very generous free plan. You can do a lot more with their free plan than you can with the free plans of other automation builders.

And when you use my link, your Free plan gets even better. Normally, Pipedream‘s free plan limits you to 3 connected apps – but my link raises that limit to 5 connected apps, allowing you to build even more automations before needing to upgrade.

Once you’ve added the workflow to your account, follow the instructions in this brief video to get it all set up. That’s it!

That’s the end of this tutorial, but if you want to learn more and take your Notion workspace to the next level, check out some of my other tutorials:

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Fill out the form below and I’ll answer as soon as I can! ~Thomas