Brennan's Beeminder Journal

Week Thirty-three! Another busy bee week! Time seems to be flying by for me. On the forums, I was given the Regular badge, meaning I can change thread titles, such as “Brennan’s Beeminder Journal 2020” to “Brennan’s Beeminder Journal”, which allows this Beejournal to continue ad infinitum, huzzah!

Regarding /morning-pages, the solution I found was to use URLminder, this will track the word count of (multiple) Google Docs or Dropbox documents. I figure I’ll add a new document each month, as I find that’s a good time-frame to segment writing. And unlike Draft, URLminder lets you change the deadline time, which was my entire problem in the first place. The caveat being that I’ll need to adjust to writing somewhere else consistently.

This week’s verbal contract will be: To get a better at understanding API. Although I’ve found multiple new systems within the unofficial integration lists that I’m excited to use, it made me realize how much more potential there is–and perhaps the frustration that 3rd party solutions seem so ephemeral. Khan Academy, for instance, have deprecated their API entirely. FreeCodeCamp hasn’t had theirs updated in nearly two years. Is interest in this kind of things just too niche?

On the other hand, I think there’s benefit in there only being thirty or so high-quality official integrations. I know when I first was starting out, I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the paradox of choice.

New Systems

As I’ve written about a few weeks ago, limitation breeds creativity for me. It’s been fun trying to work with just the official integrations, but this would not be an experiment of self-improvement if stagnation was allowed! Exciting things are going on, I’m trying a bunch of new stuff.

  • /Clozemaster: Supplement my French learning with Duolingo.
  • /Meditation: It’s so cool how you can use Apple Health to track mindful minutes with different meditation apps. I’m still have to figure out my favorite but right now I’m using Headspace.
  • /Prayer: Using Rosarium (Beeminder’s blog post about it), my relationship with spirituality is complicated, but I definitely enjoy the Rosary prayer, and it’s a good way to start my days with the right intentions.

P.S. I figured out why RescueTime was still measuring time even though I was AFK. It has to do with a pesky design flaw (more detail) of the ThinkPad W520 (which, by the way, is the best laptop ever minus this one thing).

P.S.S. Also added a link to @narthur’s beewiki to, I hope it catches on! :blush:


Week Thirty-four Yet another busy bee-week. I’m really enjoying becoming increasingly focused on both the weeds of technicalities, as well as trying to think deeper on the higher concepts that I’m trying to utilize.

For starters, I’ve written in the past about wanting to pivot, but I realize that I am perfectly capable of adding work rather than changing what this project is.

I’ve also written about wanting to give myself more self-permission. Essentially, I want a place that’s truly mine where I can place my thoughts exhaustively. Not just polished, finished work such as my blog or portfolio. I’m writing roughly 400 words a day anyways, it might as well be for a utilitarian purpose and public.

As much as I enjoy the concept of digital gardens as an ideal, I do have some problems with the specifics (also seen with Roam Research). It sort of reminds me of the Dvorak keyboard layout–far more practical and productive, but alas I’m am already far too entrenched in both QWERTY and traditional, hierarchical note-taking.

I also don’t want a specific program for private use, such as Notion. Rather, I found a wonderful Jekyll theme that incorporates a lot of the concepts that I am drawn towards: Backlinks, wiki-style links, context menu, page preview, marginalia, etc. You can see these being utilized here, it’s really cool.

To relate it back to Beeminder, in addition to collecting my notes, I want this to be a place for daily entries, that include getting more in-depth with my /gratitude journal, and /foodlog, for starters–and having the project be on GitHub means I can simply create a new system with GitMinder that only tracks that repository.

Anyways, much more related to Beeminder, I’ve been having trouble with URLminder. Currently, /morningpages2 is kind of just stuck at around 4,300 words for some reason?–maybe I just input the Google Doc link incorrectly. I also had to sadly archive /typing, since I couldn’t get my TypeRacer games to sync, but that was a just-for-fun goal anyways.

