My initial thought was to try to get some sort of webhook attached to an app on my watch that can be routed through ifttt, but then I also feel like I should have some sort of reminder that’s sufficiently random that I won’t learn to ignore it.
Another feature of what I’m thinking of trying to do is that I want this to be fractional on a daily basis, like at least once a day and hopefully more, but without then running into an end-of-day and having to make up when it’s infeasible. Is there a best way to structure something like this? Maybe number-of-points instead of number-of-times?
I want to be more aware of and connected to people when I’m not physically present, but I can get caught up pretty easily in doing things where I am / with the people I’m with
For the people that I normally communicate with over the phone, I Beemind the number of minutes per day I’m on the phone with them. I enter it manually after I hang up.
I have a separate goal of 1–2 minutes per day per person, so even phone tag is enough to skate. An 8-day auto-ratchet prevents one great call from making me forget to call again for a month.
I’ve been using this system since February and I really like it.
I personally just have a do more goal goal where I track phone call attempts. Essentially +1 if I attempted to call a family member.
I also include who I contacted so that I can quickly see if I am neglecting someone by looking at the datapoint comments.
I’m very similar to @cgamer1 – pretty much identical except that I don’t make phonecalls.
I have two contact goals: one for my university friends plus family who stay in contact via text messages etc, and one for my grandmother specifically. The first one counts any contact at all, like “hey, how are you?” Just stuff that throws the ball into their court. I don’t think we’ve ever talked so much since we graduated, even though the goal itself is so low effort.
With my grandmother, it’s specifically writing letters/postcards: she’s deaf and I have trouble with understanding people’s voices in non-video calls, and she doesn’t really “get” how to text and so on. So I just write her an old-fashioned letter each week and put in a +1. The comment on the datapoint reminds me what I talked about, so that I don’t repeat myself too much. I’ve only recently started doing this, but I hear that Grandma likes it a lot. (She doesn’t write back, and that’s okay with me, I know she’s frail and struggling. I just want her to know I’m thinking of her, even though I can’t call.)
Keen to find out if you manage to automate something like this.
I’ve had success with manual goals that track the number of people I’ve made contact with, and goals for particular individuals. I’ve never tracked minutes, just entered a datapoint per person per day.
For me, auto-ratchet is the killer feature since it means that no more than N days can go by before the next contact attempt is due. e.g. phoning my mother several times in a row doesn’t get me off the hook indefinitely, which I’m sure she appreciates.
Thanks all for so many good ideas and inspiration and contributing. I think I might benefit from a separate goal to track people I talk to less often who are farther away (and mostly on the phone). I might also add a goal for the letter-writer who I don’t write to enough. I’ll have to reconsider auto-ratchet, I generally don’t use that feature.
I’ve started out trying one goal for one person, with a points system:
1 point is a ping
2 points is a ping returned
3 points is learning something new
I’m trying to incentivize more meaningful conversation, while not turning it into a strange burden. That’s why I’m trying a spread of points, and am hand-waving categories for things that are more substantial (so 3 points might be a phone call, or it might be a really long text/IM conversation). When I say “a ping” I’m meaning a generalization of a text/IM/call of the “hey, how’s it going, ” So far this has resulted in more conversation but also some wondering questions about the underlying reason for so much seemingly random talking.
I was able to add a webhook to my watch using the beeminder api, one of which is a button for 3 points, and one of which is a button for 1 point. However, the pre-built interface I’m using for the watch doesn’t give me much feedback (for instance, if it failed to get a response because it didn’t have internet I might not realize for a couple hours until I checked the app on my phone). This requires further investigation in the watch api, or I might end up trying a widget on my phone screen. I can be more engaged with things that are novel, and if there are too many routine steps things don’t stick.