Repeated Tasks in Emacs Org

Timestamps in Emacs Org are easy. Setting timestamps for repeated tasks are more interesting. It is quite often in daily life that some tasks will be repeated day by day, such as having lunch and afternoon nap, taking exercise. Org has a repeater in a task with a deadline or scheduled.

1 Repeater in Org

**TODO take a noon nap
DEADLINE:<2018-03-04 Sun 12:30 +1d>

+1d is a time repeater. The task take a noon nap is intened to be done every day at 12:30. The interesting part is that everytime the state of the task is changed from TODO to DONE. The task will be changed to TODO again with the timestamp changed for the next day automatically. For the user, you will never see the DONE state. The task with a repeater is always in TODO state.

The d in +1d means day. In a straightforward way, it can be h for an hour, w for a week, m for a month, y for a year.

Deadlines and scheduled items generate an agenda item. If you want to be warned before a period you can add a warning period in the timestamp.

**TODO take a noon nap
DEADLINE:<2018-03-04 Sun 12:30 +1d -10m>

-3h means that the task will appear ten minutes before 12:30. For a traditional task with a TODO having a deadline or scheduled time, once it was done, the item will disappear from the agenda. However, for a task with a repeater, Org will increase the date of the timestamp by the interval indicated by the repeater then set the task to TODO state immediately. The task will appear in all the agenda from the timestamp on.

2 a special repeater

For +1d the repeater will always adding one day every time you change the task from TODO to DONE. However, for the task like taking a nap, having a deadline at 2018-03-04, if you forget to change it from TODO to DONE on 2018-03-04 and you do this on 2018-03-05, The timestamp will not change to 2018-03-06. It will be 2018-03-05, this is werid because you have already done the task on 2018-03-05. You have to chage the task from TODO to DONE again so that the deadline timestamp will be 2018-03-06.

For the scenario mentioned above, Org has repeaters with a special format ++ and .+ .

**TODO take a noon nap
DEADLINE:<2018-03-04 Sun 12:30 ++1d>

With ++1d the deadline of a repeated task will always be tomorrow everytime you change the state from TODO to DONE even you forget to finish it several times.

Actually, this kind of task is quite common in daily life. Taking calling your father weakly for example, if you forget to call him three weeks, it is impossible to call him three times in a week to make things up.

3 the .+ repeater

Similar with ++ , .+ will shift the date to the future after today . Take the following task for example,

**TODO pay the telephone fee
DEADLINE: <2018-03-04 Sun 09:17 .+1m>

If you finish this task on 2018-03-01, Org will shift the task like:

**TODO pay the telephone fee
DEADLINE: <2018-04-01 Sun 09:17 .+1m>

4 repeated period

Sometimes, you know how long the repeated task will last. Take the noon nap for example, usually I will set up a alarm to wake me up half an hour later. So, I can set the task with repeated period instead of repeated timestamp.

So the noon nap event will be like:

**TODO take a noon nap
SCHEDULE:<2018-03-04 Sun 12:30-13:30 ++1d>

This will schedule a noon nap every day from 12:30 to 13:00.

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