P.S. Trying to get into APIs last week ended up snowballing into a new project of it’s own: SelfTeach.Academy. I don’t think there’d be enough interest to try to make this a reality, though.

1 Like

Week Thirty-five! Not really as busy with Beeminder this week! I’ve mostly been really busy with my new Jekyll digital garden project (which you can preview here if you’re curious). It’s crazy how many useful rabbit holes I’ve gone down in research, and with the serendipitous benefit of having the project’s purpose be to archive and organize such rabbit holes!

Anyways, sticking with Beeminder, I’ve noticed that /meditation seems a little selective with which “mindful minutes” it adds as data points–if it’s a new medtiation from Headspace I haven’t done before then it’s added, but if it’s one that I’ve already done then it doesn’t seem to count it. I’ve noticed the iOS application updated though, so maybe it was just an anomaly.

Also, I think the reason things were weird with URLminder reading from Google Docs was simply because I didn’t set the privacy settings for the document correctly, whoops. Seems to be working now! I know it’s been forever since I initially started with this goal–and I haven’t really needed it since I’ve started a devlog on Draft that I plan to migrate–but I think it’s still worth finally implementing correctly.

I’ve been fumbling hard with /distraction lately. I’ve been derailing due to incorrect labeling of different websites I’ve been visiting, and it doesn’t update like other systems do, to the point where it’s 11:50 and it’s still orange because it hasn’t updated (and I know I shouldn’t be in front of a screen that late, but that’s another issue that needs to be tackled), which is a problem since it’s a do-less goal.

The simple solution to this is to just visit the RescueTime dashboard one per evening to make sure that the obscure sites I’m visiting are correctly labelled and that I’m not going over my unproductive screen-time limit.

Week Thirty-six! Quite a red-letter day for my neighbours south of the border. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious for tonight, so I better finish this weekly review as early as possible. :^)

First off, my apologies for this post not being very Beeminder-specific, I’ve been getting dedicated with my development work with Jekyll the past week. So I haven’t really given the time needed to examine how my Beeminder goals have been affecting things in my life, like I usually (neurotically) do. I’m planning to do a full review of my now 24(!) systems.

Some bad news and good news: The bad news is that I definitely bit off more than I can chew with trying to modify Simply Jekyll. It already had a 1,300 line CSS file, and I decided it would be a good idea to add Bootstrap on top of that, and although I love how it looks and what it’s capable of, it’s hopelessly bloated.

The good news is that I successfully completed Hacktoberfest for the first time! But even better, I went back to the drawing board and created my first open-source project for others: Watery, which is the most minimal yet functional Jekyll theme I could create. I went down the rabbit hole of classless CSS frameworks and used the most popular one, Water.css, for this.

I also just added a neat feature on the demo site that lets you effortlessly see how it would look using a different classless CSS framework instead, which really demonstrates its extensibility.

To tie it back to relevancy, I am probably going to use a variant of this theme for my Beeminder blog Speaking of, I’ve been thinking more down-the-line about this experiment, and trying to figure out if there would be any meaningful way to measure difference from the beginning to, say, a year after. I can offer my own layman’s observations, but it’d be neat to be an academic guinea pig.

1 Like

Week Thirty-seven! Alright, let’s get into the weeds this week (or perhaps flowers?). Overall, I think I’ve found a good equilibrium with Beeminder. I don’t often derail, but at the same time I have over a dozen beemergencies every single day.

I’m also really happy for the spread of systems I have, finding ways to track my mental health, physical health, hobbies, and both creative and technical projects.

Regarding French, I’ve been stuck in the Emerald league forever in /duolingo, but progressing down the tree nonetheless. /clozemaster is definitely a welcomed addition, as the lessons are a lot quicker and give a more nuanced look at how words are actually used.

Since I began tracking /writing in May, I’ve written over 100,000 words, which is crazy to me. Although a good portion is just private journal writing, I’m still happy I’m doing it everyday. Before, I’d really try to win NaNoWriMo every year (anybody participating, btw?) and always fall short because I never wrote >1,500 words a day otherwise. I suppose I’d rather write ~400 words a day indefinitely than risk pushing and burning myself out.

