Reoccurring tasks that can't be scheduled

Hello everyone,
I think Beeminder is great for tasks that I want to do daily or for which I roughly know how frequent I have to do them. But I have tasks, that have to be done frequently but I don’t know how often. I’m looking for a solution to track these.
As I’m writing this, I realise how hard it is to find words for it, so let me give you some examples:

  • At work I have to prepare Workitems for other people every couple of weeks. I get away with doing it right before it’s needed, but would like to be a bit more proactive.
    – How much time should I block? How often should I do it?
  • I review my backlog of open tasks.
    – I had a calendar entry and week after week I finished the task way bevor it was scheduled because I remembered it and thought, well let’s just finish it then.
    – I just hate calendar entries that are less than half an hour.

But I think this has potential for other recurring things in life

  • I like cooking, but I have some meals I forget about. Often I have no clue what to cook next and at the same time I remember meals and think it was way too long since the last time I cooked it.
    – Schedule them in a task app to reoccur every couple months? Won’t work some are really seasonal.
    – Scheduling eating pizza ever two weeks feels kinda forced. I’d rather looke what I have not cooked the longest.

The process I would like to do is:
After doing X, ask myself if doing it the last time was too long ago, perfectly timed or too soon. After that get a recommendation for when to do it next time. Maybe (depending on task at hand) if the proposed time was right.

I hope to get from it:

  • a recommendation. “Doing X every N Days seems to work good for you, tomorrow is the next time then”
  • an approximation of how long it usually takes me. "You seem to spend roughly N hours on this, better block some time for it.
  • on days where I’m unsure what to do my next coming up recurring tasks to decide if I can do them already. That would take the burden from to decide, what to do and just start.

Has anybody an Idee, how to achieve this? My gut feeling is that there already exists an app that I don’t know of. My programming heart tells me to just code it myself, but I know how much time that would take me and I have other stuff to do at the moment :confused:


Wooo, that sounds interesting! So you want a to-do list that maybe has some of these qualities:

  • it knows when to-dos are about the “same thing” (maybe via labels?)
  • when you tick off a thing of category X, it updates some internal log of how often you do things in cateogyr X
  • then it prompts you with something like “ah, it looks like you do these about every 9 days on average, and this one was done 3 days after the last one - would you like me to schedule another one in 5 days?”

All of which has “code me!” written all over it, I must admit :slight_smile: Maybe you could start from some existing thing like (say) Todoist, and use the APIs to run the calcs? You could even batch up the prompting and scheduling to a weekly review, or something like that?

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Yes, but even more to resurface Ideas. Like Anki for Activities.
I have found one implementation here:


I literally use Anki to resurface ideas and possible activities.

Created a custom schedule so that even ‘easy’ is due again after 2-3 days, because that’s I set that as the maximum interval. And a ‘hard’ interval that makes it due after 1 day. You’ll soon have more ‘due’ cards than the daily limit for that deck, so it’ll show you a selection of your least recently seen ideas.

It’s imperfect for my use case, because I more want to see a fairly random selection of ideas so that my brain will make connections. Also, I’m less good at creating new Anki idea cards than I used to be. But I’m often surprised at what comes to the surface and how relevant it can be.


Wow, thanks for that idea, that was too obvious too literally try anki for that.
I’ll try that