Beeminding by k1rsty

I’ll be in an identical situation soonish. Like you, I also found the goal-describing format more natural, but the journal-like goal-updates format is probably easier to maintain and (possibly) more engaging for those following along.

I’ve also let some bug reports, feature requests and non-trivial input on other threads count towards my forum goal. Maybe there’s some wart you keep encountering you could post about (if only to get it out of your head and on the radar)? Although, I believe that a direct email is the preferred route for such feedback at the moment.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your goals! My favourite was gamevalue. :wink:


I think you are probably right there! I’m planning on a more structured update format at some point, but I’m just having a goal clearout and archive and thought I’d record that here.

Goals I am archiving:

productivitygame I said I was going to archive this above but apparently I didn’t do it.

todoboxzero I created this in another post above and I still think it’s a great idea but my scripts/software to back it up just aren’t the right combo of things at the moment and the goal is just sitting there looking a bit like I’m all on top of things whilst my todo list definitely isn’t in that state.

reviews The idea was to do a weekly review every week, in practice I’m just crossing this one off after a twenty second cursory glance at what I have going on. It’s probably taking more effort to remember to update the goal than I’m putting into the actual task. Another good idea but it needs more a structured approach.

music I didn’t get round to documenting this one, mostly because it has never quite worked right. The idea was to listen to more albums. Initially I just put data points in when I was listening. I like music on while working but often forget, this was a reminder. Manual entry got too tedious so I tried to hook it up to my album charts but my script really isn’t working right. It doesn’t pick up things I listen to and also it picks up stuff other people play on our house stereo system, overall it just has too many moving parts and I spent half the day trying to debug my scripts before realising that I’d have been better off just putting some music on and doing some actual work!

ebike2022 this was a stretch goal that I covered above. It has derailed, my bike has electric troubles and needs professional help, my shoulder has also been playing up (and also has professional help) and my original ebike goal is still on target and has plenty of safety buffer so this one has proved a step too far and is getting archived.

energy this one is just lurking around grabbing my daily energy usage from Apple Health, it’s not holding me to anything or ever going to derail. I use the Activity rings on my Apple Watch to set my targets for this kind of thing. The beeminder goal is just junk, although I quite like seeing the slope of the curve rise over time the goal is just in my way. Archived.

weighin Just a regular “weigh yourself regularly” goal. It links in to Apple Health when I update my weight there. I’m in two minds about archiving this one, it might not be a good idea but it the goal feels in my way at the moment.


New goals
storygraph - reading tracking using the new integration. So far, i’m loving storygraph but the “ooh, new tool, lets read a lot” honeymoon is over.
narrowboat - i bought a boat :open_mouth: This is one of those goals that abuses beeminder to use it as a tracker rather than particularly as a commitment device, but in the vein of “if you spend money on something then beemind using it”. Tracking nights spent aboard. The safety buffer is huge and the slope is shallow.

physio - a goal I set up last month to do the shoulder exercises set by my physiotherapist. The goal is set up to use IFTTT new iOS button/shortcut integration, so you just hit a button on your iPhone screen when you’ve done the thing. Actually I’ve derailed on it twice, trying to figure out what I’m actually beeminding… the physio discharged me and told me paying attention to my shoulder all the time was far more important than doing the exercises by rote so I’ve set the goal to be a click once a day reminder that I’m paying attention.
noms - a goal i set up earlier in the year when I bought a sub to the FoodNoms food tracking app so that I’d actually remember to use it. No limits on what I track, just that I do. Also derailed twice since I last posted.
pdprep - work goal that I just completely missed out one week.

Changes and other comments

  • When I archived productivitygame I switched off the associated IFTTT apps and also accidentally switched off the IFTTT apps that power rescuetimegoal since they use the same RescueTime alert system. Those are back on now, I’ve lost some safety buffer but that’s probably a good thing.
  • I’ve just put a break in my plover goal which is one I set up to learn stenography using Plover, it’s logging total keystrokes made using the software. Learning this has just fallen by the wayside over the last couple of months and I’m going to leave it until the autumn to get back into it.
  • I have several craft goals that have buffer but are all going to become due next week so I’m going to try and get ahead of those before they all want doing at once.
  • I’m loving the BUI beeminder interface. I particularly like the daily breakdown that shows which days I actually do things on. And having the urgency load up front and central - lowering this feels empowering, and I feel like I’m cheating akrasia by throwing things back over the horizon and getting them done before they become urgent.

