A small tip for repeating tasks in Things 3

// Solving important stuff over here...

There’s this thing in Things1 where you can set deadlines. And there are repeating items, and you can set deadlines for repeating items.

Below it’s what it looks like. I always left that number to zero, being too lazy to spend any time in understanding what it actually does2.

Today I had 30 seconds to spare, so I gave it a go and it turns out it’s pretty useful.

Ok but you may ask, how is this helpful? And how does it work? Calm down and let me show you.

There are some repeating tasks that I want to get done every weekend, between Friday and Sunday. I may start them on Friday but I don’t have to finish them the same day: I still have time until Sunday.

Until now I was using a repeating task set to Friday, with deadline set to 03 and I was then annoyed for the next two days seeing that small red indicator telling me I was late in completing the task. My face glued to the screen, feeling attacked by that little red flag, I would whisper to it: I still have time until Sunday, so calm the fuck down, will ya?”

Well, as it turns out, you can set the When date to Sunday, and the deadline to 2 days earlier4. Now your task will pop up in your Today list on Friday, with a deadline for Sunday.

And once again, a tiny-almost-irrelevant-problem has been solved.

  1. Yes, I wrote that.↩︎

  2. While Things 3 is a masterpiece of simple and effective UI, I think the wording here is not immediate. Or at least, that’s why I never used this option until now.↩︎

  3. Icon badges shouldn’t stress you out, displaying high numbers of things you need to check; they should act as a quick you to understand if there’s something you really need to check out.↩︎

  4. This is what I mean when I say that it’s not immediate. The deadline is not set to two days before, but two days later. On the iPhone at least there is a little help text that says Each copy has a deadline. It will appear in your Today list on the same day / 1 day earlier / 2 days earlier , etc.”↩︎

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