My break was wonderful! The move… went! It was a heck of a Lot but the beeminder break went very well! My honeymoon was extremely wonderful and the vacation was much needed—and it’s good to be back!
Bookminder / Derailments
None! Since everything was on break. I’ve just ratcheted books to 7 days, so I’ll something new to report next week.
Other Changes and Notes
I created a rolochecks goal for “touch my rolodex” before I left on the advice of @poisson, either adding information/status or reaching out to people so I can update their “last contacted on” date. It’s on break until Jul 3 so I don’t have to worry about it yet.
I’m excited to be back and able to practice piano again so I ratcheted that to two days.
I mentioned in the last entry that haaang had a long break scheduled. My calendar-scheduled “think about what to do with haaang” task came up, and I’ve decided to just archive it for now. I’m not able to put my hangboard up in my rented apartment, but I also now live reasonably close to my favorite actual climbing gym, so it shouldn’t be needed in several different ways.
I haven’t really had any issues with keeping up with my GTD lists in Obsidian that I mentioned last time—even around my honeymoon! I still recorded “oh, I should do this” stuff but didn’t process anything until after, which I was excited to do and went well. If this continues to go well without a goal, I won’t bother with adding the overhead of a goal to it—but I’ll continue to keep an eye on how it’s feeling when I make this calendial posts.
After +1ing calendial, I’ll add a one-day break, so my next update will be next Sunday, getting me back on my preferred calendial schedule.
I started the-mission, by David Brown, yesterday. So far I’m… underwhelmed, but maybe it’s just a slow start. I like that in this context the akrasia horizon is a “give it a fair shake” horizon!
None! I would have derailed on inbox-zero during my honeymoon because I forgot to set a break (or, rather, did set a break… which just introduces a flat spot, which does absolutely nothing for an already-flat whittle-down). Luckily, support saved the day! Thanks, support. Thupport.
Changes & notes
I finally found what feels like a good requirement for knitting right now, at 1.5hr/week. Making excellent progress on my cardigan! About 1/3 of the way through the first sleeve. And, crucially, I haven’t hurt my fingers yet, as I was wont to do in the past by overdoing it.
I’m considering archiving newleaf, since I haven’t even come close to having issues in a few months now. I think I’ll stick with it through July, then make the call.
coding has found itself on an infinite flatspot again, but I also just realized I forgot to track with Toggl the ~3hr I spent coding a beeminder → ICS file server, prompted on by a daily beemail. I’ve just retrologged that, which should kick the autodialler into gear.
It’s not an actual change, but I just wanted to note that inbox-zero continues to be extremely awesome.
I’m trying out “orange is the new red”, although I did it by working extra hard for two days rather than scheduling a break, because I had a lot of cleaning & unpacking I wanted to do anyways. So far it seems really really nice, but it’s only been a few days of it so far. To that end, I’ll be adding a 1-day break to calendial right after I do my +1, so that it’s orange next Sunday instead of red.
The Mission continues to be decent enough to keep reading. Nice!
I got some books from the library! Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds and Jingo by Terry Pratchet. Comfy books! Goals at slow-bullets and jingo, respectively.
Changes & notes
Ratched brushday and brushdark down to 1 day.
Small updates this week: I’ve pretty much just been cruisin’ along! My break to adjust calendial’s color on Sundays doesn’t go into effect until next week, because of the akrasia horizon, so I’m just doing this week’s a day early.
I finished slow-bullets and jingo already! They were both good fun reads.
I started Staff Engineer by Will Larson at the behest of my boss and grandboss at work, having just been promoted to that title. I’m only about 10% in so far, but it actually seems pretty good! So now I just have that and The Mission in progress (which continues to stay just on this side of “keep reading”: at this point, I’ll probably finish!), but I have a couple of holds in at the library that theoretically should be ready in the next week.