New goals
flickr - tracking how many public photos I have available at flickr. I kept thinking I should get back to sorting out my flickr archives - I kept them pretty much up to date from 2004 to 2017 and have kept auto-uploading and paying the subscription since - but not getting round to actually showing anyone any photos. It finally dawned on me to beemind it. Taking a leaf out of the storygraph integration’s book I’m just using an easily scrapable publicly available number to beemind. There’s more to it than that as I also have friends and family photos on there but the public number is a decent proxy for whether I’m actually doing anything so I might as well use it and not worry about it not being perfect. Rate is set to adding 25 public photos per week, which should be maintainable for quite some time.

I dialed back the physio and noms goals a little, both to 6/week. I want to do them every day but derailing them all the time becomes counter productive - I’m more motivated by building up safety buffer, and then I can use the buffer in place of adding breaks.

Other comments
I’m still trying to work out a good todo system with the right amount of commitment and the Goldilocks amount of complexity. The jigsaw pieces I’m trying to put together are…

  • Apple Reminders: very easy to add tasks to, and to get tasks out of automatically. Also very easy to get overwhelmingly full of small stuff most of which doesn’t matter that much, some of it does matter though.
  • Obsidian: good place for long and detailed lists of mostly work related tasks. Fairly simple to get stuff into. Terrible for trying to get specific data out of it into other places though.
  • Taskratchet: I’ve tried it in the past without any great commitment but I think it would be a good thing to have in my system. Easy to get tasks into. Not terrible for getting tasks out of, though lack of filtering/deleting via API worries me if I fill it up with tasks. Same safety valve as Beeminder - if I make things too hard for myself I can just pay my way out of it and try again.
  • Beeminder: obviously. Both to make sure I keep using things, and that I stick to what I say I’ll do.
  • Advance planning: Experience tells me things go much better when I have a realistic plan made the day before. Finishing everything I said I’d do and then moving on to the next day’s stuff also works on my brain in a similar way to building up safety buffer on Beeminder, I like to be able to get ahead of myself. [1]
  • Time blocking: Sticking my work sessions on my calendar has been useful for concentration purposes, I’d like to make more use of this for recording what I was doing when and what I’m going to do when. Uses Apple Calendar, which is also easy for me to get data in and out of.

[1] As I’m writing this past-me is popping her head in to ask who this person who isn’t continually late and behind is. I’m pointing her to Beeminder. If you want to mess with the timeline some more could you invent it in about 1988 please.


Obsidian: … Terrible for trying to get specific data out of it into other places though.

Like, automatically? As an avid Obsidian user, I’m v interested in your use case here, in case it’s either something I can help with or discover I want myself (or both!) :smiley:

Yes, I have various dataview and tasks plugin blocks that pull out various tasks from around my Obsidian notes. I was thinking it would be nice to be able to pull those lists out with a script so that I could pull them up, along with my reminders etc, and just tick off the things I’m committing to doing tomorrow and then send those off to Taskratchet. Or something like that. I couldn’t find a way to pull out data like that from Obsidian. There was someone asking something similar on the Obsidian forums and they got pointed to the innards of one of the plugins, I’m was hoping to find something simpler than that, like a command line process-obsidian > file.txt.

I should add that this is definitely a problem I’m overthinking and I’m aware of that. A Beeminder to write down the n things I’m definitely going to do get done tomorrow each evening and adding them to Taskratchet manually would more or less solve my problem. I guess I want something to drag all the bits and bobs of tasks and timeblocks in and help me make better decisions about what actually needs to be done when to get maximum results for effort, and propogate the checked off items back to where they began as well.


New goals
taskratchetcheck - I decided that trying to put together all the jigsaw pieces I mentioned in the post above was probably a recipe for a disastrous Heath Robinson kind of system that I’d spend more time building than it was worth and to just do the simplest thing that I thought would help for now. All this does is check that there is something incomplete on my TaskRatchet list. The script only runs in the evening so that I can add/complete things in the day and it’ll just make sure I haven’t left myself without an open task. The general idea is to make sure I add tasks for tomorrow each evening but there’s a deliberate loophole that I can put a task in for future date to allow breaks. It’s also set to 6.5/week so that I can get a bit ahead as I find that motivating.


