Beeminder Forum

Help me understand (the details of) retroratcheting


I have read the FAQ and the glossary, but I couldn’t find an answer to the following question:

What happens when I retroratchet during the day?

  • Say I have a Do More goal with slope 4 (units) per day.
  • I start an eep day at -2 (below the road, meaning I finished yesterday at +2).
  • Now I log 7 units (so I’m +5 units now, relative to the edge).
  • Then I retroratchet to 0 days before the day is over.

What will my count relative to the edge of the road be? Will it go down to -4 units (so that I still have to do 4 before the day’s deadline), to +/- 0 units, or to some safety buffer?

So I guess I am basically asking where exactly retroratchet takes you and if there is a difference in when during a day I retroratchet.


Here’s a long-winded “I don’t know” answer…

My general advice would be to avoid situations that require knowing the calculations.

It shouldn’t matter when during a day you retroratchet, except possibly in relation to the data you’ve already entered today, because (I think) it’s calculated based on where you are in relation to the road and its slope.

My mental model (which could be wrong) is that the road is lowered in increments of the slope, until your current datapoint is off the road. So, in the situation outlined, I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t go to -4, given a slope of 4 and a position of +5. My guess would be -3.

Mostly I use autoratchet (“max safe days”) to ensure that I don’t build up too much safety buffer, without needing to manually change it.


Thanks for the explanation, @philip!

I have come to a similar conclusion: Avoid doing anything drastic where I am not sure what will happen. I’ve tried and failed after opening this thread (or, maybe succeeded because I was suddenly below the road and worked more than I otherwise would have…). Same goes for backdating or downgrading data points… I just need stick to the basics for now. :smiley: