Goal with dates as data-points?

I want to set up a goal to not get more than x days behind on a task. Ideally I’d like to enter the date I’m caught up to as the data point.

It feels like this is an odometer style goal. I’d set the road to advance at a rate of one day per day, and enter the date I’m caught up to which would convert to a number of days on the graph.

It would be manual entry so I could do the conversion of the date to a number with a script but I was wondering if

  • a. there was any jiggery-pokery for dates such as there is for times (if you add a datapoint of hh:mm into a goal and it can/does get converted to decimal hours)
  • b. I was missing anything obvious about how better to set up a goal like this



a. There is not a date entry shortcut.

b. I don’t think you have.

I have experimented with weird date goals like this, and talked about it in the forum: Better option for oldest-item do less goals, today?. Please read that. I still use my epoch date goals.

I really think that when we figure out a good way to do this, Beeminder should have this built in. I would love to have more people experimenting with this, and if you try it, or even decide not to, please let us know how it goes. If we can build a solid set of suggestions of changes to make this usable and easy for folks, I’m certain that will be super helpful for Beeminder.


Thanks for the feedback and the pointers to previous discussion.

After a couple of false starts I’ve set my goal up like this:

  • Custom goal
  • 1 unit/day
  • start value of -7 with no leeway
  • Aggregation: last
  • Switched off cumulative plotting
  • Switched off plotting all data points
  • Goal units: updates
  • y-axis label: days updated
  • Absolute lane width: 7
  • Set data source to the API once I’d set up my updating shortcut (see below)
  • (I think everything else was the default for a custom goal, might have worked starting with a do-more I guess)

This sets up a graph with 0 at the very top of the yellow band, the goal line running at 7 days behind it, bottom of the road at 14 days behind today. The idea is that I can get up to two weeks behind on a task. Zero is the very top of the road as I can’t process things that haven’t been created yet and psychologically I wanted to be able to get to the top of the yellow band when I’m completely up to date.

Datapoints sent to the graph need to be how many days away from the day 0 the graph was created with.

I created an iOS shortcut to make sending the datapoints easy by converting the data to the correct number of days from day 0 and sending it off for me: https://www.icloud.com/shortcuts/2a14b5b7392a4ec3ad86c4270aa38eda

Problems I foresee:

  • Taking a break: I can’t change the goal line since time will continue to march on at one day per day. Widening the lane width so I can fall further behind for a while makes sense in theory but not sure how it will work in practice.
  • Derailments: I think it needs to have 0 days mercy but again would need to widen the lane to let me get back on track. Actually I think this is probably much the same problem as for taking a break? A derailment is just an impromptu break?

I’ll update after I’ve tried it with whether this all works. I’m using this initially to make sure I keep my company accounts up to date. Sample graph: https://www.beeminder.com/k1rsty/sage