  • clearout is about to derail and I’m going to let that happen, and I’ve also upped the respite to 30 days. I’m just not getting to it and need a break get a fresh perspective.
  • I’ve just put a stack of 7 day breaks in most of my leisure goals, see below for the reason.

Other Comments
This week is my ‘last week of summer’ and I’m wanting to get back into the grind a bit more from next week as I have a work project that I want to move on significantly and it needs a push to get some momentum. I’m thinking of doing a mini-maniac week kind of thing. I’m not up for the full on maniac week and haven’t yet worked out the details but I want to do something like 50% more productive hours than the average I’ve managed over the summer according to RescueTime (and the summer has actually been quite productive, but I have definitely been running at a laid back speed). I think it should be fairly easily achievable but I’m putting a caveat on it that I’m not sticking to this commitment if third-party issues make it unreasonable but will instead move it back a week.

(Let me just write “manic week” here for posterity as well as that is the term I remembered and it took me a while to find posts about it with the wrong search term!)

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Your TaskRatchet goal sounds really useful! :thinking: A really interesting way of integrating the two. Thanks for sharing!

I reckon exactly that should work, if the process-obsidian script is written as needed. Obsidian stores the content as plain-text files in the file system (in markdown format), so any script to extract data can probably ignore Obsidian completely.

You might not currently have a single md file containing the tasks but if they can be identified by some (mostly) unique string, a script could pull them out of all the md files. I’m happy to provide more details if you wish, and I’m sorry if this is telling you things you already know!

In fact a script like that may be of use to me. I use md files for own docs, with some details set up to allow for use in Obsidian, and I have #TODO comments sprinkled through them for things that I want to research more (with absolutely no effort being put in to actually doing that - I should beemind the number of comments!)

Thanks. Yep, I know I can go through the .md files and find the stuff I’m looking for myself. What I’m after though, is something that will utilise all the machinery that other people have already built into Obsidian with plugins to do that. E.g. I have a block that uses the dataview plugin to find any incomplete tasks on pages that have been marked as #project and have a yaml status of “In Progress”.

	.where(p => p.status == "In Progress")
	.where(t => !t.completed), 

I could recode that myself but I’d like something that can hook into Obsidian and spit me out the list that is created by that or any other plugin I use, so that when I (inevitably) change the criteria I want to use I can pull it out without needing to rewrite something else as well.

I think that would be useful in numerous scenarios but also I think I’m barking up the wrong tree for my own personal use in task management at the moment though so I haven’t really investigated it further. I think something that would go in and just copy the page text out of the Obsidian app and put it somewhere else would probably do it, Alfred might be the right tool (I use Alfred all the time but also always forget how powerful it can be).

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I’ve been having a bit of a crisis of overthinking since last time I posted. I should have paid more attention to what I was writing here:

Basically things were going quite well, but I somehow felt too content with it so I ought to do better? I always feel the value in Beeminder is that it stops you looking at the tower you need to climb and makes you concentrate on just hauling yourself up one flight of stairs, or even a single step, at a time. Before long you look back and see how far off the ground you’ve got and are amazed by it. I forgot this and thought spending a week concentrating on climbing a sheer wall to give myself momentum would be a good idea. I still think there’s some value to setting a priority for the week but this wasn’t the right way for me to do it. Part of the maniac week thing is that you clear the boards to concentrate on your priority and I didn’t do that and it showed. I did do the 50% extra that I wanted but I also logged more distracting computer time than I have for ages and felt generally stressed out; it was pretty much the opposite of what I wanted.

I realised that last time I tried anything maniac like it was “maniac mornings” or something similar. Clear a few hours and use them to the max. A much better fit for the rest of my life. Plus I also said:

Well, third-parties (aka my parents using my house as a stop off point) did make it unreasonable but I decided to carry on with trying my best to get work done in the rest of the time. Because this week I also have third-parties (aka my parents on their way back) making it unreasonable to clear the decks entirely. And then next week I have different kind of third-party thing going on, and something else the week after. So treating all these third-party interruptions to my life as if they are actually interruptions is a mistake, they are the stuff of life that I really want to be involved in! I learnt that perhaps the “laid back summer” version of myself was doing a better job of balancing life out than I thought.

