Beeminder Forum

Do you want a nannybot?

I took a straw poll in a recent daily beemail and the responses were pretty funny/fascinating, seeming to alternate between “oh hell no” and “dear god yes please”. So I thought I’d repeat it here and give people the chance to elaborate on their answers and talk about what the implications are for the long-term future of Beeminder.

The background is that I’ve often described, like in “Between Lion and Ladybird, or Figuring Out What Works”, the holy grail or end state of Beeminder as like a nannybot that tells me minute-by-minute what I should be doing for optimum happiness/fulfillment/awesomeness (and enforces it, of course).

(Fun fact: I had no idea where I said that until I googled “beeminder nannybot”.)

So, first of all, what’s your reaction to that? Do you want a nannybot?

A less philosophical/academic version of that question is about your relationship with Beeminder reminders. Do you rely on them heavily or do you set up redundant systems (in real life or elsewhere) so that Beeminder can still be effective at cracking its whip without also nagging you all day long? Or is the continuous nagging part of the point?

Here are excerpts from the beemail replies:

  1. Yes I rely on notifications
  2. No nannybot as described but not ruling it out
  3. I would love one!
  4. Hell no, but I do rely heavily on reminders and want more control
  5. Yes I rely on reminders
  6. YES
  7. Absolutely no nannybot for me
  8. I hate being nagged and try not to edge-skate
  9. No nannybot, no reminder overload, I don’t rely on reminders
  10. Yes nannybot, and I have a love/hate relationship with reminders
  11. Reminders can be useful but mostly I just always have an eye on the app
  12. No nannybot, that sounds way too inflexible
  13. I want a compassionate, non-rigid nannybot
  14. Yes please
  15. No nannybot but I want a HUD (Complice’s dashboard with Beeminder integration helps here)

One of you was very grateful to be reminded of and dove in on setting that up. Highly recommended!

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I don’t rely on reminders. They just get annoying and I am pretty good about using my dashboard as a quasi-todo list for my personal projects each day (that and Wunderlist).


I’m of two minds when it comes to the Beeminder notifications. Some I find annoying and/or easy to ignore, others I rely on to actually do stuff (in those cases I talk about the permanent notfication icon on the phone (which I kinda find annoying doesn’t disappear when I update the goal)).

As for the nannybot, I want it when it becomes a HUD, or even better, a sassy AI that lives in my brain and can tell me “Oh, so you’re going downtown? Remember to bring that phone for the repairshop.”

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Response #16.
Please, no nannybot. I beg of you.

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