Beeminder Forum

Beeminding Pocket with

I’ve had an IFTTT rule tracking articles on Pocket to encourage me to read things as opposed to just keep adding them. It’s worked out pretty well, counting archived articles but not deleted articles until a few weeks ago, when suddenly reads in Pocket stopped registering. I haven’t been able to nail down the problem with IFTTT but while debugging it, support mentioned that I might want to try using instead. looks like it would achieve the same thing and I’m intrigued by the Article Words Backlog option, which might be good for encouraging me to read the longer articles, rather than cherry picking the short ones to get my point more easily.

However, I searched on the forum for details hoping to find out how it worked or how to set it up and I couldn’t find anything – most of the conversation I found is centered around 2015 and debugging.

Starting from Beeminder, I found that isn’t listed as one of the services.

If I start from, it asks me to choose the correct slug from my existing Beeminder goals. I disconnected IFTTT (which, interestingly, is working fine now that I’ve set it up again) and added, in hopes that it would simply update the data source and keep going.

This kinda worked, except that updated with a value of +4,512 which means I don’t need to read another article until March 2030.

I have a vague recollection that there’s a way of creating a manual goal on Beeminder and then connecting it to a service, which I guess is what’s needed here, but I have to admit, I don’t remember how to do that and again, a quick search on the forums didn’t get me an easy answer.

Beyond that, I’m now not sure if the integration needs to be approached differently because I don’t know what the 4,512 data update is meant to represent.

Is there any documentation at all or some better means of testing that I can try?


Maybe first question: which Pocket metric did you pick on

  1. Article backlog – The sum of days since each article has been added
  2. Article words backlog – The sum of days since each word in an article has been added
  3. Total word count – The sum of words in all articles

I chose Article Backlog. That’s interesting, I had not understood at all what the different options were. Is this documented anywhere?

It sounds like the “read an article a week” metric that I was using doesn’t work with but possibly the word backlog could to do something similar without rewarding short pieces.

I’m happy to test all of these but I don’t know/remember how to set up the goals to do so.

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If you click on the metrics on it has the blurbs I pasted above, under a “Description” heading.


The way it works with is you have to first create the goal in Beeminder as a manual or custom goal and then click the metric you want in and point it at the goal you created.

Ah, I see! The metrics only show up if you log in – by the time I logged in, I had stopped looking for them.

But you can’t just create a goal in Beeminder as a manual goal, you have to select the type, first. So how do I know which type is correct for these three, or do I just always do “Do More” and then point whichever metric at it via

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Ha, nice illustration of The Anti-Magic Principle AKA “if-statements considered harmful”!

Great question. Looks like all 3 of these want to be Whittle Down goals.