Changes & notes
OitNR[forum] has been so successful for me—and surprisingly easy to reprogram my brain to be distressed about seeing Orange as it was about Red—that I haven’t even had a brief concern about derailing since I started trying it out two calendials ago. Unless I lose track of it, I won’t bother writing a whole header for “Derailments: none!” for future calendial-posts.
Goals under consideration:
Anki (I started re-studying geography with this deck[ankiweb] recently), which has been fun enough on its own so far that I haven’t felt the need for a goal but I’m keeping an eye on it
GTD is riiiiight on the edge of needing a goal to keep up with and one of my to-do list entries is to set up a “hello world” Obsidian plugin to see if I could automate beeminding to-do list depth
My Spanish practice has fallen by the wayside these past few months and a goal would definitely get me back into, I just have to decide if I actually want to do that and what a good metric would be. If I haven’t decided anything else before next calendial or am still waffling, I’ll make a new 3/week beenary goal for “did anything related to practicing spanish”, just to get something going to start collecting data about what works well for me and how I feel about it.
I bought some new accessories for my beloved Singer Featherweight (a thread stand and a replacement motor belt) and I’m debating if that counts as enough of a purchase to warrant a Beemind What You Buy goal. In the same vein of “not making a decision is making a decision”, if I’m still waffling by next calendial I’ll do a 30min/week toggl goal for sewing.
rolochecks was brand-new a few calendials ago and it’s been awesome and I just ramped it to “slightly faster”, from 3/wk to 4/wk, because I added a bunch of old coworker contacts that are now clogging up my “time since last reached out” list that I need to work through with hellos.
The Mission and Staff Engineer continue apace; I’ve added Julia Galef’s The Scout Mindset, which I’ve been meaning to read for ages and finally picked up from the library. I’m historically really bad about actually reading my library books… turns out, unsurprisingly, that beeminder goals help!
I derailed on inbox-zero, but I was pretty sure that I’d checked before going to the movies and didn’t have any beemos. As a whittle-down with automated data sourcing[forum], it theoretically can be a surprise… but my script runs every hour and I didn’t see issues in logs? I’ve noticed some other color weirdness with the android app widget in the past, so my working theory is some kind of android widget staleness or bug. Support is on the case, and I called non-legit in the meantime.
Changes & notes
I had some actual red goals this week! I let cleaning go to True Red, because I spent several hours out with friends yesterday and was fine burning some safety buffer. It’s kind of like a mini-derail, where instead of a monetary cost I just have to work double today. Which, luckily, I wanted to do anyways—my goal was doing fine but I was a little behind on cleaning, since I’d been orange-skating for a week or so. OitNR doing its job swimmingly!
Rather than trying to figure out the perfect metric for GTD tracking, I started gtd off as a simple beenary goal, 0.8/day, +1 for “touched my gtd file”.
Steepened & ratcheted staff-engineer, since I got way ahead.
Steepened & ratcheted cleandish, which didn’t have an autodialMin, and along with some breaks had accumulated more than a month of safety buffer!
Same story for brushdark, though it wasn’t so far gone.
I’ve a new coding project I want to get started this week, so I ratcheted coding to 5 days.
I was still undecided/waffley about Spanish and sewing goals, so per my requirements from last week, I made goals! spanish is 3/week beenary “did anything related to studing spanish”; sewing is 30min/week toggl. I had an old archived sewing goal, but I don’t think it had the toggl settings I wanted, and I wanted to start this fresh goal at $0, so I renamed that one to sewing-archived.
Goals under consideration (maybe I should make this a header-section, instead of sub-bullets?)
Anki still doesn’t need a goal, still keeping an eye on it.
I decided to try regular journalling; it’s too new of a thing to know how I actually feel about it. But it’s possible it’ll want a goal!
The Mission is getting boring again; I considered archiving it but instead am just skimming to see if there’s anything good later.
I finished Staff Engineer yesterday! The Scout Mindset continues.
New book from the library, new goal: agency for Agency by William Gibson.