I’m still finding a bug (or maybe feature) where /meditation doesn’t add data if you’re repeating a guided meditation. I’ve switched over to doing simple timed meditation with Insight Timer and that seems to work instead!

I recently derailed on /fitness by just a couple hundred steps, which initially seemed silly. But in reality, I have to remind myself that whatever I’m tracking on Beeminder is the bare-minimum threshold, and I gotta pass it everyday no matter what.

One thing I’ve noticed that I talked about on the Beeminder Discord (which you should join!) is that all my systems ultimately fall within two categories: input-based vs. output-based.

Now, when I originally began with Beeminder many years ago, I had the rhetoric that you should aim for looking at input rather that output. Which I still believe is better–but why not both if that’s an option?

There are a few examples of this: /writing is the input, and other goals like /blogging or /poetry are output. (A caveat being that writing is fortunately easy to both quantify and automate.)

Output-based goals that I’ve been having the most trouble with are the ones that I haven’t really found a good input-based supplementary goal to add to it. I do really well with beemergencys pushing me towards doing work, but output goals don’t have a daily metric, they’re usually weekly or monthly.

I finally had the brilliant idea to use RescueTime and track the amount of time that I’m specifically on Lynda each day to supplement /courses. I had a few good ideas for tracking pages read or time with /books, but I often get weasel-y if the data isn’t automated. :sweat_smile: So it’d be nice to figure out a way to connect with Kindle or Audible.

(P.S. Working on a new Jekyll theme this week, Purelog!)

(P.S.S. Anybody doing NaNoWriMo this year? Using Beeminder to track it?)

Week Thirty-eight! Not a very eventful week. I’ve been getting really interested in a program called Obsidian, which is a “a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.”

The really cool thing is that static site generators like Jekyll also only require plain-text Markdown, so I’m looking to combine the two in my project.

But anyways, enough about that, let’s get into the bees! I had a bad derailment with /distraction this week because my little brother started streaming (and got affiliated already!)

But I set an alarm on my phone to go off at 11:45pm to specifically remind me to check the RescueTime dashboard until it becomes a habit (again), and make sure everything is okay for the day, and one earlier in the day to make sure I’m on the right track.

I had a weird glitch a couple days ago with Draft and /writing where it wouldn’t update the word counter no matter what I added or how many times I refreshed the Beeminder goal. It was around 11:00pm. The next day, it jumped up to 1,500 words for the following day. No idea why, exactly.

I’ve decided to make my public daily journal anonymous, since I’m still pretty self-conscious to share that much. :sweat_smile: But it’ll still help me with my daily goals (and maybe I’ll finally start /morning_pages correctly now!)

Also, I posted an update for all my systems in another thread, you should add your own favourite Beeminder goals!

1 Like

Week Thirty-nine! I’ve been rather busy this week with a variety of things, specifically adopting a ten-year-old Tuxedo cat by the name Oreo! It also looks like a second lockdown is (finally) occurring locally, so I’ll be spending more time in front of a computer screen, most likely.

I had a derailment on /writing a few days ago, I was at around 330 words out of 350 on Draft, just a few minutes before midnight and didn’t make it through the threshold.

As I’ve talked about before, it might seem tempting to call a 20 word deficit causing a derail to be non-legit, but you should have the mindset that whatever your Beeminding is the bare minimum, and that you should be aiming to going above-and-beyond them. That’s why the auto-ratchet is a necessity, at least all in my opinion.

There’s been a lot of fruitful and interesting discussion on the Beeminder discord this week, too! (Invite link posted in entry #37) Along the same topic as above, the idea of paying for non-legit derails. @lanthala gave me the fantastic idea of starting a new Beeminder goal, /derail.

It’s a do-less goal that will derail when anything other than 0 is input for the day, or when there isn’t any input at all, thanks to Pessimistic Presumptive Reports. So it also doubles as a nice “check-in” goal because of that.

