Feature request: Built-in timer for web (& weasel-proof)

I described my use-case in another post seeking an optimal system to address it. Thanks to replies there, I can now get pretty close. But I think Beeminder could fairly easily* implement features that could create an absolute ideal solution. Features based on already-existing functionality. And in so doing, offer functionality for a lot more users than just me.

Request part 1: Include a timer** in the web interface (and/or iOS app), similar to the one included in the Android app. This will make life easier for those with time-based goals, as we won’t have to use a 3rd party timer app and then manually enter the data.

Request part 2: Allow the user to ‘lock-in’ the built-in timer as the only permitted data entry method for a goal. This could simply be an expansion of the ‘weasel-proof me’ option in goal settings, which locks-in APIs/Zapier/IFTTT as data sources and locks-out manual entry by user. The built-in timer could just be added to that list of data sources.

These features would allow a) seemless data entry for timer-based goals, and b) a way to weasel-proof data input for such goals. I really like the ability to take data entry out of my own weasel-y hands*** and make it an automatic mechanism. But my goals tend not to be amenable to the existing integrations (such as GitHub, Fitbit, Withings, etc.), which can be weasel-proofed.

Thanks for the consideration!

*I know this is frequently easier to say than to actually implement.
**The Android app also has an incrementer for data entry, and some might find that useful on other platforms, too (though I personally don’t use it). But an incrementer on the web interface is probably not nearly as handy as it is on the phone.
***I know that a timer that the user has control over (s/he decides when to start and stop it) still offers some potential to weasel/cheat. You can run the timer even when you aren’t actually doing the activity related to your goal. So, no, it’s not as weasel-proof as a Withings scale, for example. But automating data entry from timer to Beeminder does still reduce the opportunities and temptations to weasel. Which for me IS psychologically/behaviorally important.


Would be cool to define the time units to log. E.g. I set a goal to 150 minutes per week and log it using the timer it logs hours and minutes. Or have I created my goal in a wrong way?


@tillmann: I believe you could accommodate your use by defining your
goal in terms of hours. So 150 minutes = 2.5 hrs. Of course while this
works mathematically, it might not be ideal psychologically, as you may
want to see your data in terms of minutes, if that’s the unit that
makes sense to you.

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The Beeminder software is currently only helpful for time based goals denominated in hours.

I agree that being able to set your units to minutes would be nice.


I’m not likely to ever use these features, but at least imposing restrictions (e.g waiting period) on changing the data source in addition to weasel-proofing makes sense to me.

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I would use this as well for my fasting goal. :smile:

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This does sound worth doing! Tagging #UVI. Our friend @richarmstrong (who doesn’t seem to have a forum account yet) made a nice bookmarklet with this functionality:

Would love to hear if others find that workable in the meantime.

And here’s a collection of ideas for beeminding pomodoros, some of which involve simple timers:

Thanks for chiming in, Daniel.

@richardarmstrong’s bookmarklet would indeed seem to be a step towards a Beeminder-native timer for the web interface. I wasn’t able to get it to work, however :frowning:. Maybe I’m not fully understanding his instructions?


Couldn’t get it to work either.