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Mastering Actions

Using Natural Language

Setting up tasks should be as easy as talking to an assistant. A lot of task managers we use, however, aren’t built to work like real people, instead functioning only through using buttons and calendars to pick out information.

With Actions, we believe that the first step to being more productive is to make it easy to create tasks. Through natural language processing, you’re able to tell Actions about your tasks just by writing in a normal way.

Natural language input is currently supported on Actions iOS and the web.

How to Use Natural Language Inputs

Let’s say you have to book a flight on February 1. Instead of picking through dates and typing in lots of information, we’ve made it simple: “Book a flight on February 1.”

Typing this phrase into an Action Card title will, rather than adding the Action to today, create a task for February 1 named “Book a flight.” In fact, you don’t even need to type out the word “February” – if you’d like, you can use the abbreviation.

Using natural language inputs speed up the Action creation process by keeping your mind focused on what you need, rather than an arbitrary workflow. This can manifest in many other ways, too – you can tell Actions to remind you of a task next Tuesday, on the 28th, or in a week.


One of our favorite applications of natural language processing is when Actions are to be repeated. For tasks that require a certain interval you can tell Actions to “Go to the store every Monday” or “Pay bill every 4 weeks.” Actions will then understand when a repeat Action should be set and create an Action Card for that particular day. Repeating actions are determined by strings like “every,” “every other,” “daily,” “monthly,” “yearly,” “Mondays,” “Tuesdays,” etc.

Example phrases

  • Call Mom every Friday
  • Check the mail March 1
  • Go to the bank next Thursday
  • Review money spent every two weeks
  • Coffee Sundays at 4 pm
  • Pay rent on the 1st of every month
  • Coffee every other Sunday at 4 pm starting June 4th until October 4th
  • Meeting every other day at 9 am

Note: Natural language inputs are only available for the English language at this time.