I need a better notification system.

I just lost $30 because I forgot to put in my retainer. I need a better notification system.

I’m thinking of buying some smart light bulbs and trying to set them up so they change color based on what’s happening with Beeminder.

Before I lay down the cash to do that: Are there any other solutions you guys have come up with for preventing you from missing the fact that you’re about to derail?


The current options are mail, iOS/Android app, Slack. Which are you using?

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I’m currently using SMS, and then having Tasker read them aloud. I also have Tasker turn on do not disturb in the evenings, which is one reason I think I missed the beemurgency yesterday. I’ve changed my settings to hopefully allow Beeminder SMS messages through. But I still feel like I need to work on other solutions, too.


[I’ve mentioned this a few times in the last few days, so forgive me if you’re one of the people out there for whom this is repetitive!]

I’ve set up some IFTTT recipes so that I get a phone call every time certain goals send a reminder.

There are a couple of ways to do that, one is to have a Beeminder “Zeno alert for a specific goal” trigger linked to a phone call action.

The other, the way I prefer, is to have an email trigger than searches for “Eep!” in the subject line of my incoming emails, and then reads me the subject of the email when it calls. That way, I have just one IFTTT recipe, and I switch on and off which goals get phone call reminders by switching on and off which goals are receiving email notifications. (But this works for me in part because SMS is my primary notification method, so I don’t really need/use the email reminders anyway.) This also means that it doesn’t trigger a call when it’s the first reminder of the day, since the first email doesn’t have “eep” in the subject line, so the calls only happen if I don’t do the task at the time my reminders are set to start (which is set to the time I actually want to be doing it or have done it).

Whichever way you use, I find it really handy for keeping me from forgetting or ignoring my goals! That said, you definitely will want to have the reminders set up so that they’re starting at the “HEY! GO DO THIS NOW!” time, so that your phone isn’t ringing all day long.

Anyway, I hope that’s helpful. And I’m really curious to see how this conversation develops, cause lately I’ve been thinking about whether I should be relying on Beeminder’s reminder system, or setting my goals up with more in-world supports, but I’ll save that for another post!


This might not be what’s going on for you, but I find that, whenever I have one notification system going for a while, the rebellious part of me becomes very good at ignoring it. No matter how clever the reminder, I can eventually learn to pretend it doesn’t exist.

What makes notifications work for me is novelty – switching them around every so often.

I use a watchminder watch for some reminders. SMS reminds me of other things. I use desktop reminders and paper reminders. Once I become immune to one method, I switch it around, so I never really know how or where I’m going to be reminded.

This seems to work best for me.


I find the widgets on my phone’s home screen very helpful - if one of them lights up red, I see it whenever I look at my phone. Of course it depends how many beeminders you have set up, 'cos there is a limit to that screen real estate.

Maybe this is a feature request for a widget that shows the item n’th closest to its deadline, so I could (say) have three widgets with the items 1st, 2nd and 3rd closest?


This isn’t exactly what you’re describing, but if your launcher allows you to resize widgets (e.g., Nova Launcher), then you can use the widget that shows a list of goals and size it to display only three (or three-and-a-bit on my phone because that’s how the widget layout spacing works out). The list widget automatically sorts by deadline (at least I think it does; these days all my deadlines are midnight so maybe it’s not exactly right for a waterfall deadline throughout the day).


This is the widget I used to use all the time. However, after switching to Siempo I can’t use it since the launcher intentionally doesn’t support widgets. I do miss Beeminder’s widgets quite a bit, but the impact Siempo has had on my relationship with my phone has definitely been worth the effort to figure out other ways to stay on top of Beeminder.


Good point @alys, I had quite forgotten about that widget. I withdraw my feature request :slight_smile:

Right now I have my phone’s home page full of the single-goal beeminder widgets, and it acts as a dashboard for me of what I need to remember to do, so I might look at the widget you mention to see if that would work for me.


I do both - fill my home screen with single-serving widgets (I have 43 now) and I use the list widget to show the next few.

It looks like



I think I’m going to need a bigger screen… :slight_smile:

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How big is yours? I wish I could make mine bigger too. The home screen manager I’m using only goes up to 10x10. And trying to add an 8th column doesn’t work that well:

I guess it’s not terrible but the left and right edges of the boxes get cut off.

I’m using Nova Launcher now! It’s at 8x16!