Best task manager for repeating and template checklists

I’m a long time OmniFocus user (Wow, just looking back it’s 11 1/2 years) who’s pretty much IOS only (for task management.)

At work we use (not a patch on OF, but it’s what we’re using)

So I’m left using OmniFocus 3 for my personal projects and for recurring “checklists” like my weekly, monthly and annual reviews and various other repeating projects, plus ad hoc templates for e.g. packing for holidays. I can’t see that I’m going to move to Omnifocus 4 as it would be a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

So what are others using to manage regularly repeating checklists and templated checklists. It must work on iOS and ipadOS (Ideally also available on Windows), the regular checklists must appear on schedule (i.e. it doesn’t need me to trigger it) and must allow me to create ad hoc checklists from templates. Subscriptions aren’t a barrier so long as they provide value for money.

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I’m using Reminders.

Check out GoodTask. It uses reminders backend but had a ton you can do on top of this. Such as quick actions, tags, templated reminders with sub tasks. Also allows calendar and reminders in same view which I prefer, and works great for widgets.

It’s really what reminders should be. But since uses reminders sync you still get all the reminders built in goodies (Siri dictate, backlinks, native integration,etc).

It also has Kanban style options if that’s your thing too.


I think Todoist is great. The free plan should be more than enough for this. Also with their markdown support you can make really robust lists that have links and online documentation, etc… the recurring schedules Todoist supports are likely more than you’ll need. You can repeat on regular schedules and you can repeat after completing a task using the “every! 4 days” syntax.

Templates are similar to other apps. You can use Drafts with some actions or you could just create a template project and keep any lists in there where you can dupe and schedule as needed.


Does that do repeating projects?

Depends on how you are defining this. It does repeating tasks but not projects (Lists) located on the left. I use a list for each major project and then create “sub-projects” in the task list and indent tasks under those. Sorry if this obvious and I’m not answering your question.


I do this in Obsidian, which is free for personal use and is available on macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and Windows. The Tasks plugin in Obsidian handles recurring actions with considerable flexibility – very similar to what is available in Todoist.

Obsidian supports templates that can be used for checklists.

Because Obsidian works with locally maintained, plain text files you can create tasks easily in other software.

For example, I use Shortcuts on my Watch as well as Drafts on any platform to create properly formatted tasks and save them to the appropriate Obsidian files.

I manage Recurring Projects by using Excel to do the date arithmetic needed for scheduling. Key event dates are set in Excel fixed cells. Tasks are assigned to a key event and an offset. The spreadsheet date arithmetic and concantenation formulas construct properly formatted and scheduled tasks. The tasks are then copied into an Obsidian project, where the Tasks plugin recognizes them and uses them as if they were home-grown.

It takes only a few minutes to clone one project spreadsheet, say, “Take a Business Trip” for use with a different project, perhaps, “Onboard New Employee”.

You need only change the key event labels, add the applicable tasks, assign them to key events and offsets and you are good to go. Once you have the setup in Excel, you can use the spreadsheet to create properly formatted and scheduled tasks for projects of arbitrary complexity as fast as you can assign the key event dates to each instance of the project.

Another advantage of managing projects in Obsidian is that any number of other files can be linked to projects - records of telephone calls or meetings, emails, YouTube videos, etc.


+1 for Obsidian and +1 for GoodTask, with the latter, probably being the more elegant solution, though you might want to re-think repeating projects into repeating tasks, I am sure you can use duplicate lists and/or templates to make it work.

Not working on windows, but… Due or Recurrence?

It must work on iOS and ipadOS (Ideally also available on Windows)

Todoist, as @kennonb suggested, is my suggestion too. It’s powerful enough for what you need and has a robust web app that I use on my work Dell laptop regularly with a lot of success.

Have you been able to create recurring projects with Todoist?

Yes, I have. Todoist uses natural language input quite well, so I can easily have multiple tasks in a project repeat as often as I need.

Interesting. I wasn’t able to figure that out and wonder if we are talking about different scenarios. By "recurring project’ I mean something like “Take a Business Trip” where the same tasks are required for both a trip to NYC and a subsequent trip to LA, but the tasks must be scheduled based on different key event dates. Something like “Pick up the Mail on Return Date + 1 day” or “Board the dog on Departure Date - 2 days.”

All of the tasks in my repeating projects are due on the same day, so that’s not an issue.

You can use Drafts to do this. There is a Markdown parser for Todoist in the actions repository, and you can setup “templates” within Drafts that can schedule based on different dates.

Action: Todoist Quick Add V3 - With Notes, Reminders, and default project | Drafts Directory

  1. Create a draft action that asks for the name of the trip, and date
  2. Create a step that inserts a template with those merge fields added in to each place you need it to be:

[[Trip]] [[Date]]
Pick up the mail on return date [[date]] +1 day
Board the dog on departure date [[date]] -2 days

  1. Then include an action that runs the Todoist Markdown parser.

It’s a bit complicated, but it is possible.


Thanks @kennonb, I didn’t know how to do this and was going to do some research for @bjb to see if I could help out. I’m new to Drafts, so this will be helpful for me too.

Macos, ios only: Things 3

Very pleasant ui. Does checklists and repeats. I prefer it over Goodtask and Todoist. It’s a native app on both macos and ios.


The beauty of OmniFocus for me is that it can scale up or down based on my needs. I don’t have to use all of the features. I can just use a subset. I have Microsoft Office but I’m not gonna be using the engineering equations in Excel or many of the other features in Word. I probably use 5% of the power of MS Office. I have to use it because it’s the standard in the office.

When I’m on a windows machine,I’ll log into OF for Web

I agree @Wilson_Ng, but at the moment, I have no need for OmniFocus 4 (although when it’s released I will take a look) and while I know that Omni are usually good with long term support for EOL products, I’m resigned to the fact that sooner or later Omni support may leave OF 3 behind.

I also have a concern that at some point Omni may decide to move to a Subscription only model, and I really can’t justify that level of expenditure for my current use of OF (IOS/ipadOS only for recurring checklists)

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I use Things 3 as well. It is great at recurring tasks (I’ve never tried a recurring project, but I see it supports that too). The best thing I like about it is you can say, repeat this task every 3 months on the last Saturday of the month. I don’t know of any other task managers that have this feature. I love it, because some tasks I want to do on the weekends when I have more time to devote to it. For example, I do this for my quarterly planning which takes me a couple of hours, so I want to do it on a Saturday.