Changes and Notes
We figured out the inbox-zero issue: my script! It doesn’t create new datapoints if the current state matches the last datapoint, to prevent ridiculous datapoint spam. But I had a rare day where I got precisely zero emails overnight, all the way until almost 21:00 the following day… so when that email finally came in, my script dutifully recorded “1”, and becuase it hadn’t recorded any of the hours of zero (since they all matched the zero from the previous day), aggmin (correctly!) said my min for the day was… one. Which is >0, so I derailed. I plan to have a fix out for jmap-beeminder-reporter[gitlab] later today that just always does at least one datapoint every 6 hours.
A few more goals hit True Red again—cardio, yesterday—again because I had friends over. Excellent!
Put autodial mins on brushdark and brushday.
Steepened the autodial min and max for gym, now that I’m properly settled in to our new apt and have more time for that sort of thing.
Steepened books to reflect how much more I’m reading recently. Love it!
I mentioned that I was considering archiving newleaf at the start of July; now that we’re at the end of July, I have indeed scheduled an archive. It did its job of pulling my sleep schedule back to something reasonable! If I ever notice I’ve drifted away again, I’ll just bring it right back.
The Mission got boringer; I skimmed enough to be satisfied that I didn’t care anymore and archived the goal.
Scout Mindset is done. Nothing particularly new for me, but well-presented. Easy to recommend!
Agency is done. Outstanding book!
I’m sort of in-between books right now… but I’ve got three library holds coming in Soon™, so I don’t mind taking a breather and getting ahead on non-reading goals for bit.
Changes and Notes
I was considering archiving must-do, actually, which I’d previously described as one of my most successful goals ever, because my other to-do lists and GTD systems and beeminder goals have been doing an excellent job, so I’d had a lot of must-do entries that were just “tbd” or “check with [wife]”. Which isn’t inherently a problem or anything, but I wasn’t sure if I was getting enough value from the manual entry. I’ve also been thinking of setting up a new goal to beemind Next Actions depth in my gtd file. I decided to combine these ideas by declaring for myself that if I don’t have anything obvious to must-do, instead of putting “tbd”, I put “handle next actions”. I’ll report in the future how well that’s going
Ratcheted gtd, piano, and rolochecks.
newleaf’s archive went through this morning, which I noticed because I was awake on time and went to +1 it.
New library books! House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia McKillip, tracked at house-of-suns and beasts-of-eld respectively. Plus on StoryGraph.
Changes and Notes
I made a new goal, pages, for total pages read across all books, with the StoryGraph integration. I intend for this to supplant books, which gets a manual +1 when I start a new book, but for now I’m keeping both around while I trial the StoryGraph-based goal. It is subtly different, ofc, in that tracking pages doesn’t weight small and large books differently, whereas tracking books is theoretically “cheatable” by choosing to read tiny books, but for me I think that’s an ice cream truck loophole[blog] so I don’t expect any practical difference.
Turned on autodialling for madebed, with a minimum of its current rate of 3/week. Right now the 30d average is actually below that because of a break, but it’ll eventually start to push it up.
Ratcheted brushday and brushdark to 1d each, making them OitNR-beemos.
Ratcheted coding to 8 days—I’ve a project I’d like to make movement on somewhen this week.
House of Suns was excellent! I’ll probably get some other Reynolds books from the library.
Forgotten Beasts of Eld was also very very good! I’ve got another library hold waiting for me already. I don’t really remember what it is… but I’ll find out when I go soon!
Changes and Notes
Dialled knitting up from 1.5hr/wk to 1.75hr/wk—if I want to finish my cardigan in less than, like, three years, I’ll probably need to be hitting more like 3hr/week, eventually? But I’ll ramp my way up nice and gentle.
Ratcheted gym to 2 days — I finished a cycle of workout progression last week and need to start the next one and I know for sure that has enough ugh field that I won’t do it without the beeminder kick.
Flattened the historical breaks on inbox-zero to make the graph look nicer.
Ratcheted piano down to orange: I’m visiting parents this weekend and they have a lovely baby grand so I spent a lot of time yesterday practicing and playing and I’m going to do more today, so I’ll probably need to ratchet it again tonight!