Completely unrelated, but I’ve began using to better collect and organize content I find on the interwebs. As well as YiNote for note-taking on videos and Airr for podcasts.

It’s really great to finally get more organized and intentional with my media consumption, but there’s no nifty automatic way to use these kind of tools with Beeminder, sadly. Though I could be wrong and I just need to lurk around more.

All of those are fantastic!

I have had the idea for a while that there needs to be an easy way to clip the last 10/30/60 seconds of a video/podcast. Ideally, it would integrate with Siri/Google Voice so that you could announce “Siri, clip it” and then it would automatically send the clip to your media hub (including a transcript).

I think YiNote does not really do the snippet thing. It just lets you add a note which could be frustrating when the video is taken offline and you cannot rewatch a section later.

I like how aims to collect all information at a central location. That is pretty neat. However, while it can download webpages it cannot do the same for video/audio snippets, I think?

Finally, what all of these tools are missing is a proper way to actually review the bookmarked material. I think there are a couple of threads here that discuss the anxiety around having to many tabs/bookmarks.

The solution for this challenge is spaced-review, in my opinion. I got the idea from Andy Matuschak. You can think of it like Anki, but the other way around. So the algorithm shows you a piece of media you have bookmarked in the past. You review it and then decide how important it is (high, medium, low). Depending on the rating the next review is scheduled in the future. The brilliance of that is that you never get that feeling of anxiety when you delete an article/video/podcast-bookmark, because you know it will show up again eventually.

If this doesn’t exist it should.

1 Like

Ah yes! You hit the nail on the head there. I actually found out about these from Byran Jenks’ video: My Comprehensive Obsidian Workflow For Zettelkasten and Evergreen Notes, where he aggregates all of these into Obsidian for later review/synthesis. A central idea being that the connections and correlations between different items/ideas/notes is as important as they are themselves.

Specifically for spaced repetition, there’s this video: Spaced Repetition with Obsidian and NeuraCache which might be of interest to you.

Thanks for sharing. Yes, NeuraCache does exactly what I have in mind. I just don’t like the implementation for some reason. In my opinion, the tool should be completely data agnostic. There should be no need to import data, only references. (Maybe it is already doing that and I missed it.)

Ah, wish I knew what I wanted. I know this goes into the right direction, but it is not there.

Ideally, it would run in the browser and then pull up the actually resources in an iframe. All you would have to manage were the URLs and the review schedule for each of them. That’s it.

I think that is the solution for the browser tab problem. Simply transform all tabs into bookmarks and then import the URLs into the review tool. Anxiety gone.

1 Like

Week Forty! I cannot believe that it’s the final month of the year. there’s been such a weird fluctuation of things going by too quickly and also dragging on at other times.

Unintentionally, I chose a rather interesting year to conduct this experiment–I have been fortunate with the amount of flexibility and freedom I’ve had to try new things, but also have had the most difficulty holding myself accountable and doing the work that I ought to precisely because of that.

I’m afraid I’ve become too comfortable with my current routine. The longer you do something, the easier it becomes, which means the less critical thinking it requires. At this point, I can breeze through a dozen beemergencies late into the night with relative ease. But what am I actually gaining from that? The beginner has the burden and luxury of requiring complete attention and focus to the task at hand.

I have been slowly trying to form a framework for more intentional living in general, with an emphasis on consumption synthesis, or rather, forming interesting and novel output (my own projects) from carefully selected input (the content that I consume daily).

Perhaps another reason for this complacency is a lack of intentionality: To what end result am I performing these Beeminder tasks for? Sure, I’m learning French each day, but for what practical usability? Or sure, I’m writing 400 words daily, but what is that cultivating towards?

The only way any of this matters is if I put the hard work into it. But this is not as simple as just upping the numbers and amount of time I’m putting into something, it is a qualitative issue, not a quantitative one.

I am not exactly sure what the solution is, but I think just being often mindful that it’s a problem is a good place to start. A more practical example is that I’m starting a hand-written journal in French, which seems to be a popular method for better learning.

