Malakai's 2023 Beeminder Journal - travel and learning

Hi there!

I’ve tried Beeminder before but without really telling many people in my life (or at all) that I’ve used it, so I’m trying here anonymously to get some external feedback and feel more a part of the community.

I’m travelling with my partner at the moment and was starting to feel a little too swayed by other people’s plans and desires so I thought Beeminder could get me a little more in touch with my own goals and interests again.

I am interested in learning Spanish (for the area I’m in!) about world history, science and geography as well as maintaining general fitness and maintaining my relationship quality.


Below format shamelessly copied from @shanaqui… (shanaqui's Beeminder Journal: 2023 - #2 by shanaqui)


  • I derailed on my /bookishbee goal with food poisoning but claimed not legit. I was so close to being done with One Hundred Years of Solitude (which was amazing after getting some more context on it) and had planned my day around finishing it so felt like it was justified to claim not legit. Might turn out no excuses now tho

New goals:

/historyisfleeting: tracks the currriculum History/Geography chapters I read in full and making “fleeting notes” of as per Sonke Ahren’s How to Take Smart Notes. (I’m up to Grade 3, early people of the North Americas!). These then get converted into evergreen notes and finally Anki flashcards, all in Obisdian through the Obsidian to Anki plugin. I previously only used Anki to take in these flashcards but found I was missing a lot of connections between concepts and wasn’t sure what notes I had and hadn’t made already.


(cont. bc only allowed 5 links per post)
I am a big fan of the Core Knowledge curriculum because even though I went to a academically selective school and am a fairly avid reader, I find the gaps in my basic science, geography and history knowledge are huge from just not paying much attention in school and being more interested in sports. Now that I am a bit more interested in the world and see the literature supported (e.g. How Knowledge Helps, I’ve found huge pleasure in reading and Ankifying basic knowledge about it. I’m aiming to complete both the History/Geography and Science sets by the end of this year.


/scienceisfleeting: same as above but for science (just finished electricity and magnetism)
/peppahours: hours of Peppa Pig watched in Spanish! Trying to follow the method of immersion learning; currently at just below 100 hours of immersion including my time travelling.


/dreamingspanish: basically same as above but with Dreaming Spanish “comprehensible input” ie Slow Spanish videos.
/mempractice: doing my RefoldES1K Spanish reviews (1000 most common Spanish words including English loans) and personal knowledge Anki reviews daily, 10 new cards from each deck. I don’t have a separate goal for adding new cards or reviewing new cards so this one nudges me into converting my fleeting science/history/geography notes into evergreen notes.
/bagsaway: actively working on a small habit of mine my partner doesn’t like: emptying the contents of my bag whenever we get home and checking I have all my things. Small but has been effective and useful so far!
/pushups: general fitness goal…okay this is a lie, my partner just likes big chests and mine is tiny at the moment :laughing:

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If anyone has any thoughts on my attempts to learn very basic science/history/geography (up to the 8th grade) through Beeminder support, other learning techniques/resources or tests that would be amazing! The spirit of Scott Young’s MIT challenge resonates strongly ( but I am not really sure where I’d go about finding similary testing resources, or if such courses/tests are really even necessary if my goal is just long term learning. Maybe ChatGPT is enough here as a check for my comprehension/transfer of material?

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Whoops forgot another goal:
//ankimaints: maintaining my personal Anki collection as per Maintaining Your Collection - Control-Alt-Backspace