Anti-Flake Strategies

Adapted from a daily beemail last month

I mentioned how the plan-to-forget trick was not very Beeminder-relevant but a couple of you defended it (thanks!), which got me thinking about what broader category the plan-to-forget trick is part of. We could call the category anti-flake strategies, as in preventing yourself from flaking out, failing to follow through on things. Here are examples I can think of off-hand:

  1. The plan-to-forget trick
  2. A convention with our kids that when they agree to do something they hand us a $20 deposit that they get back when they do it, so we don’t have to nag them (it’s parenting genius, if we do say so ourselves)
  3. The system, sadly moribund as it is these days
  4. Oh right, Beeminder itself
  5. The Anti-Should TAP (see footnote on the plan-to-forget post)
  6. The Soule-Reeves family convention that you only borrow or lend books by doing 1-to-1 trades, with the intention to trade back (so in case you forget, no effective book-stealing happens)
  7. Calendialing
  8. Only ever adding finite flat spots to Beeminder goals rather than perma-flattening or archiving (unless you’re certain that you’re done with a goal for good)
  9. [ADDED] Beeminder support rule about not closing support threads without thinking ahead to the possibility that the user fails to ever reply

Keywords: ADHD, cranial silicosis, #blogideas


A sort of TAP that I’ve never formalized but have just realized I have is something along the lines of

If you are in even a semi-serious conversation about scheduling something, the only acceptable outcomes are ‘deciding not to do the thing’ and ‘creating a calendar entry’.

The calendar entry can be ‘ping $who about scheduling options for thing’ in a pinch. I accept must-do entries as calendar entries. Obviously, also, modulo things like “this group of people has a dedicated slack channel for events that we use instead of, like, Google Calendar” (ok actually I do have a group that does that, and it is actually backed by a google calendar, but my point is that “create an event” means “send a slack message with the right format” and that’s fine).

My friends are consistently surprised when I finish the “yeah we should hang out next weekend” conversation with “ok sick, blocked out a few hours for Saturday afternoon, what’s a good email to invite?”



If your kids are keen on the idea of being written about you should maybe tell the press about this one, surely they’d be all over it? Or er $social_media maybe, I don’t know.

Only EVER? You never archive any goal, even when you’re quite sure you’ve moved on? Don’t really understand this one.

Ha, yes, they eat that stuff up! Our philosophy has always been that if you let us promote Beeminder we’re happy to be your monkeys.

Oh, yes, not literally never. Only archive a goal if you’re certain you’re done with it for good, is what I meant to say. (Lemme edit that in the original post; thank you for clarifying it!)

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