Durations and recurring tasks

I’m new, and trying to learn, but learning involves getting my tasks list up and running on CODA so I can make it better.

One of the basics in my current task list (in Excel, with lots of VBA) is updating the start date of a recurring task when the “completed” column is double-clicked. The recurrence patterns can be pretty complex (“MONTHS 1” = every month, “SAT” = every Saturday, “LAST SAT” = LAST SATURDAY of the month, “DAYS 3” = every 3 days, etc.)

I thought I could use durations in my recurrence patterns, in Coda, but they won’t do what I need for the recurrence patterns that aren’t outright “x many months/days/weeks.” Even if they could, it appears that you can ONLY have durations in days, not mix days with weeks and months, etc. - am I right?

Any suggestions for how to click a button and move the startdate field of a row into the future based on weird patterns like this in the recurrence column?

I’m making a little progress. I’ll have set values in my recurrence pattern column (DAYS 2, WEEKS 3, MONTHS 6, YEARS 1, etc.). I’ll have a button that updates thisrow.specificColumn to a value of [start date] + last(split(recurrence," ")).

But is there “date math” in CODA that goes beyond just adding days? Is there a function like Excel’s DateAdd function?

Hi @Cara_Madra,
there is also RelativeDate() (see Reference) where you can add/subtract months from a reference date.

If you could share your example, maybe it would be easier to have an idea of your context.


Thanks. It’s kind of so intricate that it’s embarrassing, but I’ll try to figure out how to explain what I’m doing in Excel. I’m thinking I may have to have a separate “reference” table that holds formulas (or variables for formulas) to use based on the recurrence pattern I’ve got for each task.

I’ll create a new topic for explaining what I’m trying to accomplish.

Actually, I’ll just put it here. It’s long and will be seen as “silly” by some, but it’s what I need to keep my life straight. The most important columns right now, as I try to move to Coda from Excel, are the start dates and recurrence, and how I automate that in Coda.

The VBA code that I have behind my double-clicking the columns is pretty messy and intricate and I can change it anytime I figure out that something’s not right, so that flexibility is pretty nice. It’s the ability to enter pretty much any recurrence that I need that I really like about this.

What I DON’T like about this is that the master list is not at my finger tips when I’m mobile. So I currently have a Toodledo account, and I use Excel to pick the tasks I want to work on this week. I paste in my tasks to Toodledo, then use the 2Do iOS app to access them on my phone.

I’d much rather do this all in Coda!

Hi @Cara_Madra,
I don’t think it’s silly… You need a task management like - perhaps - 98% of us is building!

I believe that through Coda might me much simpler (and more fun!) than with VBA. :wink:

I followed your list: let me know if it sounds familiar:

I still have to better understand and think how to implement the Repeat action: if you already have something, try to post it and I’ll have a look.

I used table for the lookups (instead of a simple list) because it’s easier to have decouple rules and ad-hoc metrics as well as specific enhancements. Feel free to simplify them.

Please, do let me know if it’s in the right direction.

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Thanks for the effort. I’m not sure I understand the purpose of the “Advance to,” “Back to” and “Move to today” buttons - I would do that all (with the exception of “back to,” which I wouldn’t need) through my repeats, I think. I actually planned to have my Master List with a view to a “hot list” (higher urgency/priority tasks that have start dates up to today) where I would “star” the tasks that I wanted to focus on, and those would show up in a view for “today.”

The RECURRING automation is my biggest need. I think I can handle the goals, priorities, urgencies via select lists.

I started to try to write what I was doing with the repeats, and what it really comes down to is that I need a way

  1. to say if the “repeat from” date should be the start date or TODAY or YESTERDAY (if I forget to complete what I did yesterday)
  2. to indicate the interval type (days, months, weeks, years)
  3. to indicate the interval
    That’s why Excel’s dateadd works so well - you can do that with a single function (the interval type and interval, anyway, and I handled the rest in code).

Does Coda consider requests for new functions?

My other REPEAT needs (repeat every last friday, repeat every monday and thursday) – well, I’ll have to figure those out. In Excel, I wrote fairly intricate VBA code to figure the right next date out. I could probably work that off a calendar, for now.

Again - thanks. My tasks list has become a very personalized thing, for me.

Dear @Federico_Stefanato,

Great detailed explanation from where many users will benefit, having also in mind the import option of Gdocs.

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Thank you, @Jean_Pierre_Traets!

Although I believe this is not what @Cara_Madra actually wanted :grimacing:

Now I’ll try do dig a bit more…

Hi, @Cara_Madra,
I guess we are thinking of different ways of managing tasks.

I usually try to build up the overall design in order to minimise the actions from the user’s perspective.
Meaning that all the potential actions should be pushed by explicit buttons (user- or automation- triggered). This also significantly increase the efficiency from a mobile perspective.

  • Create new task
  • Prioritise for today
  • Start Working
  • Complete Task
  • Remove from the list

Also, I try to keep in mind all the metrics I want to collect (transition times, story points, estimation discrepancies, etc).

However, I’m still struggling to understand your “recurring” automation process.

I have the feeling you are thinking of your solution as a requirement and not vice-versa (sometimes it’s quite subtle and sneaky…).

I’d be happy to help you but I need to get a better view of it: what if instead of trying to explain the overall principle, you just tell your ideal task lifecycle; from its creation to the actions you wish to perform?

Thank you!

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Is there any way to upload video to this forum? I have a screen capture that shows exactly what I do - might make it easier to understand than a narrative.

YouTube or Loom link would work, or a GIF.
I don’t think we allow full video files. Those tend to take up quite a bit of space pretty quick.

I had something to upload but don’t really want to deal with those external sites and don’t (yet) know how to turn my video into a GIF.

In the meantime, I kept playing with this, and did find a way to make a “Done” button advance my start date in the case of simple recurrence patterns. However, many of my patterns are not simple, and I just don’t see Coda getting me where I need to be as quickly as I need to be there, unfortunately, for this project.

I plan to keep trying to use it for more simple things, and keeping up with any features that are added, in the hopes that I can get away from having to reference this Excel workbook that I can’t really access online (because of my VBA).

Thanks to everyone who tried to help …