New goals
donestuff I realised that with my various craft and fitness goals I get a lot of value and inspiration from looking back over things I’ve done in the past rather than setting elaborate targets for the future. So perhaps my whole struggle with managing tasks and projects could take a leaf out of that book; turning round to look at things from the other direction. I decided to keep a log of things that I have done each day, rather than concentrating on the things I meant to do or didn’t do. I’ve done versions of this in the past but not kept them up for long enough to get value out of it. This time I’ve got a Day One journal and an iOS shortcut that sends a datapoint over to Beeminder each evening or prompts me to fill in the journal if I haven’t yet done so. (And yay for the TestFlight version of the iOS Beeminder app having working shortcut support, it’s much easier than using the API.)

My new taskratchetcheck goal has been annoying me despite being very simple and, if I wanted to, easily cheatable. I failed at one task where I’d done a ton of work but had worded the task badly so I hadn’t done what I’d written down. Then I had set myself something to do on a Saturday that I just didn’t feel like doing. I had set the goal to archive, but writing this now I think I’m being shortsighted and I’ve cancelled the archiving. I’m torn between thinking that setting a deadline on a task for tomorrow evening is too far away, and thinking that it’s too soon.


I’m pleased to report that most things are going pretty well at the moment.

New goals
None. The dilemma when I feel like things are going well is do I add goals to try and keep it feeling that way, or am I feeling that things are going well because the goals I have are at the right level and shouldn’t touch anything. At the moment I’m going for the just keep on with what I have option.

I’m going to derail today on my noms food tracking goal but I’ve not been properly tracking lately so I’m going to let it go and start over. There isn’t (yet?) a “just charge me and get this out of my way” option is there?

I finally figured out why one of my weekly goals keeps overtaking me. It was set up to be done once every 6.25 days which probably made sense when I set it up but it keeps appearing before I’m ready for it. So it’s now set to once every 8 days which’ll mean it slowly gets away from me and I can ratchet it back to where I want it. I’m wondering now if it might have been a better idea to fiddle with the graph properly and get in on the right day and every 7 days. But that would be too simple…

I halved the rate on my Instagram goal for the winter.

I ratcheted my Storygraph goal and increased the rate slightly as I was miles ahead of it. And now I’m miles ahead again, mostly because we had an evening-long power cut last week and I did nothing but sit and read on my (fortunately fully charged) iPad by candlelight. I remembered how much I like just reading and not being distracted and have carried on reading more and being distracted less since. Yay for power cuts I guess?! Anyway, I’m increasing the rate a bit more and ratcheting the goal again.

Other Comments
I’m glad I kept on with my TaskRatchet goal as it’s working pretty well now. I’m at the point where I’m tempted to ram a load of tasks into it but know that’ll probably defeat me. As well as adding a work task (or two) to do on the next working day I’m letting myself add something (probably work) to be done in a week or so, and one non-work task. I’d love if it could be a magic solution to make me make all the phone calls I need to make but I know that’ll just overwhelm me and the idea is to be realistic about committing to what is both doable and actually needs doing rather than idealistic about getting absolutely all the things done.

My clearout goal that I put a month’s break is back to being due again and I have a list of things to clearout of my house and am excited about getting back to it. [In fact I got back to it in the middle of writing this post. My online shopping order turned up and whilst trying to put it away I decided to clear out all the ancient leftovers stored in the freezer, these are things that we didn’t eat in the “actually we really can’t just pop to the supermarket” days of 2020 so I don’t know exactly when I thought we were really going to eat them.]

I have numerous craft goals that are threatening to derail at the moment, I suspect one will derail soon but that’s fine. (Cf: derailing is not failing.) My very low rate sewing goal was due a few days ago and I thought I was going to let that derail but once I made myself look at things for ten minutes I came up with a plan to finish an old project and spent all evening sorting out how to do that.


