How to Beemind Folding Laundry Right Away?

I want to get into a habit of folding my laundry and putting it away the same day that they are done. How can I use beeminder to help me with this goal?


Most of my Beeminder goals are binary goals: I enter a datapoint of 1 for a day if I did whatever it was that day, and I don’t enter a datapoint otherwise (or, equivalently, enter a datapoint of 0.)

This is an incredibly powerful technique. Just about everything can be Beeminded this way, not just things which have an obvious way of tracking an amount done.

In your case, that translates to entering a datapoint of 1 whenever you fold your laundry on the same day. The steepness of the road would need to accommodate the fact that your only going to be doing this on days you do laundry, of course. (For instance, if you find that you typically do laundry twice a week, and you want a bit of leeway on the laundry folding goal, maybe set the rate to 1.5/week or so, at least to start out with.)


Alternatively you could define the goal as laundry-zero with a rate of 1 per day, and enter 1 each day you completed all the folding there is to do, even though most days that would equate to no folding at all. I’ve used this approach for many situations where I want to clear an “inbox” regularly.


This makes sense, thanks. Especially since my laundry is very erratic.

I’m not sure how this would work because my laundry is very sporadic. I might do laundry twice in one week, then none for 2 weeks.

Can you give some other examples of what you mean by this?

Admittedly, my recommendation works significantly less well in this scenario. @nauthur’s varient on it could work, or the de Morgan do-less equivalent. (i.e a do-less of "days which end with laundry that is done-but-unfolded.)

If you have some broadly defined but amorphous project you want to work on, you can Beemind it this way—each day you record if you worked on the project at all that day. (Another way of doing it would be time spent on the project, but I often prefer to avoid the overhead of timetracking.)

The classic Beeminder goal of “go to the gym” is perhaps an even better example. You track going to the gym, not doing any particular exercise there, meaning that Beeminder gets you to go to the gym without locking you into any particular workout (which may vary from day to day in any case.) This is particularly valuable given that when you don’t really feel like working out Beeminder still gets you off the couch and to the gym with the promise of “it doesn’t matter how much of a workout you do when you get there, but you do need to go.” (And when you do get there, you’ll usually find yourself doing far more of a workout that you could have motivated yourself to get up and do when sitting on the couch at home.)

But as I said, this can extend to just about anything. I’ve got a Beeminder goal called backups; in which I beemind interacting with my computer backups.

What do I mean by “interacting with my computer backups”? Well, it could be one of several things. Looking over my automated tarsnap backups to make sure they’re running; making a new (manual) local backup (to an external drive); testing restoring from backup (from tarsnap or a local external drive); or rotating my local backups (I keep one external drive with backups near me, and one in an offsite location, and every once in a while I switch which is which.)

It’s valuable to be interacting with your backups on a regular basis, because the absolute worst time to discover some sort of failure is when you need to recover from backup. The precise details don’t really matter—so long as I’m in the habit of doing one or more of these every few weeks or so, I can be confident in my backups strategy.


Fantastic into, thanks! I think I’ll just go with @narthur’s TaskRatchet.

If I get too many of these one-off task ratchet goals, I might have a separate beeminder goal as a catch all as a daily check for multiple adhoc goals.

The beeminder goal would just simply be read this list so I can make sure that I remember that these are the things that I am going to want to use task ratchet for. I would just read the list and check that off everyday to keep those other things forefront in my mind. And in fact that beeminder goal wouldn’t necessarily even have to be daily it could be much less.

This idea is also kind of like what one could do with Anki. So as long as I throw that list into Anki and have a beeminder go for anki, that could work too.


Ha, I have a similar binary goal myself for “check plants”: I get a 1 on the goal for days when I check on my garden, where that might be “water them”, “stuff the tomatoes back in their cages”, “check to see if they need watering”, “remove a bunch of caterpillars from the broccoli again”, “transplant things”, etc. With the same sort of reasoning as your backup goal, I think: regularly interacting with the garden on any level is likely to let me catch issues faster before they become serious.


This is for folks who want to maintain some semblance of Quantified Self (QS) and know how many days you folded laundry as well as how many days you checked whether there was any laundry to be folded.

If you’ve got access to custom goal types, then you can set the aggregation method to the badly-named binary setting which counts any entry as though it were a 1.

Enter a 0 on any day that you checked and didn’t need to fold, and a 1 on any day when you checked and folded. The graph will bump upwards regardless, but the zeroes and ones in your data will let you find out how often there was actually laundry to fold.

Obviously, you still need to actually fold the laundry.

n.b. if you want zeros to count as zero, then use nonzero


…I have literally been beeminding for SO many years and I never actually understood how that works. WOW. I… I need to go update some goals now.

(Right now I handle those situations using the hashtag graph comments)