In other more exciting news, after hearing me speak of Beeminder for several moons, my partner has gained enough curiosity to join and try Beeminder out! So I can at least add that as the (currently sole) victory to my constant evangelizing.

Week Forty-one! It’s been a bit of a difficult and introspective week for me. The cold weather and diminishing hours of the winter day are taking a bit of a toll on my morale and productivity. I’ve made a point to wake up around sunrise, and take a morning walk each day. You’d think that by now I’d get used to Canadian winters after living here… for my entire life, but alas.

Perhaps as an auto-didactic by nature, I’ve decided to compile a list of available certification that’s either free or relatively inexpensive. And subsequently, I’ve created a new system called /learning, which will use RescueTime to track the time I’m learning, using a custom subcategory to make sure it only counts specific websites. I also realize I really need to step /productivity in general, probably to five hours per day.

Right now, I’m studying Product Management on Udacity! The reason being that I think it’s important that I try to bridge my technical skills with my soft skills and content creation.

I’m probably going to use a Notion template for keeping track going forward. I’m looking forward to their API coming out in a few months! I admittedly am still trying to figure out my workflow.

I have to say, it’s very informative and rewarding to have this journal as a way to better understand my progress and journey in retrospect. I’m excited to look at all the specific metrics in detail when I hit the one-year mark in a couple of months.

In other good news, after much trial and error, my /weight is finally starting to go down at a reasonable pace. Like with everything else, there wasn’t any sort of silver bullet, rather just consistently being active and logging my food intake. As well as taking my own advice!

1 Like

Week Forty-two! After another interesting and productive conversation on the Beeminder discord, I’ve come to the (obvious) realization that edge-skating is bad! Take it from the test subject who has more than a dozen Beeminder goals that are set to derail daily.

My thinking previously for this was that, due to my akrasia putting things off until absolutely necessary, having things in the red is the only real way to push me to actually do them. If a goal has a yellow safety buffer of a day, then my monkeyweasel mind sees no reason to actually do it today instead of tomorrow.

In truth, this has worked really well for me so far, with only a handful of derailments all things considered. However, I am not infallible–what if something were to happen to me one fateful morning where I was totally incapacitated and wasn’t able to complete any of my daily tasks?

Would I want to reply to fifteen e-mails to call non-legit and make support fix and revert all those goals? Absolutely not, that would be a total nightmare for them! Instead I’d have to pay a hefty fine and manually fix all my goals myself–which would really just be a punishment solely for something bad happening to me.

The only sensible solution is to stop edge-skating. So, I’m going to slowly work up a buffer on all my goals, but that’s a lot easier said than done! :scream: Also @eugeniobruno had a great idea for pre-derails, which would make this solution a lot more enticing as well.

Anyways, in other news, I’m most likely going to be transition to a public Twitter and Instagram to better work on my digital marketing skills, as I plan to start a business soon (a minor announcement). I’m probably going to succumb and add a new Beeminder to track Facebook posts too along the same lines. It’d be great to expand to LinkedIn as well, but they deprecated their V1 API last March -eyeroll-.

Also, here’s a cute year-in-review from the Green Owl!:

My 2020 Duolingo Stats

Not too bad, I’d say! Speaking of, Duolingo just added audio lessons (on my mobile app at least, yay for A/B testing?) and it’s been a real game changer. Not only do these new lessons really help with my pronunciation, they’re also a lot more enjoyable and faster to get through than their traditional lessons.

Ironically, my pre derail ideas comes from the exact same “i realized edge skating is bad - duh!” place :slight_smile:

1 Like

Week Forty-three! (Whoops, lost count!) A minor update, but after many months of stagnation I’ve finally reached the Amethyst league in Duolingo! That 1st place in the Diamond league is one step closer to being mine, mwuhaha. Other than that, though, this week has been sort of blah.

I’ve had a couple derails this week, in /fitness and /distraction, overall I haven’t been as productive as I have been and I’m feeling rather disappointed in myself. But at the same time, it’s supposed to be winter break, right?