I would use that option too. I sometimes change old data-points to derail immediately and then return them to their previous values to emulate this behavior.


Ah thanks! It had occurred to me that I could change an old data point to insta-derail, or put a negative point in for today perhaps. But I don’t like to mess with the data. I hadn’t thought of changing them back afterwards to keep the data intact!


I’m still feeling like I’m on top of things. All my craft goals have edge skated but I have kept up which is nice.

New goals

The weekly work goal that I mentioned last time as having been set to once per 6.25 days caught me before my changes to correct it took effect. It’s now got more safety buffer than it needs but I’m leaving it be for now.

I had a review through all of my software subscriptions and cancelled some that I don’t think I’m getting use out of any more. RescueTime was one that didn’t make the cut, and I’m kind of sad about that as it’s been collecting data on me for about 14 years I think! And beeminding it one way or another for the last about nine years (there was another goal before the one pictured). But it’s not much influencing my behaviour any more and I couldn’t justify the renewal cost. So my goal for hitting my RescueTime goals each day has been archived.

And with the RescueTime → Beeminder IFTTT applets removed I decided to ditch my IFTTT pro sub as well, so that was a bonus. It was doing other things for me, a lot of which were Beeminder->Beeminder, but actually those still seem to be running, even though I can’t edit anything in my IFTTT account.

While pondering all my subscriptions I realised I had Beeminder on a six-monthly sub and would get a bigger discount for a longer time period. So that seemed like a no-brainer. The bad news is that despite Beeminder’s very fair discount policy I got hit with a two-yearly charge that was 5.9 times higher than my last 6-monthly one. Ouch. The whole reason I got started on reviewing my subscriptions was because of exchange rates and USD being expensive to me at the moment. I could have timed that better. The good news is that I’m sticking round here for a while… or maybe the other bad news is that you’re stuck with me for a while yet!


Ha! The other good news is I just applied a big chunk of premium credit to your account as a thank-you for your brilliant contributions to the forum! (I’d actually love to bribe you to copy some of these insights to the Akrasia category of the forum where I think they’d generate more discussion.)


Oh, thank you for your kind invitation to extend my stay at the Beeminder hotel… I can check out anytime I like… :smiley:

Much appreciated. Thank you! And I’ll see what I can do about living up to the bribe - I’m kind of in my comfort zone just talking out loud to myself in here.


I seem to have been doing vast quantities of messing around with my goals.

New goals
I’ve been holding back on creating new goals but when I found a work project of mine hadn’t been checked in to github for mumble mumble, an embarrassingly long amount of time, I went straight and added a Gitminder goal for it. So now I have revamp. Currently set to three commits a week while I figure out the right slope for it.

My noms food tracking goal just derailed again, and so did my goal to track my mood (and hence everything else) using Exist. Both annoying because they could easily have been kept on track, but both justified as I haven’t been paying either much attention lately.

I’ve decided that my physio goal isn’t holding me to anything that I’m not doing anyway and I’m just setting myself a weekly reminder to check in that my shoulder is getting better rather than worse.

My read goal is no longer serving a purpose as storygraph is doing the same thing but better. I just like the history pictured in the read goal’s graph:

But storygraph also gives me a better-er long-er term-er version of that and it’s not like I deleted the statistics or unread the books, plus it doesn’t have the break in 2016 that the Beeminder one does:

I decided my time was better spent figuring out my own scripting rather than try untangle what was left of my IFTTT account. (All my applets there fell over when my account downgraded to a free one even though I thought I’d left it at the free level of 5 applets.)

  • I hooked up my bookreviews goal to my own script that grabs reviews from storygraph.
  • I thought about archiving my craft goal as that’s mostly a goal that aggregates data from several other individual craft project goals but decided I still have use for the non-specific craft goal and used the webhooks to make the datapoints from the other goals post to that one. I’ve also ratcheted it down to 7 days which is more than enough.

I messed around with slopes on a couple of things and put a break in one craft goal. Nothing major.

I had a trial at using the web version of TagTime, probably the third or fourth time I’ve tried using TagTime over the last few years. I want to like it but find it too intrusive, possibly because I don’t have a defined scheme for putting the tags in so I don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of it.

