Getting physical aka physical buttons

@mary: Even better, the Beeminder Android app has its own widgets – almost as frictionless as IFTTT’s Do button app (which also works great on Android).

And @jnewth, thank you so much for chiming in! (And for the kind words about Beeminder; we can’t take credit for the forum software – that’s Discourse, but, yes, highly recommended!) Anyway, I’ve now backed and liked Droplet and will help spread the word about it. I agree that having one hub and dime-a-dozen buttons is a wonderful approach!

Would love to hear what you think of Beeminder too. It’s certainly not for everyone but if you have the right kind of psychology/nerdery you may love it!

Thanks for all the replies!

Mostly I run into problems when either:

  • My phone is in my pocket. I’d rather have a button on my desk.
  • I’m in my morning routine before I’m carrying my phone. I’d rather have a button in my bathroom and a button in my closet.

I do have a smartphone and I don’t really need 100% reliability, but it’s going to be annoying if the Flic can’t talk to my phone from the bathroom. :-/


@drtall All these little devices use roughly the same microcontrollers and antennas so it’s doubtful that any button will be way better than any other. But BLE is definitely LE – low energy, and that’s not just clever branding. Low energy means low range, susceptible to environmental factors. WiFi, on the other hand, is quite powerful. What this means is that our smart hubs act like boosters to get data out - we pass the low power BLE message up to a high power WiFi message to get out to the internet. Hope that pulls back the curtain a bit!

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Yeah it makes a lot of sense. Now I’m surprised I didn’t think about this before!

That’s what I was going to suggest. A synthesized button.

If the issue is getting out of bed, then sleep as android has an alarm that requires you to scan a set of QR codes to turn it of. Annoying in the morning, but it does work (personal preference would be an alarm that required me to turn on the shower).

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Hey all, looks like Droplet is about to successfully complete their Kickstarter and are just shy of breaking their stretch goal of $100k so this would be a great time to order some!

(And, @jnewth, let’s keep talking about official integration! Of course there’s IFTTT but an official integration is probably better, both because we can make it easier to create Droplet-powered goals (and maybe make it more real-time or other slickness) and just for cross-promoting each other which probably helps both of us.)

Thanks @dreev Thanks to you personally for your support and enthusiasm, and also thanks to the Beeminder community in general. After the craziness subsides (and my wife delivers our firstborn) a custom integration is a great idea. You’ve got my email. Let’s talk again!

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Best idea I have heard and that is super cheap is just a nfc tag + tasker. This is what I would go with.

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Can someone who’s tried this comment on it? Seems like there are a bunch of requirements / disadvantages compared to a physical button like Droplet:

  1. Android phone (for Tasker)
  2. Pulling out your phone
  3. Or maybe it works in the background? In which case false positives from accidentally getting your phone near the NFC tag.
  4. Semi-technical setup required.
  5. No satisfying tactile feedback from pressing a button.

Relevant to points #2 amd #3, from an Amazon product summary: “Operating Range ~1cm”

I just ordered 12 NFC tags for less than the price of one Droplet.


For me the goal is to not have to get my phone out to interact with the thing. So I don’t think the NFC tags would work for me. I’m going to find out if Flic is good enough soonish I hope (they keep delaying shipping)


Apparently Amazon has a $5* dash button that you can re-purpose to trigger arbitrary events like logging a datapoint to Beeminder.

* You may need to be an Amazon Prime member and be in the USA

Edit: forgot a word


Very nice hack indeed!

Or if you have a virtual address in the US like this and try the 1 month Amazon Prime membership for free, you can get 18 different Amazon buttons, each with a different function (i.e., beeminder task).

Such low cost solutions seem feasible for me. Or maybe, I will think about the NFC tags which is much cheaper, but with the hassle of carrying the phone and touching it to a tag, and with no psychological feeling of pressing something as @dreev mentioned above.

I am excited of the coming IoT and how will change our life.


Never saw this thread before!

I have NFC tags, some that used to work with Beeminder. I had one where I would use the NFC tag as a sort of bookmark for my books. I turn to the page (where the NFC tag would be located), tap my phone with it, and it would:

  1. Start the Beeminder timer,
  2. Put phone on silent
  3. Disable internet connectivity for 30 minutes (and continuously poll to ensure it stays closed)

And after a second touch:

  1. Stop timer
  2. Launch Goodreads to update reading progress.

I stopped using it though, since I read from ebooks more often now, and NFC doesn’t work on metal. And chasing an NFC tag to start the timer is a bit too much. I might get a case for my ereader though, and might stick an NFC tag that does the same thing on that. It’s on my list of nice-things-to-have.

I have an NFC tag hidden on my nightstand that automatically starts Sleep As Android sleep tracking (and puts phone on silent and Airplane mode). I guess the OP could use that with the Beeminder-Sleep As Android integration for good effect. I also use the NFC to disable my morning alarm, and the same tag launches AnkiDroid as well (Beeminder-Anki sync!). I haven’t been able to use it much though, since I’m on summer break and wake up whenever I want :joy: It used to launch Duolingo instead of AnkiDroid though, but I’ve long since finished my French tree (couldn’t have done it without Beeminder)!

This is all with Trigger and its Tasker integration btw.


This is a great idea, I’ll have to find some old NFC cards and try it out (or buy them cheaply online).


I’ve got prototypes of two physical Beeminder devices–one is a button I use to mark when I got o bed, and another is a red police light that goes off if I’m in an emergency day.

I’m using Particle Photons, and just used a little box as an enclosure for the button, and 3D printed something for the emergency light.

I’m going to write up a tutorial for the button, at least. People should be able to pick up a Photon for $19, get a little button+adapter for a few bucks from Adafruit or me or whoever, and have a wifi button that connects to IFTTT to do whatever Beemindery thing you want to do. You won’t need to be a programmer, but you’ll have to plug some things into each other and join the device to your Wifi and follow some instructions.


Thanks! Do you have any updates on the tutorial?

Hi, are any of you actually using any of these buttons? I’m curious as to which one works best with BM at the moment in terms of the physical buttons…


Sadly my Flic kickstarter order is still not here ~6 months later. I’ll let folks know how they work if I ever get them. :slight_smile: