Allowing deadlines for integrations

It would be great if deadlines times could be changed on goals with integrations.

Take the two use cases for example:
For fitbit steps: 10,000 steps by 00:00. What I do is wait until 10:00PM and then go for an all out run to get to the steps by the deadline. However, this effects my sleep as I am working out at an inopportune time.

For focusmates: 3 focusmates by 00:00. What ends up happening is I wait until 9:00PM and end up setting a session for 9, 10, and 11pm so that I can get my 3 sessions in by the deadline. This means I am spending the rest of the day putting off until the deadline which I know I can reach anyway if I wait until that time.

In short, it would be nice to set earlier deadlines, such as do 10,000 steps by 5:30PM, so that I can avoid putting off tasks to late at night. I could change my time zone to get this functionality, but I’m not sure why it isn’t baked into beeminder considering most integrations work irrespective of the deadline set for them.

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Unless I’m misunderstanding something, I think the functionality you want is here Deadline - Beeminder Help? Every goal can have its own independent deadline time, basically, before midnight or even after midnight and yet still counting as a valid entry deadline for the previous day. EDIT: Maybe I misunderstand the issue.

If it’s up to us, you can set a custom deadline. Unfortunately, with a lot of integrations we have to use whatever the provider thinks of as ‘a day’, which often means midnight deadlines.

(@shanaqui will doubtless add that as a footnote to the deadlines help page in the next improvements!)

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A community wiki to collect the ones with set deadlines could be useful as well (this post can be edited by all).

The following integrations have a fixed deadline (list incomplete):

  • Apple Health (sleep) (18:00) [0]
  • GitHub (00:00am)
  • Fitbit (00:00am)
  • Focusmate (00:00am)
  • Project Euler (00:00am)

[0] curiously, not stored as 06:00pm

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Hi @devinat1! We’d love to support changing your deadline for everything, so it’s really helpful to hear it’s grating on you – thanks for letting us know. At the moment, I think there’s a worry that if we implement it, it’s going to catch some people out, because of the way it works.

What happens is that a non-midnight deadline changes the time your goal considers midnight. For example, if you changed your deadline to 10pm, it’d be 25th April until 10pm… and then after 10pm, it’d be the 26th. However, you can’t do that kind of thing on data sources like Fitbit or Focusmate, so they keep on reporting the actual calendar date to us. Anything you do after 10pm still gets counted under the 25th – on the wrong day in Beeminder, in other words.

That’s not so bad for deadlines that happen earlier than midnight, I think? Though it might be confusing! But it’d be really misleading on deadlines after midnight: you wouldn’t derail at midnight, but you wouldn’t be able to add any more data for the 25th after midnight; no matter what you do, it’d count for the 26th, and it wouldn’t be able to stop you derailing.

So it’ll take some head-scratching for us to figure out a way to make this work, but it’s important for us to hear that it’s something folks are interested in seeing!

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I think the toggl API returns data with the TZ format. Would transforming this data via adjusting the TZ work?

Thanks for the responses. What I have done as a work around for now is to set the time zone to CET, which is 6 hours after my timezone. This means the fitbit and focusmate deadlines are 6pm in my timezone, which is what I wanted.

The drawback to this is I do want some deadlines to be at 12am, but in my case those deadlines I can manually set to 6am to counteract this.

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Just to check, have you also set your timezone on those sites to being the same? If not, then there might be some weirdness with the dates. (This is why we don’t really recommend it as a workaround, though mostly if you just accept that you can derail and then technically appear to still be on track, it’s fine.)

I have not set the timezone on those sites, so seems to be working. I will keep that in mind though!

Yeah the timezonoes in both have to be “offset”. I have all the sites in CET, which means the deadline’s at midnight.