In truth I’ve set an arbitrary amount of standards and strictness when it comes to my daily work. A part of it is that it’s a little time consuming to go through each Beeminder one-by-one to schedule breaks, and having to remind myself a week ahead to do so as well. Though this is mostly my fault for edge-skating (see previous entry).

Over the years, I’ve been trying to “unlearn” (a silly word, huh?) my bias for perfectionism. I remember even in grade school that I’d not hand assignments in because I figured they’d just get a failing mark anyways. Or if they were late, I’d not even try to do them because there’s no point.

Of course in retrospect I realize how absurd this is: teachers just want to help you learn! Ultimately, doing nothing is always infinitely worse than doing something badly, or even very badly. I am trying to fight against this, like giving wiggle room to deadlines (a few days difference doesn’t count as a derailment in my book).

More than anything, I really need to just shut up and eat my own dogfood. Even with everything I have set in place, I’ve found myself getting aimlessly distracted and losing sight of the bigger picture, and that’s something I need to continue to work on.

Anyways, like I said, it’s Christmas in two days, so I’m not gonna fret about it all too much. The tricky thing is trying to set everything up for the new year (planners, resolutions, etc.) and there’s only six days between Christmas and the new year to do all that!

A totally random aside: In entry #6 I predicted (as a total layman) that vaccines would be deployed in September of next year. I can’t believe I was wrong by such a large amount! If anything, this gives my modest idealistic soul hope that we can tackle seemingly impossible problems in the new year to come. :heart:

Week Forty-four! Happy New Year! Alright, one last update before the year ends. I’ve been at this experiment for around ten months now, and though I’m eager to give a complete summary of how things have gone in February, most people enjoy taking time to reflect at the end of the year, so I’ll do a little bit of that now, too.

In spite of everything else, Beeminder has made this year the most productive year I’ve ever had. Investing my time and really dedicating myself to this has paid off in tenfold. I really can’t put into words how grateful I am for the team and the community surrounding it.

Of course, it’s not all perfect! I still feel like I could have accomplished a lot more, put higher rates on certain goals, not flub or derail as much as I have, etc. But all in all, I’m in an upward trend in general, and I’m really happy about that.

For fun, I’ve decided to list out some goals I have for the new year, some are attached to already existing Beeminder systems, and some are not–some I have no idea how to make a Beeminder for!

Goals for 2021:


  • /productivity: Spend five hours a day on my new business.
  • /distraction: Spend all my of leisure time on analogue activities.
  • /github: Create a new open source project that will benefit people.
  • /blogging and /writing: Start writing and publishing more, aiming for two posts per week.
  • Start writing by hand in my bullet journal once a day.
  • Start tracking my budget better, buy as little as possible, practice frugality.


  • /learning: Earn 5 new certificates to help me with my career.
    • /courses: Complete 20 educational course in the year.
  • /books: Listen to 20 audiobooks in the year. Take notes on them.
  • /french and /clozemaster: Consume more French media, read and write in it more frequently, aim for fluency.
  • Reach an ELO rating of 1700 in chess, read more theory.


  • /photos: Dedicate time to having a street photography session once a week.
    • Start a new photography portfolio.
  • /poetry: Read and write more poetry, and publish a chapbook.
  • Learn new songs and fingerpicking on guitar, try my hand at songwriting again.


  • /foodlog: Continue on my diet, practice veganism and sobriety.
  • /fitness: Continue going on daily walks to reach 10k steps.
  • /weight: Lose 40 lbs. and reach my goal weight of 140 lbs.
    • /weight-check: Continue logging my weight daily to gain the most insight on the data.
  • /sleep: Start waking up and going to bed earlier.
  • /meditation and /prayer: Take meditation and prayer more seriously, study them.
    • /gratitude: Contemplate what I’m grateful for more deeply each day.


  • /journalbar: Write an eBook about this experiment using Beeminder.
  • /derail: Aim for zero non-legit derails this year.
1 Like

Week Forty-five! This has been a totally lackluster week for me, probably the laziest I’ve been since I’ve started this–but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I’ve noticed for awhile now that I’ve been having this tug-of-war on a daily basis between between my akrasia and my daily routine.

