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< Productivity Glossary
Recurring Events (Calendar)

What are recurring events?

A recurring event is a calendar event that’s set to automatically repeat more than once. This allows you to automatically schedule multiple events into the future, without having to create individual events for every future occurrence. This is especially useful for events that happen regularly, such as:

  • Weekly meetings: Staff meetings, team huddles, or your weekly yoga class.
  • Monthly bills: Rent, utilities, or your gym membership fee.
  • Daily tasks: Taking your medication, watering the plants, or walking the dog.
  • Yearly events: Birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.

How do recurring events work?

Here’s how to set up recurring events in your calendar app:

  • Setting up the recurrence: When creating an event, you can choose how often it repeats. Common options include daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. You can also specify the exact days of the week or month the event should occur or even create custom patterns (e.g., every other Tuesday).
  • End date: You can choose how long the event series should continue. You can set a specific end date, have it repeat forever, or have it repeat for a certain number of occurrences.
  • Managing changes: If you need to make changes to the event details, such as the time or location, you can often apply those changes to the entire series of recurring events or just to future occurrences.

Using recurring events can help you stay organized and on top of your schedule. They can also be a great way to remind yourself of important tasks and commitments.

What are the benefits of recurring events?

Recurring events are a powerful tool in any calendar app, offering several benefits for both personal and professional organizations. Here are some of the key advantages:

  • Reduced manual input: Instead of manually creating the same event over and over, you can set it to repeat on a specific schedule, saving you time and clicks.
  • Batch scheduling: Schedule multiple occurrences of an event at once, perfect for weekly fitness classes, monthly team meetings, or annual doctor appointments.
  • Visual consistency: See your entire routine laid out clearly, helping you anticipate upcoming commitments and avoid double-booking.
  • Predictability: Recurring events provide a predictable structure to your schedule, making it easier to plan ahead and manage your time effectively.
  • Automatic invitations: Calendar apps can automatically send invitations to attendees for each occurrence of the event, so everyone is on the same page.
  • Shared understanding: Recurring events help establish consistent expectations and routines within teams or groups.

What are the downsides of recurring events?

While they offer convenience for predictable tasks, they often fall short of addressing the dynamic nature of our daily lives and priorities. Here's a breakdown of the main issues with repeating calendar events:

1. Inflexibility & lack of context

Recurring events treat every event in the series as equal, ignoring potential changes in importance, urgency, or available time. This can lead to overscheduling and feeling overwhelmed, especially when unexpected events arise. 

Standard recurring events also don't consider the broader context of your workload or other commitments, potentially creating conflicts and making it difficult to prioritize them effectively. Reclaim Habits can help you schedule flexible time for recurring tasks and routines, and Smart Meetings allow you to flexibly schedule your recurring meetings at the best time every week, auto-rescheduling when things change.

2. Manual setup & maintenance

Recurring events are also not automated on your calendar — setting up and modifying recurring events requires manual input, which can be tedious and time-consuming, especially for complex schedules.

This manual process is prone to errors and inconsistencies, further adding to the burden of managing your calendar.

3. The recurring nature alone isn't enough

Simply repeating an event regularly doesn't address the need for adaptation or adjustment based on changing circumstances.

Unexpected conflicts, changes in priority, or even personal energy levels can require deviating from the rigid schedule imposed by recurring events.

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