The mysterious library hold was The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. It’s distressing, but excellent. I’ve got a library hold out on S.B. Divya’s Machinehood that caught my eye at Half-Price Books; it probably won’t be ready by the time I finish The Water Knife but that’s fine, I’ve got plenty of pages buffer.
Changes and Notes
Unarchived flossing: I archived it many moons ago because I was habitually flossing every day, but since I moved I haven’t stuck to it. So… goal’s back!
As I often do, ratcheted brushday and brushdark, as I often do. Upped their autoratchetMins as well to 5/wk.
I’ve been really good about keeping up with cleanspresso, so I had almost a week of buffer—ratcheted that down to 2 days as well.
And that’s it! Super light this week—everything is feeling really pretty well dialed.
My prediction that I’d finish The Water Knife before Machinehood came in at the library was accurate, but only by two days. I haven’t actually started the new book yet, even so, but the goal is up at machinehood.
Changes and Notes
Literally no changes! Anki is still doing fine but I’ve fallen behind on journalling recently and I think it was a useful habit when I was more active at it, so I’m more strongly considering a goal for it. As normal, if I’m still waffling by next calendial, I’ll make the goal.
Machinehood is the only book I have going right now. I started yesterday; good so far!
Changes and Notes
Yesterday I tried out using zzq’s extension[forum] to collapse goals as I did them, since autodata means I can’t totally trust the little checkmark icon (plus, “hide” is more visually impactful than “has a checkmark”). I got so much done! I’ll probably start doing that regularly.
As promised, journal goal ahoy! It’s not a very cute name but that’s okay. It’s beenary for “wrote a journal entry today”; autodial from 1 to 6 per week. I’ll write today’s entry right after calendialing.
We’ve been doing fantastic on cleaning, cleandish, and cleanspresso, so I ratcheted them all down to 2 days so we don’t skip the whole start of the week: my wife helps with house cleaning and dishes, of course, but the buck stops, as it were, with me, since my schedule is much easier to find time to clean in.
Machinehood is nearing its end; I’m nervous. It could easily go either way between “satisfying ends-tying-up action-packed conclusion” and… well, none of those things. I’ve purposefully not gotten another library book; I plan to next read sea-of-stars.
Changes and Notes
New goal! Toggl-tracked hamstring stretches. I had a beenary did-my-stretches goals a while ago but I’m taking a different approach this time around, aiming for less focused but more frequent stretches while I, e.g., watch youtube videos, or play games on my phone. Starting it small but with a large autodial max.
Small regular ratchets on cleandish, brushday, and flossing.
I continue to appreciate zzq’s extension. I’m planning to try to do a compact/extra-fancy display for beenary goals (“+1 for ‘did I do the thing today’”) that I’ll probably do as a fork off the extension. If it ends up being cool I’ll post it, but no promises on time or coolness
Machinehood was pretty good! A little rushed at the end—all the loose ends tied themselves a little too conveniently—but didn’t end up as tropey as I feared.
I’ve just started To Sleep in a Sea of Stars (sea-of-stars). It’s a whopping 878 pages, so at my “safe” rate of 5/day I’ll finish… next March. Probably I will read faster than that but if not that’s okay!
Changes and Notes
hamstring is successful and good! I’m stretching them right now while I type!
Small regular ratchets on brushday, brushdark, cleandish, cardio, cleanspresso, and flossing. I’ve been busy!
I accidentally set my journal goal to 2/day instead of 2/week; I fixed it but I’ve got to double-journal all this week. I decided to stick with it instead of emailing support (thanks, Discord!) and it’s actually been pretty surprisingly good! 2/day might be a little excessive for normal times but it seems to be a good way to kickstart the habit for now… I might actually stick with it, I’m not sure yet! It’ll go back to 2/week before my next calendial, so I’ll be update then about what I decided to do with the goal.
