Feature Request: Straight forward Yes/No goal option.

I’m loving beeminder. Prior to I used habit-bull, a don’t break the chain style program. I have 6 or 7 daily habits that the wise overseeing versions of me would like to do 6 or 7 days a week. I think growing financial incentive of beeminder plus the style of don’t break the chain would go great together. It’s double the motivation. I did read the blog post about it Beeminder vs Don’t Break the Chain, I just think they’d go great together.

Many goals are simply yes/no. I love Beeminder’s graph for my daily study time. I bet it’d be great for weight and calories and meditation time, etc. But almost all of my other goals are Yes or No. Did I avoid eating out? Yes. Did I do either cardio or weight lift? Yes. Did I wake up at 7am? Yes. Did I take my vitamins? No. I pay up and tomorrow I do better.

I will continue integrating my daily habits into beeminder. I think a separate goal system for yes/no goals (other than the current do more with 1=yes 0=no system) with an expanding chain would be great though. The graph as it is doesn’t feel like the best way of conveying yes/no integration, nor does entering a 1/0. Ideally there would be an option for number of days per week you’re supposed to do the goal. Maybe days you did it get a black X, days you didn’t do it but allowed to not do it get a Red X, and then days you skipped have the amount of money the user paid $10, for example, instead of an X.

Just a thought. If I’m the only one who thinks daily yes/no habit integration could be improved than I’ll suck it up and deal since it is functional in its current form. I just wanted to throw out an alternative and see what people thought. :smile:


I sympathize with you since the majority of my goals are yes/no. Something like 17 out of 24 of them.

My biggest complaint was always the integer / float issue which you can work around now by setting integery on the goal if you use the API. This will stop beeminder from asking you to floss your teeth 0.71 times today. :smile:

I’ve actually grown to like the graph. I agree it is less motivating than a cool unbroken chain thing but it’s a LOT more motivating than a broken chain. When you finally screw up and your 94 day flossing streak is ruined, I find the cumulative graph approach more motivating for getting back on the saddle.


I’m may play with that. I’ve never used the API, but not having to wake up at 7am tomorrow at least 0.43 times would be cool. I don’t know if I want to invest any more time “sharpening the saw” though when I could be sawing things!

I think even if the graph stayed, a Yes/No option specific for yes/no goals would be nice. The whole 1=yes 0=no feels like a very engineer/programmer/sentient robot type of thing.

I’m glad Beeminder has the options that it does, but I’d be willing to bet that if they made a ‘Beeminder Lite’ that replaced terminology like “Retroratchet” and “Akrasia Horizon” with titles like “Make your Goal Deadline Sooner!” and “Willpower Window (Changes do not take effect before this date)” then they would make bank because it would be more accessible to the type of people that want to use a program like this, but don’t want to spend an hour just learning how. Or they could just make a user-friendly version called ‘Beeminder’ and call this version ‘Beeminder Extreme’.

That said, it’s obviously not my program so I could be wrong. Maybe if there was a market for a user-friendlier version of beeminder, then it’d already exist. Stickk doesn’t track things daily, which I think defeats a lot of the purpose of this type of willpower tool. I wonder how many people who start beeminder because it sounds like something they want, stop because it seems too complex. I’d bet it’s a lot.


I’m not a Beeminder dev, but I do similar work trying to bring complicated
things to users who often don’t want to learn about the complicated things.

I agree that there are probably medium to large usability improvements to
be made, but they’re usually trickier to find than you’d think at first

For example, retroratchet. Not every goal has a defined deadline,
actually. Some goals don’t have defined rates, and other goals don’t have
defined goal totals, so "I tend to call retroratchet “throwing away safety
margin” when talking to people who aren’t Beeminder savvy.

There are already a few input shortcuts, like the caret notation for days,
and hh:mm:ss for time. I think yes being 1 and no being 0 is definitely
worth discussion.

Good ideas @lolernie!


You say that like it’s a bad thing!! Hahaha :slight_smile:

But yes you are probably right.


This is a very good post, @dreev should read it every morning.

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