When it comes to using any task manager, checking off tasks is of course easy, but typing and inputting tasks sometimes is a bit tedious. But recently I started using an IFTTT automation that creates no-due-date tasks in Todoist each time I complete tasks in a specified project. Keep reading and I’ll explain what it is and how I use it.
How It Works
In Todoist, as with other task managers, you can create recurring tasks that show up in your Today list based on the recurring dates you set.
For example, I have several daily tasks for cleaning my mail inbox and writing in my journal during National Journal Writing Month. I have a few monthly tasks for sending out client invoices, and several yearly blog related tasks that must get done.
But then there are tasks that I regularly perform that I don’t want to assign a due date to because I don’t always do them every week, month, or year on a particular day or date. However, I also don’t want to type and input tasks I perform on a regular basis.
So I use a few Todoist related web applets in IFTTT (If Then Then That) automates the task creation and inputting for me. I call these tasks No-Due-Date tasks.
Examples of my no-due-date tasks include:
- Wash clothes
- Wash and clean out the car
- Catch up on RSS feeds in Feedly
- Cook a pot of oatmeal in InstaPot
- Read three or more chapters in a book
As much as I would like to schedule a particular day each week or every other week for these tasks, it simply doesn’t work out that way. I’ve tried setting recurring dates for some of the above tasks and I ended up postponing the dates several times or removing the recurring dates all together.
There are some weekends when I won’t be able to wash my car or cook a pot of oatmeal, but I do want to schedule those tasks when I think they need to be done. And most of all, I don’t want to manually re-input those tasks when I need to schedule them.
A few weeks ago, I discovered an article, “How to Create Tasks Without a Due Date,” published back in 2016. The article and site for some reason have broken links and it doesn’t illustrate very well how to set up the IFTTT automation. Thus, I’m using my blog space to show how to set it up, because I think it’s a powerfully useful automations for IFTTT and Todoist users.
Basically, the automation consist of using an IFTTT applet that creates a new task each time a specified task is completed. So for example, when I complete the scheduled task, “Wash and clean out car,” IFTTT will recreate that task in a designated project, and I can later just reschedule or just check off that task when I plan to do it again.
Here’s how to set up the IFTTT applet for Todoist.
Step 1: Link your Todoist Account
If you don’t already have an IFTTT account, you’ll need to register for one and link your IFTTT account to your Todoist account. Note: this setup may require the premium version of Todoist, but the IFTTT set up is free.
Step 2: Create a No-Due-Date Project
In my Todoist list, I have a project (really it’s an area of focus, not a project, but that’s the label Todoist uses) titled Weekend Tasks, which is a sub-project of my Home Project.
You don’t have to keep your no-due-date tasks in a single folder, but I’m going to explain why you should.
In my Weekend Tasks project, I so far have five tasks that I sometimes do on the weekend, but never every weekend, and sometimes I perform one or two during the week. If I get around to completing one or more of those tasks, I simply check them as a complete.
I might also set a due date for a Weekend Task to make sure it pops up in my Today list. (Notice the screenshot above, I’ve set a due for Wednesday instead of a weekend day.)
The most important thing about this Weekend Tasks project is that anytime I click one or more of those tasks as complete, the IFTTT automation will recreate those completed tasks for me to use again later.
So create a no-due-date project and create task no-due-date tasks. Note, you can add and edit tasks in the project without it conflicting with the automation.
Add a New IFTTT Applet
In your IFTTT account, locate and click on the New Applet button, and then click the blue “+this” words. Next, type “Todoist” in the search field.
Click on the “New completed task.” And then select your project from the drop-down menu. See the screenshot below.
Click the “Create trigger” button and then click on the blue “+that” letters, and type in “Todoist” in the search field.
Click on the “Create task” action.
Step 3: Configure the IFTTT Applet
Now you’re ready to configure the applet.
In the “Create task” part, check the “Which project?” drop-down and select the no-due-date project you created. This means when the applet fires, it will create a new task in that project.
Next, remove the “Todoist tasks completed-“ content because you want the applet to simply recreate completed tasks without and not include the words “Todoist task completed.”
For the rest of the configuration, leave the Due date blank, and if you want, add a priority level for the new tasks. Next, click the “Create action” button.
Step 4: Test the IFTTT Applet
- Make sure the applet is turned on.
- Now go back to your Todoist project and click one of your tasks in the project so it’s marked as completed.
- Next, go back to the IFTTT applet and click the “Check now” button.
- Go back to your Todoist and click on gear button on top right, and click on Sync. If everything is set up okay, a completed task should be recreated in the project, ready to reschedule and reuse when you want.
Of course you don’t have to click the “Check now” button each time to make it run, but sometimes, it may take several minutes to run in the background.
Note also that you can edit the applet by clicking on the gear button on the top-right.
You can edit your create applets at anytime. I created several IFTTT automation workflows which meant editing the configurations until I got what I wanted.
More IFTTT-Todoist Ideas
Creating the IFTTT applet is a little tedious, but after you create them, they can help reduce the need to recreate tasks that you perform regularly. I wish Todoist had this type of automation baked into its software, but one the reasons I returned to Todoist is because of this type of web integration.
I’m still creating no-due-date projects and tasks. As I was writing this article, I created a set of regularly performed computer tasks. Notice the tasks are written in the past-tense because typically I perform such tasks while working at my computer.
So basically I’m giving myself Karma points for completing these tasks, and I also can review my Karma and see where I’m spending most of my time during the week.
I’m also developed a list of tasks for grocery items I that I purchase mainly just for me. My wife does most of the other grocery shopping.
These are grocery items that I don’t buy every week, but when I’m at the store, I can review the list or check off the items I purchase, and the IFTTT automation will recreate the checked item.
Here are some more different ideas for IFTTT applets with Todoist. If you find this article useful, let me know and I'll write about the other applets I’m using. Also, an article I wrote over year ago about how I automate features in Todoist using Keyboard Maestro and BetterTouchTool. At some point I will update that article now that I’m back using Todoist.
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