Considering making a goal to track completed puzzles on Lichess. Their API is really good so it would be pretty trivial to do.
piano has been feeling too-much, so I put it off and let it turn red, and then had a migraine the next day, but I let it ride since when I let it go red it sure felt derail-y, and I wanted a break anyways.
journal being set to 2/day was not sustainable, it turns out. Something like 10/wk is probably doable and maybe what I’ll ramp back up towards after the derail-break. It was a new goal at $0, so I especially didn’t mind just taking a week breather on the goal after overdoing it.
sea-of-stars has, slowly, been chugging along. Not much interesting to say about it yet—if that state continues next time, I’ll skip this section until there’s anything book-adjacent to say.
Changes and notes
I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed in general, so I scheduled a three day break for everything (except calendial, which I still want to be orange next Sunday) at the end of next week—I’ll take a little beeminder-vacation, build up some safety buffer or just ignore stuff, whatever feels comfier when I get there.
On a related note, I’m purposely not ratcheting any of the goals I normally ratchet this week. After my little break next week, I’ll see if I need to soften some of those ratchet requirements or slopes.
I did make a goal to track completed puzzles on Lichess at lichess-puzzles! I’m still fiddling with my script to sync data, so the goal itself is currently flat-forever while I get the script sorted. I should be able to ramp it up by next calendial!
Calendial’s a day late this week! I spent the weekend at the ACL music festival here in Austin. It was great fun, but while I was broadly able to keep up with my goals, calendialling fell through. No stress, though: that’s why orange is the new red!
Lichess puzzles are tracking very easily! I’ll make a new thread[forum] to dump my bash-blob in if anyone wants it. Potential for a new integration, maybe?
I’ve got my mentioned break coming up later this week. It’ll be nice!
I found that I was making up tasks to do during focusmates, rather than using focusmate as a tool for tasks I had to do anyways, which isn’t how I want to approach it. So I’ve just let focusmate derail and also scheduled it for an archive.
Changes and notes
I got covid at ACL! It was a moderate case at worst but I still ended up emailing support to extend my break, which is why I didn’t post anything last Sunday—I was rather busy being sick. I’m good now though!
Customary ratchets on brushdark and brushday.
I did a ton of knitting today and don’t quite want all the break it would give me, so I’m ratcheting that from 9 days down to 5.
Increased slope and ratcheted gtd.
Increased autodialMin for journal to 4/week—my 30d average is at 3/week right now and it feels a bit low.
It seems like my lichess-puzzles script is behaving well, so I’ve turned it from a flat-forever goal into a very achievable 1/day, and used graph.beeminder.com to make it as if there had always been a nice red line relative to where the data points are. If I end up having to ratchet this one frequently, I’ll probably turn on autodialling.
Tidied up my graph on inbox-zero, tightening some breaks (which, for a whittle-down, means “periods with a higher goal than normal”) down closer to the actual data so the graph looks nicer.
That’s why I’ve got a subscription-level slope set on my focusmate, i.e. 3/week, just to keep me from forgetting it exists as a tool altogether.
At least that’s how it started. In practice I’m using the Autodialer to commit to between 0.6 and 2 sessions per day, with weekends off and a 7-day autoratchet. Any more than 2 and it’d get swamped by a busy week and, like you, I’d find myself just clocking sessions to satisfy the goal.
Their monthly emailed receipts might also help with the forgetting, or maybe you don’t suffer from that particular challenge. There are loads of tools that I often don’t think to use, but always find helpful when I do. Focusmate is one of them.
…slow-cleaning: I procrastinated making my halloween costume (my wife and I are the Mouse and the Cookie from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and then had to spend six hours yesterday sewing. So I didn’t have time to do, uh, anything else.
Changes and notes
I’ve combined knitting and sewing into one fiber-arts goal, since they compete for time and also for hand health.
Ratcheted cleaning and slow-cleaning to 2 days—the full seven, this time, felt a bit much.
Scheduled books to archive: I’ve been relying on pages, which is autodata from The Storygraph, more.