Todoist to Zapier to Beeminder Question


#1

Hi all,
I’m new to the site but think I have the basics of manually updated goals figured out. I’ve set up a beeminder goal to record the NET amount of tasks completed on my to-do list, i.e. [Number of tasks completed today] minus [Number of new tasks added to the list] = X. The idea is that as long as X is a positive number over time, my to-do list is growing shorter and not un-manageably longer. Right now this is a manually calculated and recorded goal, and I could see it being easy to get sick of all the calculation over time and stopping.

Is there a way to calculate the Net tasks completed number directly from Todoist through Zapier? I don’t currently use Todoist as my to-do list, but I’d be willing to try using it if I could automate this piece. I know there is a Zap for total tasks completed in Todoist, but I don’t know what other trigger fields are available.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Dan


#2

As an update, I went and got a zapier account. You can use either completed tasks or new tasks as a trigger, but it’s not clear to me that you can combine both into a single trigger by subtracting counts.


#3

It sounds like what you’re fundamentally after is whittling down the total size of your backlog of tasks, right? It might be best to beemind that directly with a Whittle Down goal where the metric is just [current size of to-do list]. Would you consider doing this via Trello? If so I have some ideas I’ll point you to. Also our HabitRPG (recently renamed Habitica!) integration includes an option for whittling down the size of your To-Do list. If you’re into Habitica’s delightful nerdery then that’s my first recommendation.

But to answer the question more directly, what about two recipes (or zaps, as Zapier calls them): one sends a +1 to Beeminder when you add a task and the other sends a -1 to the same Beeminder goal when you complete a task.

PS: Todoist also has an IFTTT channel and if you want to do other fancy things with IFTTT triggers you might want to check out our IFTTT macros.


#4

Thank you for the suggestions. In a sense I’m trying to whittle down the to-do list, yes.

I’ve tried Trello in the past and it didn’t fit with my organizational sense, and Habitica doesn’t look like my thing either.

What you are describing in your second paragraph makes sense- I’ll play around with that idea. I didn’t realize that 2 different zaps could feed into the same beeminder goal. We shall see!

Also the IFTTT macros look really interesting, I’ll try those out as well.


#5

Ok, proof of concept is done, and it works!: https://www.beeminder.com/danhanson/goals/tasklistsize

still have to decide if a paid zapier account is worth it to get access to all available queries. The free account is limited to sampling from just a specific project.


#6

Does IFTTT make that question moot? (As much as I hate to discourage people from getting paid Zapier accounts, since we love Zapier.)


#7

I haven’t got that far but if I can do it on IFTTT or with the macros for free, I’ll probably go that route.


#8

I think the approach of two recipes – one for “to-do added → +1 to beeminder” and one for “to-do completed → -1 to beeminder” – should work fine on IFTTT for free and no need for the fancy macros (which are also free).


#9

ok, the IFTTT 2-recipe approach worked. It is connecting to IFTTT and pulling the data points. I’m not sure if I screwed up the Beeminder goal by changing from a Zapier source to an IFTTT source on the same goal, but the graph is stuck on regenerating. Is there a setting I should change?


#10

ok, graph is acting normal now. Thanks for all your time, Daniel in helping me in the right direction.


#11

Hi, I am trying to do something similar with my pocket list (whittle down the total number of unread pocket articles using IFTTT) but it doesn’t seem to work for me. Specifically, a “-1” triggered by an archived item will not subtract one, but will set the counter to -1. I am sure I am missing something basic… is whittle down the wrong goal type?


#12

Yeah, a Whittle Down goal is like an odometer goal – you report the absolute number each time, not the delta. If you convert the goal to custom (which requires the Bee Plus premium plan) then you can turn on auto-summing and then sending a “-1” will do what you expect, adding the -1 to the total. Email support if you need help with that!