Picture this: you’re managing a project with a year-long development cycle. This means that there would be a lot of recurring tasks and deliverables, right? Let’s do the math and take just reporting and meeting prep tasks. If we say that there’s one team meeting every week, it'd translate to roughly 52 meetings over the year. Now, that’s a lot of tasks to create manually.
I understand your pain. Nobody likes to do the same thing over and over again, especially not creative and motivated people like you and me.
So, you might ask yourself, “What if I could just automate this?” You've picked Notion for project management probably because it allows you to have everything you need in one place. But unlike Jira, Asana, and other project management apps, Notion doesn’t have the recurring tasks feature built-in.
To create recurring, you'll need to use an automation tool. In this article, we will cover the 5 ways you can create recurring tasks.
The common recurring task to set up in Notion.
Before we dive into the list and set things up, let’s first discuss some specific scenarios where using automated recurring tasks can save you a ton of time and effort. And most importantly, make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
If you use Notion for routine tracking, you must know that setting up the Notion database for this is pretty painful. Mainly because you will need to create 365 Notion pages every year. Later in the article, we will show you how to get Notion pages created every day and get them sent to you as a text message with the link to today's routine.
Making payments on time and planning your cashflows is crucial for your financial health and your business. You can create payment entries, recurring monthly, biweekly, or weekly so that nothing falls through the cracks. Besides saving you time, this will also ensure that there is no human error in the process.
Watch Red Gregory cover this use case:
This goes back to the example I shared in the introduction. Events is the most common recurring "task" type in Notion. Think of 1-1s, client meetings, and sprint planning that happen weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly.
If you use Google Calendar to set up your recurring events, check out this resource to learn more about how you can sync Google Calendar with Notion. There we cover how to create 2-way sync, import all events, set up Notion calendar automations and more.
To sum it up, any task that has to be completed repeatedly should be automated. Duh! And the reason most people don't do it is that they think it's long or complicated. It's much easier than you think, and you are about to see it for yourself!
Now that we’ve pinpointed the scenarios in which automating recurring tasks could be useful let’s go ahead and discuss five tools to create recurring tasks.
First, let's take a look at Bardeen. It's #1 on the list because it's the fastest to set up (~3 min) and you can do it for free. With a no-code, user-friendly interface, it’s the best and most straightforward option. Plus, you can do it for a whole lot more than just recurring tasks.
Let's create your first recurring task automation.
Step 1: Set up your task database
Before you create a recurring task, you will need to set up a Notion database to work from. Chances are, you probably have one in place. If you don’t, either create one from scratch or duplicate this template from the Notion Automation Hub.
Step 2: Download the Chrome Extension
Bardeen works where you do, right in your browser. This means that you can create and configure recurring tasks in Notion with a shortcut.
Step 3: Configure your automation (aka Autobook)
Click here to "Pin" the automation. This will save the automation to your account.
Now let's customize the frequency and the recurring task.
Hover over the Autobook card and click on “Open Autobook in Builder.” Then, customize the Initial Trigger “When a scheduled event occurs” to the frequency you need.
Step 3: Set up the recurring task
Now that you have scheduled the trigger to run this automation periodically let's configure the action that will create the task to Notion.
First, you need to add your Notion page to a database. Then, select the “Add Notion Page” action in the builder.
Selected the database and configure the page fields like “Name” and “Status.”
From here, click on "Save" and click on the X to close the Builder.
Step 4: Activate the Autobook
You will see your Autobook highlighted. To enable the playbook, click on the toggle icon.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully created your first recurring task in Notion using Bardeen!
If you need further help, watch the video tutorial above or ask your question in the Bardeen user community.
Up next, we have Make.com (formerly Integromat). It's a workflow automation tool with a drag-and-drop builder. Make allows for pretty complex automations, but sometimes the interface feels just as complex to figure out. Make.com has 1,000+ integrations so that you can create more complex automation with multiple apps.
Watch Thomas Frank, the productivity youtuber, explain creating recurring tasks in Notion using Make.com and Automate.io.
Zapier is another automation tool that integrates with Notion APIs. Its interface is a bit simpler compared to Make, but pricing is fairly steeper.
When it comes to recurring tasks, they come in two types: those that happen on specific days and those that repeat periodically (like every day/week/month).
If you need to set up recurrence on specific days, you'll need to buy a subscription. For the latter, good news and bad news. You can do it for free, but... only for 100 tasks per month.
This video by August Bradley will walk you through all the necessary steps to do that. In addition to that, he also shows how can do the same with Google Calendar.
If you’re a software developer, no doubt you've heard of Pipedream. It’s an integration platform used to build and run workflows that pull data from different web apps. You can call APIs without managing servers or creating any infrastructure.
With this being said, this option does require you to work with a bit of code. So, if you can’t distinguish between a bunch of code from lorup ipsum, you might want to try the other options in this guide. If you know what's up, however, here is how to set up recurring tasks with Pipedream:
- Preparing a database table
- Setting up a Notion integration
- Downloading a workflow from Gumroad by Tilde Labs and adding it to Pipedream
- Adding relevant parameters and scheduling the workflow
This is only a summary, however. In this detailed walkthrough, Simon from Better Creating will guide you through these steps.
Once you follow these steps, you can set it to run automatically, and new due dates will be added to tasks based on the interval that you’ve chosen. Granted, this method requires some technical know-how and takes time, but it’s pretty reliable and will save you a lot of redundant clicking in the long run.
5. Notion Formulas
OK, I know I said before that Notion doesn’t offer a way to automate recurring tasks. I didn’t lie. But there is a catch here. More of a "workaround" actually.
Unlike the other options on this list that use 3rd party tools and that are fully automated, the is a manual way. Be ready to do a bit of work.
How much work, you might ask? This requires you to develop a couple of formulas for Notion Next Due and State properties, although Thomas Frank offers a free template that you can use right away.
If you’re willing to do it by yourself, Simon from Better Creating comes to the rescue again with an awesome video that you can use as a guide. He talks about recurring tasks in the context of his wider productivity system.
Bonus: How to transfer existing tasks from third-party apps to Notion?
I hope that by now, you’ve figured out how to automate recurring Notion tasks using the above tools.
But if you chose to switch to Notion for project management, you most likely came to Notion empty-handed. Meaning that you ditched your Asana or Jira and started from scratch. Or you went the extra mile and spent a few hours (or days) copying data to Notion manually. 😬
What if I told you that you can transfer your pre-existing tasks from a third-party web app like Asana, Jira, or GitHub with a few clicks?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to spend hours copy-pasting. Using Bardeen, you can just transfer them directly. Here is a step-by-step video to guide you through the process:
To get more out of Notion, you need to be creative. It's great, but Notion won't cut it out of the box to do things right, especially for task and calendar management.
The missing part is often repetitive tasks and recurring events, which you may use for recurring payments, performance reports, routines, and much more.
In this article, I introduced you to five of the best ways to set up recurring tasks:
- Notion Formulas
I’ve also linked to detailed resources for each one, so feel free to go ahead and try out the platform that suits you best. As we all know, computers are great at performing repetitive tasks, so let’s leave that to them. As people, let’s focus on what we do best: chasing goals, following our passion, and creating value for others.