Beeminder Forum

"Amounts due by day" for more than a week?

The “Amounts due by day” table on the right-hand side is very useful for planning. I’m wondering whether there is a way to see these values for further out in the future than the 7 days it shows by default? Sorry if it’s something obvious that I’ve missed.

5 Likes

@eb12345, no, you are not missing anything obvious. There has been a discussion on the forum earlier that this should be changed… but perhaps the whole system was designed in the first place for those who would be riding the edge and therefore never interested in anything further than a couple of days, like you and I are interested :slight_smile: The following argumentation goes rather to the developers than to you.

I am strongly supporting this request.
In addition to all the reasons discussed earlier on this forum, I have recently discovered one more.
Currently, it is believed that you are safe if you have at least 7 days of buffer. In fact, this is not true. If you enter a flat spot at the earliest possible date, it only takes place on the 8th day (counting in the way as today is the 0th, according to the way used when the buffer is calculated). Accordingly, if the useful table shows only 7 days including today (rather than 7 days + today, the 0th), if you have entered the flat spot on the earliest possible date, it is only on the next day you see the actual total you have to do until the flat spot, i.e. until you are safe.
This is the case for adding at least one more day in the useful table.
I think everyone will agree that there is a number of reasons why one may want to add a flat spot and know immediately how much more is necessary to do until he or she is safe. Any emergencies and changes in plans are common reasons for this.

4 Likes

What I’d really like is a graph that plots the cumulative amount due by day over time. This would let me determine if I scheduled breaks correctly, etc.

7 Likes

Thanks!

It seems like the main goal plot does that. The main difficulty with using it is that it’s not very high resolution. It’s easy to see that you need “about 5 more units in about 2 weeks”, but much harder to see that you need “5.31 more units by June 14th”.

1 Like

Curious!

For myself, I find that my beeminding goes best the less I worry about precision and exactness. I’d much rather be roughly right than precisely wrong.

What scenario do you have in mind that demands knowing that you need “5.31 more units by June 14th” ?

Also: is the resulting plan reliable and stable? If so, why use Beeminder for that goal?

Breaks and road changes and once-a-month type goals to one side, once you’ve planned one week ahead, all subsequent weeks will be governed by the slope of the road, no?

2 Likes

Since that table has been added I’ve definitely been annoyed/burned several times by it being a couple of days short. Can’t remember the exact goals and scenario’s, but a longer table can definitely help you decide on the current day’s plan for action if you have a rather low slope and want to see when the first eep day will occur exactly. E.g. “will it be before that date” (if so, do something today) or “will it be after that date” (ok to let it lie for a while). Hope this is not too abstract; think of planning for a weekend.

And like @scarabaea points out, the table is infuriatingly a day too short. Definitely voting (liked the grandparent post) for a “show more” link to double the table length.

All in all pretty minor though :wink: Still, death by a thousand papercuts…

Edit: I somehow missed your paragraph about precision! Well said, but I’d argue the incomplete table causes a high probability of being roughly wrong, if you have to resort to look at the graph or extrapolate to determine a certain cut-off point in the future.

2 Likes

[quote=“philip, post:6, topic:2232”]
What scenario do you have in mind that demands knowing that you need “5.31 more units by June 14th” ?[/quote]
Like other people have mentioned, it’s basically planning for days I cannot/don’t want to work on goals, like weekend, travel, work deadlines, etc. For example, I come to work on Monday and want to figure out how much I need to do Mon-Fri to be safe through the weekend. In that case, “roughly 5” is not good enough, because if the real number is 5.31, I will still derail.

A workaround could be to enter a fake datapoint of 5 on Monday and see whether this makes me safe until my desired date. If not, enter 6 or 7, etc. Then delete the fake datapoint and start doing actual work. But it’s a lot more convenient to look at the table.

I might be misunderstanding the question, but I’ll try answering. If I figure out once that I need to do 5.31 units per week, that’s not really enough. The reason is, although weekends are regular, other things (like travel or project deadlines) are not. So this week I might be figuring out how much I need to do by Friday to be safe for the weekend; the next week I might need to know how much to do by Wednesday to be safe until the 14th because I’m taking vacation, etc. Like @ianminds mentioned, you can work around that, of course, but having a table is very convenient.

1 Like

Actually it does not. The main Beeminder graph shows the centerline of the YBR graphed into the future using the current road width, which is a complicated way of saying that it graphs something sort of related to what a graph of the amount due by day would be, except when it isn’t which is sometimes. If you never derail and never adjust your road slope, then I believe the two graphs are the same. But in the general case they aren’t.

3 Likes

Yeah, I also would like this feature added.

My use case is that a). I like to rack up pretty large safety buffers (elaborated on in this forum post), and 7 days simply isn’t enough to see into the future for me; and (b), I have some goals where I only need to make progress infrequently, for which 7 days also isn’t enough.

I’ve suggested that that section either be scrollable, or skip redundant days (e.g. if you have 12 days of safety buffer, no point in showing checkmarks for 11 of those days). I know the Beeminder devs were worried about the latter solution being confusing to other users. They were open to the former solution, though they worried a little about eroding the sense of peace that some users get from having 7 days of checkmarks. You can read dreev’s response for yourself in the thread I linked earlier.

FYI, @drtall, maybe you already know this, but if you have the pannable graph feature enabled (I believe you get it if you’re subscribed to the daily beemail), you can zoom in and see very precisely what is required when. It’s not a great solution, but it might work for your needs.

2 Likes

Have you seen this? I’ve got my upcoming emergency days as events in my calendar.

1 Like

Hmmm I must still be explaining this wrong. The Beeminder graph is generated by taking today’s road width and then drawing it out into the future. This is not about viewing precision. The graph is straight up incorrect whenever the road width changes on a future date. At midnight on a day when the width changes, the graph will re-render using the new road width, but before that you cannot see where the road will be.

3 Likes

Ah, I see. I didn’t know that the graph only projects the current rate!

1 Like

Last time I tried the Beeminder calendar, it didn’t display any data.

1 Like