Oh my, we have an overwhelming amount to say about this but it’s out of all proportion with what we’re actually ready to do about it…
First a few questions for @katriel before launching into philosophy:
- Are you manually entering a datapoint each time you check your phone and spend more than 30 seconds on it? I think you must have automated this, which is super cool and I’d love to hear more about how you did that. Tasker?
- If you could turn on some other reminders for a bit (email, slack, whatever) to compare, that would be super helpful for us. We’re working on revamping the Android reminders and hearing this case study of if it’s the Android reminders specifically that are just all wrong would be edifying.
- Do you have PPRs turned on for this goal? Probably not if it’s automated.
- Do you have experience with manual do-less goals? (Or whatever kind this one isn’t.)
Philosophy and Wolf-Crying
Let me repeat what I said in a daily beemail about this a few weeks ago in the context of anti-wolf-crying.
The principle we’re aiming for (again, as distinct from the status quo) is that zenos on a do-less goal should happen for exactly two reasons:
- You need to add data to a manual goal to keep from derailing (currently that would be due to PPRs but the principle generalizes).
- You just moved dangerously closer to your hard cap on an autodata goal. (We have ideas for how to define “dangerously closer” in a spec we’re writing. We’re trying hard to avoid adding any extra fields or options or settings.)
The only time we should nag you (i.e., send repeated reminders saying the same thing) is like with do-more goals: “OMG DO THE THING WHY HAVE YOU STILL NOT DONE THE THING”.
We never want to be like “DON’T DO THE THING ARE YOU STILL NOT DOING THE THING OK HOW ABOUT NOW??”. That’s wolf-crying.
(See blog.beeminder.com/zeno for a refresher but roughly, zenos are reminders that repeat more and more frequently as your deadline approaches. For a do-more goal we keep zenoing as long as it’s a beemergency. Nice and Simple. For do-less it’s … not simple. The whole definition of beemergency is pretty fraught for do-less goals. But the status quo is all wrong and we’re groping our way to something righter.)
We’re definitely eager for more feedback about this. I know some of you very much do want Beeminder to keep bugging you, even on a manual do-less goal. Maybe it’s a nail-biting goal or something and you need Beeminder’s help to maintain the awareness to keep refraining from doing the thing. But my contention is that trying to do that backfires.
Of course in the meantime we have the worst of all worlds, with some do-less goals reminding you too much and others too little.