Beeminder Forum

Beeminding things with unknown frequency


#1

Any suggestions for how to beemind things that you have no control over the frequency of?

For example:
If I have a goal to read all the posts on a blog, but don’t know how often the blog posts new articles, how would I do it?


#2

I’ve seen people who add things-to-read to a backlog list (e.g. in trello, instapaper, et al.) and then beemind their progress through that list. (The adding can possibly be automated using an RSS channel on ifttt or zapier.)

I’ve got a couple of goals that are stated in terms of regularly getting to the bottom of a pile. Like gmailzero, but I’ve got one that says I must 3x week study all outstanding Anki cards, for example. Something like that might work, where you get a point for discovering that there’s nothing new to read.


#3

Uh oh, this is the can of worms I call the QS First Principle. Philip is more QS Last. (:

Basically, I hate protocols like “enter a 1 if there’s nothing to read”. The graph should always show you something interesting about the actual world, like how many posts you read!

In any case, what about just setting a goal value for the current total number of blog posts that have been published and periodically bump it up as it grows (and if you still want to keep reading it)?


Weekend Only Goals
#4

I’ve had a few goals where I have a rule allowing me to enter the bare minimum if there is nothing to do. These were for class assignments. The deadlines were fairly irregular. This works quite well, but as was mentioned, the numbers do become somewhat meaningless. After a while I would add a comment noting when I was using the “nothing to do” loophole. I could reconstruct the actual numbers from that.


#5

Easy: you have a do less goal where what you measure is how many articles you haven’t read. I have yet to make a do less goal, but can you log a negative value? I could see tons of cases where that makes sense (ie you beemind keeping a clean appartment, leave out some items which you log but when you put the items back you log that too).

Because if so you can, simply log each new post as a 1 and log a -1 each time you read a post. On days where no post is available the graph is flat.


#6

Super smart. This should work! In fact, I know people have done this before.


#7

I think a API-controlled road would be pretty interesting though! (“New item in this RSS feed? Okay, increase the road height up by one tomorrow.”)


#8

The way I have done things like this in the past is — instead of trying to beemind an unknown quantity, I look for a known quantity to beemind instead.

Like, if I wanted to practice accepting compliments more graciously, instead of trying to beemind how often I say “thank you” with a do-more goal (since I don’t know how often I’ll be complimented for the situation to come up), I’d beemind failing to say “thank you” with a do-less goal.

I believe in the past, for a goal like catching up on a large number of posts, I’ve used a metric like number of days behind.