I’ve been using the pomodoro timer in Obsidian to good effect though, the non-random interruptions are keeping me on task. I’m not doing ‘proper’ pomodoro technique but it’s working for me at the moment. Basically it’s a repeating half-hour-ish timer that makes me say what I’m trying to do and keeps track of progress through the day (or lack of it but mostly it results in progress). I’ve been stopping myself from making a Beeminder goal for this but think I’ll follow @rperce’s technique to make one soon unless I decide against it.


I’m honored to be your techniquespiration! I love your posts here ^_​^

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Current mood is mostly stressed out and trying to stop December from being a DerailmentFestival… Derailcember… putting the derail in December. Hmmm. Hence this post which is being made so that my beeminderthread goal doesn’t start adding to my stress.

New goals
I added the pomodoro goal I mentioned last time. It took me a while to work out how to get it to work. My current setup uses the QuickAdd Obsidian plugin to quickly add a task to whatever note I am working on in Obsidian. Then it starts a timer using the Status Bar Pomodoro timer. It took me a while to figure out how to get the numbers into Beeminder. I have Tasks queries that pull all the details of each days tasks into my daily notes but that isn’t something easily accessible to send to Beeminder. I figured out I could just get QuickAdd to also log the tasks to a file within my Obsidian vault and then regularly run a script outside Obsidian to count the lines in that file and send that number to Beeminder - so an odometer goal, I added a few checks to the script so that it didn’t send any data if nothing had changed and realised after that I could have made it a regular do-more goal, but couldn’t be bothered to change it at that point!

I’m deliberately logging tasks started and not when I tick them off as done. The value is in periodically writing down what it is that I’m trying to do, it saves me from solving a problem and then wondering why I was trying to do that thing. It basically makes me record a train of thought which I’m finding very useful.

At the moment the urgency load of my goals seems to be getting ever higher. (You can find urgency load out most easily at I feel I need some way of tracking this over time and not allowing myself to add new goals or increase rates if it’s too high. I haven’t thought of a good way to do this yet.

I haven’t been tracking urgency load very closely other than I think it was more like 40ish until recently when it’s grown to 60ish. This morning it was 70 and now down to 52 this evening. I’m not sure if this is actually something I could beemind or just something to track and not allow myself to create new goals until it’s low enough. I suspect different people have vastly different ok levels of urgency load depending on how intensive their goals are. I guess now might be the right time for a new goal if it helped me deal with my other goals in a better way, but otherwise I’m leaving new goals until life feels a bit calmer!

Edited to add: I forgot I also added a mastodon goal to try out both Mastodon and RSSminder, but that’s not adding to my urgency load since I’m far ahead of the very gentle slope I picked and Mastodon itself is definitely adding a nice bit of de-stress to my life.

I’ve derailed on one of my craft goals (sashiko) and my storygraph reading goal since my last post. But they were both on $0, and now I have more impetus to stop them derailing again. Another $0 craft goal (blanket2022) is likely to derail very soon.These are all fun goals which points to the fact that other parts of my life are stressful and it’s the fun I’m missing out on, which I need to be careful about as I value the balance in my life, and no fun is not good. But also, not all fun is beeminded!

I’ve been making slopes easier to try and cope with Derailcember while maintaining balance. That isn’t feeling like it’s enough and I’ve moved to putting breaks in as well. (I should have read Alice’s advent post first though!)

The only one that was an interesting enough change to write about was my ebike goal. I set this up in Sept 2020 to end in March 2023 (reasoning can be found earlier in this thread). I was really reluctant to put a break in this one but knew that I was unlikely to keep up with the goal and catch up again by March. So instead of just putting a break in I’ve extended the goal out by six months to next Sept, and put a kink in it, so it has a lower rate over the winter and then hikes the rate back up so it gets to the same place the original line would have ended up if it had carried on going straight up. That felt like a good option for keeping the spirit of the original goal but making it more achievable. I’ve also changed the x-max on the graph so I can see the kink and hopefully be ready for it, once winter passes and daylight returns.

I’m going to try and update quicker next time. There always seems to be a fine line between “I have nothing to report” and “I have too much to report”. This also might be a good clue as to why I find Beeminder useful to start with!