Across-the-Board Take a Break Option

Feature request: a general Take a Break feature that the user enters once and Beeminder propagates to all their goals, WHICH ALSO supercedes the max safety buffer setting. (That is, if you’re in a break period, Beeminder ignores the max safety buffer setting until the break is over.)

Motivation: if you have more than a couple of goals, it’s a real pain to have to enter in a break for each one of them (if you get sick, say, or go on vacation).

Why this feature would be good: the painfulness of hand-entering a break for each goal has at least a couple of akratic downsides.

  • It’s tempting to add fake data points to get through the break period, because that’s much less painful
  • The pain adversely interacts with trimming safety buffer (“I’d like to make sure I do these sixteen goals at least every three days, but I don’t want to derail if I get sick”)

That would be lovely for summer breaks or health emergencies.

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Funny I was just thinking of asking the same a couple of days ago as I was painfully dialing down each of my goals one by one in preparation for an upcoming holiday.

As long as the break is decided well in advance and doesn’t fall in the akratic horizon of any of the goals, I don’t see how that could be interpreted as weaseling out.


YES, YES, YES!! Every single time I need to take a break due to a road trip, vacation, etc I never put all of my goals on break because I either miss or just get tired of doing it. Ha this issue is self-induced because of the # of goals that I have but if this was implemented Beeminder would literally be perfect.

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I’d also give my backing to this but across the board may be swinging too far the other way. Instead a simple ‘Schedule a break’ macro button which then pops up with a date range selector and a list of your goals so you can toggle which ones you want to go on a break for during that period.

The reason I say this is because some goals I carry on with over holidays like reading, walking, updating Instagram and foursquare reviewing.


I think this is a thing the team is reluctant to implement partly because there is an inherent value in considering your goals one by one. For example, even on vacation it will be super useful for me to keep up my (brand new and much needed) “review spending” goal. That’s still possible while on vacation (for me, anyway; I never go anywhere without internet if I can help it), and might even be extra necessary, but a universal break wouldn’t allow for that moment of reflection.

There’s also a problem with making it falsely seem too simple. You can set a break on all your goals and walk away… but if you have a gmail zero goal, that’s going to be a problem, because that can’t be paused by ordinary means. Do-less goals need different considerations too. And if you have autoratchet turned on, it doesn’t matter what break you set – it’ll be gone the next day. There’s a lot of complications to consider, and it’s not necessarily the case that people would want Beeminder to just make assumptions. The alternative to making assumptions would be a big complicated UI that included all the different options… which is just bad design in general; overwhelming, difficult to take in, difficult to understand…


Something to maybe consider is an arbitrary “set x=y” across the board. I noticed I tend to ignore emails and they just clutter my inbox, and… wait, do I have to change this 16 times? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Exactly - the way I saw this was always by leaving the user choose the goals for which the overall break would apply

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I hope you’ve noticed you can set your default preference for new goals! (So you might have to set your existing goals separately, but you can just set all future goals to take the same setting.)

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Whoops, I remember reading about it but I completely forgot. Thanks for the tip, will be useful!

EDIT: actually, not sure I can find it. There’s something in my account settings but my example of no emails doesn’t work because there isn’t a setting about that there. And I can’t find the blog post about it…

The lack of true breaks is the biggest thing that needs building. Nobody should have to think about those things while they’re thinking about pausing a goal.

I recently reviewed my 45 goals because of a fortnight of travelling for work, and was surprised to find myself pausing only about 3 of them, adjusting the slope to something more manageable on a handful of others, and not touching the rest.

I like this idea from @thechristophe, to make it easier to apply a particular break across multiple goals, but not necessarily all goals…


I did always picture that working like an archive, but with an automatic unarchive date.


Archive is a good mental model, because maybe paused goals should stay out of sight during the break…

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