Monday, June 25, 2012

How do I use it. Recurrence.

Note: This is a new functionality. It is still in beta (beta functionality in a beta app - this should show how unstable it is ), so there might be errors or discrepancies - please, backup before updating. We are also very grateful if you write us about errors, misunderstandings, etc. Also, we're not 100% sure that the logic we're implementing is what is expected, so any suggestions are welcome, too.

The problem is that actions in our application are a bit different from usual todos in other apps - they are tied to goals and roles and they are assigned to days. Because week day logic has been in the application from the beginning, we had to align new recurrence functionality with the old weekday functionality. We are in the process of creating general logic for the recurrence and weekday assignment now, part of the work is presented in the latest update.

Just to give you a glance on the problem being solved, let's say we have an action assigned to the weekday "Wednesday". Now, you go and set recurrence of this action to "Once a day". So, the action must be shown everyday on the WeekPlan and at the same time it has a weekday set. We can go on with the decision to count recurrence of a higher priority and ignore weekday if recurrence is set to "everyday". But, what if you set recurrence to "Once a month" and select to do it every month on 22nd day. The question again - under which day should we show it now on the weekday?

The logic we're trying to follow for recurrences is as follows:
1. No recurrence, no weekday set - Action is shown in the Unset section of the WeekPlan.
2. Recurrence exists and set to Once. No weekday - same as above, unset section.
3. Recurrence exists and set to Once. Weekday is set -  action is shown once on the WeekPlan.
4. Recurrence is Once a day - action is shown for every day in the WeekPlan.
5. Recurrence is Once a week - action is shown for the week day chosen. e.g., Monday
6. Recurrence is Once a Month - action is shown on the day selected. E.g., 20th of each month.

7. When you do ( = set as done) recurring action for a concrete day, only that day's recurrence is counted as done. E.g., every day action done yesterday is shown as crossed, not done today - shown as usual.
8. Deleting a recurring action deletes all the instances, with the recurrence history. - This might be subject to change, we (meaning we and you :) ) have to think about it.

Below are some screenshots of the Action page and Recurrence setting page. It will definitely change in the next updates, since what we have there now is not how we wanted it to be, it's rather just a working prototype to be able to use and test new functions.

1. You can set recurrence by openning the dedicated page by clicking on the round arrows icon:

2. Initial view of the page. Choose recurrence by clicking on the text-button "Once":

3. Currently 3 types of recurrencies are supported:
Once - one-time action (default, no recurrence);
Once a day - every day action;
Once a week - every week action, you have to choose which weekday to repeat action on;
Once a month - have to choose day of month.

4. After recurrence is set, icon changes from grey to black:

And, as always, there are some nuances:
1. Choosing monthday is very simple and doesn't take into account amount of days in a month - will be improved.
2. Interesting side-effect of using week-plan: if it is a sunday and you look at the tomorrow's action count on the main page - it will show count for tomorrow, i.e., next monday. BUT, if you open the weekplan, you'll see actions of the previous monday there :). It looks like a bug, but it actually is not really - it is a real side-effect of using such WeekPlan system. If (or when) we move to more calendar-style WeekPlan showing, this should get fixed.
3. some other (they just MUST be there :-D) which we either don't remember (after sleepless nights implementing the recurrence :) or have not come around yet.


  1. Hi dear!

    Just a couple of months ago I started to get into Covey and his concepts. Great man, great inside. I sucked it up, just like that :).

    Though with your outstanding pioneer work These principles become alive - every day. I am following your posts, read them all and am excited for everything that is still ahead.

    Just a big thank you!

    1. Hi :)

      Thanks a lot for your words, knowing that something you do helps someone is a great feeling, thanks for giving it to us. :)

      Regarding "sucking up" - it is the way it has to be - you try, you fail, then try again, then fail again, then almost give up, but try again. Then you get what you want. I'm pretty sure this cycle is repeated for everyone, with different period - some get over sooner, some later.

      Covey's approach, as well as that of David Allen and many others - are all great tools. But they're basically only tools that help you, they won't do something instead of you - you and your persistence are the only real keys. So, our app might be of a help to you, but you should thank yourself for going further :)

  2. Hi there!

    Love your app, too! Great help, simple interface. Especially as recurrence is now activated!

    How adding these features?

    While on the FTF page, I have a hard time focussing on vital important goals. Sure, you can filter your actions by goals. But how about adding a filter by role? Or even the option mark long-term and short term goals and to hide them collectively or individually on the FTF page?


    1. Hi Lennart,

      Thank you for your feedback and for using the app. We have just uploaded the next version with filtering by Role on FTF and Actions page. Hope you'll like it.
      Regarding short/long-term option mark - we're thinking about it and might add with the next updates.

      Best regards,

  3. Have you considered habit chaining for those tasks and goals that are ongoing forever, like housework? I don't want to constantly achieve and reset that goal, but I would like some positive reinforcement. Chains work well for that, so I can see my chain of achievements.

    Also, it would be nice to have some rewards you can set yourself, like gold, silver, or bronze stars for different levels of actions achieved or chains built up, maybe with medals for bigger achievements and reaching goals.

    Some of my to-dos are, like housework, things I want to keep doing, where the doing is the goal, and the current app setup doesn't reward that very well. But apart from that, I love this app!

    1. Hi Zellieh,
      We haven't thought ourselves, but this idea has been proposed by our users. While not having anything against the idea of habit chaining itself, at this moment we think it would be difficult to integrate it. Firstly, technically. Next because it might add additional complexity to the app logic. And finally, because some of the core functions (like more elaborate widget) haven't been implemented yet.
      Thanks for the idea and for using the app.