Of course, that isn’t anything new, but over time I’ve sort of subconsciously entrenched myself into this structure where I try to be productive in the morning and afternoon, but don’t find it’s necessary because I can finish my work at night, where I’m actually productive.

And this inertia that I’ve been trying to fight uphill has made me form a narrative for myself surrounding it. Particularly because right now, I don’t really have anybody except myself dictating how I operate or why.

This luxury of freedom also means I’m solely responsible for my own morale, and that’s sort of depleted after becoming so often disappointed in myself each day for procrastinating in spite of myself. If that makes any sense.

All of this to say that I think it’s a good thing that I’ve just let myself take a step back and not worry about all of that for a couple of days. Tangentially related, I’ve begun a “Memory Log” as a centralized document to keep note of the most important things for myself that I haven’t entrenched into a habit yet.

In spite of all the work I’ve been trying to put in, it’s still very easy for me to become extremely forgetful, dip from Maslow’s hierarchy peak of self-actualization, and mindlessly get involved in whatever unproductive or unhelpful behavior or task. Such is life with executive dysfunction.

Also tangentially related, I’ve been contemplating the cargo cult of productivity and premature optimization. I’m finding the tools I’m using to work, but without a useful coherency.

Eg. In order to track my word count via Beeminder, I have to do all my writing in Draft or Google Docs first, and then migrate or synthesize it elsewhere for it to be useful in a knowledge base/repository. That isn’t to say that I don’t really love the minimal, distraction free writing process Draft provides, rather it’s just a workflow that I haven’t been able to stick yet.

On the complete flip side, I also wanted to share this graph from Mark Suster’s
article: How I Lost 65 Pounds In 18 Months Without Any Fad Diets or Gimmicks.

Mark really demonstrates how to actually use a wide variety of different methods and apps to obtain success. I don’t think I’ve seen a better example on how to use the Swiss Cheese Model to modify your own behavior!


I thought I had replied to this but I guess not?

I wanted to ask you about this - I’m really curious why you wouldn’t call nonlegit even if you were totally incapacitated! That’s the kind of thing calling nonlegit is for - and it’s support’s job to deal with it, and they are happy to help so it’s not a nightmare to click a few buttons.

I’m the same way - something has to be in the red for me to do it! I don’t think edge-skating is bad though. Danny has said that Beeminder shouldn’t rely on buffer - it’s for akratic people, and if we could build up a buffer we wouldn’t need Beeminder!

So I disagree that edge-skating is bad - I think a more sensible solution is to be able to call non-legit if something happens to incapacitate you!


Hey Zed! I definitely agree with your mindset, and I think it’s sensible, but only for sensible people–which I am not.

The real definition of “incapacitated” can be a slippery slope for somebody with a weasel-like mindset (me), and so it can be difficult to judge when exactly a non-legit derail occurs. Back in 2018 when I previously tried to commit to Beeminder full-time, I called non-legit a bunch, which you can see in my /french graph.

I didn’t even realize this was a big deal until the No Excuses discussion started, but obviously I should’ve since it’s pretty obvious. I feel pretty bad about it in retrospect. So, I suppose this is just personal preference.

Also in entry #39, I talked about the /derail meta-system, which will derail legit whenever another system derails non-legit, which also helps.

My argument against this is primarily logistics-driven. Even if you’re totally okay with non-legit derails, there’s still a dozen e-mails I have to respond to if I miss an entire day, and a dozen graphs that need to be fixed, etc. Which is a pain for both myself and support that can easily be avoided.

Also, the idea to be able to change colours (so that things are red with a couple days buffer, etc.) is in the All Of Our Ideas feature requests, which might help!

I also have to add the disclaimer that I’m still totally edge-skating and this is an ambitious and idealistic idea for myself at this point. In fact, I just derailed an hour ago! My productivity is an empty tank right now. :rofl:


Wait, be sure to read the “EDIT” I added toward the top of “No-Excuses Mode”! :heart:

1 Like