Implement task duration in @Todoist (workaround with @IFTTT)

Todoist is a great todo list and integrates with other applications such as Google Calendar or Sunrise in such a way that you can see your tasks in this wonderful calendar application.

Unfortunately, Todoist doesn’t yet support defining the duration of the tasks, so by default every task is shown as 1 hour duration. This is obviously less than ideal if you want to plan your day properly.

In order to overcome this problem I’ve found a workaround using IFTTT and Google Calendar. In my setup I link Google Calendar to Sunrise, my favorite calendar app (you can integrate Google Calendar with many other apps).

Steps

  1. Create a new recipe in IFTTT so that whenever you create a new task then an event is created in your Google Calendar. In my case I have modified this recipe, only the tasks created with the label @s! appear in my calendar.

The full recipe is shown below:

QuickaddeventIn order to simplify the process you can use this recipe and modify as you wish.

  1. Add your tasks to Todoist using Google Calendar quick event format. It’s quite simple and intuitive. E.g. @s! Study Anki flashcards for 30 minutes today at 12:00

  2. This will trigger IFTTT to create a new event in my Google Calendar, showing the specified duration of the task (instead of the default 1 hour). It will also include a link back to the original Todoist task so when I have completed I can mark it off in Todoist very easily. This is how it looks like in Google Calendar and Sunrise

Event in Google Calendar
Event in Google Calendar

 

 

 

Sunrise capture
Event in Sunrise

 

 

As you can see it’s pretty easy and it just works fine as workaround until the task duration functionality is implemented in Todoist. If you have any question please leave a comment below.

 

 

  • Kef

    This is great but it interferes with other automation that you might have setup. I have setup my phone to silence when a meeting is taking place. To have it do that when you are just running an errand is not ideal.

  • Carolina

    Alberto, I tried implementing this for my Todoist today, but I had an issue and was wondering if you had any idea how to fix it. I tried the recipe that you shared, but no matter what day I put for the task, it would show up on my Google calendar as being today. I tried putting dates next month, different days of the week, but they all were scheduled as happening today. Any ideas how to fix it? I have no idea what I’m doing wrong…
    Thanks!

    • alberto_villa

      Hi Carolina, I think the problem is due to the new Todoist online parsing. Could you try to deactivate it and try again? Have a look at the instructions below:

      https://support.todoist.com/hc/en-us/articles/205989121-How-to-enable-or-disable-inline-date-parsing-

      • Carolina

        Alberto, this worked like a charm! My only complaint is that if I set it to be a recurring date, then it will not read the task length and assume it’s one hour. But I can always go back and edit it manually on my Google calendar. Definitely, definitely much better than before. Thanks for replying so quickly!

        • alberto_villa

          Hi Carolina, the quick-add event for recurring events doesn’t work as well as the non-recurring events. When you use “for X minutes” it seems that it doesn’t recognize it, however, it’s possible if you specify the start and end hour. For example, you can create a recurring event like this: “Play chess every Saturday from 17:00 to 17:20”.

          The trick as in other cases is avoiding the use of Todoist functionality for setting the dates and times and write the task in a way that Google can understand the “quick event” format.