Kind of a dick move to ask for a product alternative in the product’s forum, but I figure my feedback might be of use.
I’ve been using beeminder on and off again. I started using it about 3 or 4 years ago. My first real goal was to practice a language in Duolingo. Beeminder carried the way, and I earned my course completion trophy on Duolingo.
I had hoped to continue the “5 duolingo points a day” goal, and use it to further practice the language and become an expert over time.
Unfortunately, this was when beeminder was approached by some designer to redo their site. In addition to the redesign which I still think is inferior and harder to use than the old one, they screwed something up and my goal was canceled automatically.
Basically, they had freed me from my imposed goal. You see, I had wanted to cancel that language goal many times, but I could never bring myself to do it because I wanted the end result more than I wanted to cancel. I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that’s the whole point of Beeminder. You set a goal, and the long-term thinker you is supposed to fight short-term thinker you, so that you keep on track. Beeminder is your long-term thinker’s ally.
Well, when that glitch they introduced happened, they basically backstabbed my longterm thinker and I never went ahead and imposed that on myself again.
What prompted me to write this post now, is that I tried using beeminder again, and realized I put in fake data, which is antithetical to what beeminder is about. I guess I just feel they don’t deserve that money. It’s no longer that I just loose the money, but a little bit of it is that they gain it which I feel bad about.
I can forgive them for their mistakes, and their still unpolished ways. But what really irks me is how wonky their features-hidden-behind-premium is.
In my view, they have very basic, essential functions hidden behind their highly priced $32/m premium plan. Specifically, short-circuiting, and pledge less goals.
The core value of beeminder is motivation. Beeminder themselves acknowledge not all amounts are motivating enough “What does pledge short-circuiting mean?
If you know that $5 will not motivate you at all, you can jump straight up to an amount that you know you would be scared to lose (we call this your Motivation Point).” - From the FAQ
Yet, in order to wager with beeminder that you’re willing to risk $200 (e.g. my personal motivation point), you either have to pay them $32/m, which is a bit ridiculous (paying them money to pay them money), or you have to needlessly take hits until it reaches your motivation point. By limiting this feature to the highest tier, beeminder wants me to pay them $135 in stings before they are willing to provide their service of motivation.
As for pledgeless goals, what’s wrong with letting people use beeminder just as a data-tracker tool? Why do you have to be so greedy and hide that behind the most expensive plan?
These features should be on the infinibee plan (which I wouldn’t mind if they increased the cost, to like $8) or even free. I don’t know your membership distribution, but who even pays $32 a month for beeminder? I think you guys need to simplify things here. Less plans, less features thrown around as if you’re some massive enterprise SaaS. Let people use your platform as they wish to. Stop trying to control the model so much - give people the tools they need to design their own motivation system.
Anyway, my rant is over. I think the best beeminder alternative is a better beeminder. That might involve laying off the itty-bitty “1 user visible improvement a day” goal, and actually diving into the meat-and-potatoes of creating a better use experience.