Feature Request: Trello "Whittle down" type goal

I just tried out the trello integration and I love it!
Counting the cards in a “done” board is great.
You know what would be even greater-er?
Counting the cards in the “to do” boards and make that a whittle down type goal!

Say you have an ominous deadline upcoming where you need to hand in something and by that time you of course want all your items on your “to do” boards done. But over time you may add more and more todos (which you eventually do) but beeminder does only care about the total amount of items done. Not how many still need to be done.
So right now you would have to update that rate in beeminder every time you put another todo item on your trello boards.

Can we have this, please?


I’m not sure if you might not be able to do this with a custom goal… might be worth the experiment! (I.e. for someone who has custom goals, once you have a Trello goal set up, enable the custom settings and change the right side of the road, etc.)

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I did that just now and it appears to be working!

Update: It’s now one week after implementing this custom whittle down goal. It turned out to be the kicker in terms of productivity for me! It does everything I want it to do and I just wish this would have happened sooner. Right now I don’t even need the threat of potentially losing money. I just want the graph to look “nice”. This nice slowly descending YBR provides a sense of guidance that I really came to appreciate.

Thanks again to @shanaqui!


I would be afraid to unlearn putting cards into trello a little bit, with this kind of goal. What if you get a burst of inspiration and hammer out 15 cards at the end of the day? Aren’t you tempted to write them down on paper or an other todo list app instead of trello so as to not go over the ybr?

Glad you asked! I was indeed faced with exactly this conundrum, here is what I came up with:

This works because you tell Beeminder what lists to count cards in.

You could also set up a second board independent from this one where you keep your ideas and when you finished your goal / milestone / deadline / whatever you want to call it, you can import those cards from the other board.


So I guess this approach would encourage you to plan your work in “sprints?” What’s the general use case you’re using this for? A personal project?

I don’t understand - why sprints? This approach would work for any todo list in trello - just tell beeminder what lists to count down.

I love it! What are those color bars on top of each item? Does beeminder do anything with those?

I’ve never used trello but this makes me want to try - so pretty!

My use case is finishing the master project¹ of my M.Sc. Comp Sci degree that I’m working on! It’s about beating Adobe’s compression method for RAW photos using the SPIHT wavelet compression. It’s also a good example what happens (to me at least) when you only track the input, not the output for the entire thing is supposed to be 300 hours. And I’m above 400 already and that’s not counting the many hours I poured into it before I started beeminding: spiht | phi/spiht goal page

As you delightfully put it I noodle on the things that are already good enough (in my professors’ eyes) rather than moving on.
And that’s because I picked the topic for this project myself and am way too passionate about it and there is so many things still that I could play with and experiment but I gotta wrap this up.
And yes, I did actually manage to beat Adobe’s compression. Less is better:

Now with it having grown that much (the documentation got 60 pages long instead of what should have been < 20 pages) my professor suggested that we could publish it! So if you see me at an academics conference talking about wavelets later, now you know why :wink:

It’s also my Beeminder origin story:

¹ Not to be confused with the master thesis. It’s supposed to be sort of like a very implementation focused mini bachelor thesis.

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Those are labels:

Beeminder doesn’t care for those. Beeminder also does not care about the age of the cards which would make for a great metric I think. There is actually an option in Trello that will make your cards wilt based on their age:

And yes Trello is great for these kind of things. For me it’s a nice compromise of ToDo-List and mind map. And it’s generally nice for Kanban.