Martin's Beeminder "Tagebuch" (journal)

this is great! how did you sync beeminder and memrise? I’m looking for a way to automatically have memrise send my points to beeminder

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Thanks!

I’m using akrasia by @csu for that. Check it out, it has many more integrations!

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General

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

I have marked the mondly goal to be archived. I have made the decision to leave everything else as it is and will revisit this next month. Memrise has decided to develop an app for their new decks service.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

showers

Key data:

  • Go to shower 35 minutes before sleep
  • Deadline is set to 00:25 am
  • Weekends Off

New goal! This goal is meant to give me enough time in bed to wind down and look at my phone for a little bit before actually going to sleep. Going to the shower before bed is the last thing I need to do each day. I have found that I at least need about half an hour to wind down, for me to be in a relaxed state before I go to sleep for real, so I go to shower (and brush my teeth, etc.) at least 35 minutes before sleep.

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

All goals now automatically trim their safety buffer to 30 days.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

lesen

Changes:

  • automatically trim safety buffer after 7 days

As I wrote last time, I looked into @mary’s MCM-Dashboard, but sadly I couldn’t get it to work well enough to do the dialing of my road automatically.

Still not enough reading time. So I put in an auto trim after a week.

bmndrjrnl

Through the weeks I kinda always wish I would write a weekly journal, but when it’s finally the day, I’m super stressed and also I have no recollection of what has happened.

lesspods

Changes:

  • Weekends Off (allow 7 episodes extra)

Logging how much podcasts I listen to alone has given this some perspective. But giving me 12 podcasts on the weekend just meant I had an amazing amount of extra buffer left. So I shrunk this to 5 + 2. Let’s see if this’ll make a difference.

General Productivity

Current goals:

I have renamed a bunch of goals and archived three (daily reviews, of3inbox, findthefrog). Since I’m using taskwarrior now, I have a ToDo-List with a built-in urgency algorithm. My integration tracks the completion of the most urgent goals and adds a point for each completed most urgent task to the frog goal. This still needs some fiddling (since I’m now doing more than one frog on some days) and using a different task manager also means some different habits. There is no inbox, so no need for that goal, finding a frog is as easy as looking at my ToDo-list (in theory at least) and a daily review is not as needed in a single list system like this.

I also derailed on the findthefrog goal, because I was held captive in a meeting for way longer than I thought.

Weight Related

Current goals:

I hate the mfp goal, but I think it helps immensely, so it’ll stay. The new scale is great, though. I non-legitly derailed two times because I weighed myself, but didn’t put it in the wiegen goal.

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General

  • my Girlfriend visited me last week so I had scheduled a break for almost all of my goals. Again, this was super-instructive and helped me gain some perspective, which boils down to this: Know why you do it and then do it right. Goals should have a good reason and there should be “metagoals” attached to them - something I already try to do if you look at the headings
  • Taskwarrior and beemind-hooks have been a huge win for me, even though I’m still learning how to use it
  • I’ll simplify my approach for the journal somewhat, since I’m moving to a weekly schedule for these entries

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

No changes here.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

The showers goal has somehow managed to make me go to bed even earlier than I need to - sometimes more than half an hour! I also spend more time playing games on my phone before bed, which turns out is a good winding down strategy for me. I really enjoy my last 45 to 60 minutes or so and am ready for bed in this way. I’m gonna leave everything as it is for now, but maybe I should enforce this behavior by changing the deadline of my showers goal.

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

I have cut down the time between calls for every goal to every three weeks (0.048 calls per day) and automatically trim my safety buffer now at 21 days. I missed a recent change of my brother’s career plans and I want to stay in contact more.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

blog

The blog goal now has a fine print: “Every blog post should have at least 750 words. Only if there is a good reason for the post to be shorter, I can go under.” This is related to the website 750 words, which states:

I looked this up. 250 words per page is considered to be the standard accepted number of words per page. So, three standard pages are about 750 words. Of course if 750words.com hadn’t been available, I would’ve totally found a way to prove that 249 words per page was the accepted standard. It really just comes down to the fact that this amount of writing feels about right. You can’t just fart out 3 pages without running into your subconscious a little bit… 750 words takes a bit of effort, and it never fails to get me typing things that I have wanted to articulate without realizing it. And that’s the point.

As I said before the service itself is not for me - I have my own elaborate notes system - but the part about that little bit of effort it needs to write down 750 words resonated with me.

lesen

I doubled my commitment to about 15 minutes a day, since I’m still not reading enough. The problem is that I read in bursts and then have ridiculous amounts of buffer. I have already buffer autotrimmed to seven days (since I want to be able to get my reading in on the weekends if it’s a particularly stressful week) - but I might still make this three or even one if this continues to be ineffective.

bmndrjrnl

I changed the commitment to write one of these every week.

lesspods

Still too much safety buffer so I have ratcheted it down to having about 5 units instead of ~35. I also love how I can see what podcasts I listen to. I’m thinking of introducing a similar goal for the minutes of sports watching I’m doing, since that is my other time sink.

General Productivity

Current goals:

For asi, I turned weekends-off of and turned let beeminder automatically trim safety buffer to 7 days, since I didn’t have an eep day since I have switched to taskwarrior.

The same is true for eatthefrog.

Taskmorning has been scheduled to be archived. I might exchange this for a goal that asks me to add or log a task when doing a thing to get into the habit of using taskwarrior (even) more consistently.

Weight Related

Current goals:

Still hating the mfp goal, but I have lost weight in the last few weeks, sooo :shrug: I derailed on my wiegen (weigh ins) goal since I can’t seem to remember to log the data point when I have actually stepped on the scale. So I have moved the deadline back a little.

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General

  • I have started to organize not only my notes, but also my projects according to a growing tree structure, which I’m trying to keep in sync through different apps and services. I may rename a lot of goals according to this new scheme soon.
  • Briefly I had a goal called lynda which would’ve tracked if I spent 5 hours every week on learning through the website, but I have decided that I’m not ready to commit to that.
  • I also bought a lifetime subscription to freedom.to which I haven’t really used that much recently but I plan to do so.

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

I have not had an eep days in ages, so I have decided to double my commitment on both goals (clozemaster 56 → 112; memrise 1500 → 3000). Doubling the amount might be too much in the long run, but I would like to feel at least some heat here.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

Sometimes external stressors can be useful. The neighboring apartment is being renovated right now and the workers start relatively early every day, which meant waking up to drilling noises. This has made me shift my daily rhythm one hour earlier, something I had considered in the past, but couldn’t bring myself to commit to. But I have now changed the deadlines of all these goals to be one hour earlier (wakeupontime 8:29 am → 7:29 am; sleepontime 0:59 am → 11:59 pm; leaveontime 9:50 am → 8:50 am; showers 0:25 am → 11:25 pm). I also changed all goals to start sending notifications an hour before the deadline.

I also non legitimately derailed on sleepontime, since I fell asleep before I could enter a point but woke up after the deadline had passed.

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

No changes.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

Since I have reduced the buffer on lesspods I have derailed already once. I’m still of the opinion that derailing might not always not be failing, but in this case it was valuable to notice that actually upping other goals gets the job done better. I have upped the doless goal lesspods to allow for two podcast episodes every day.

I’m reading more so the lesen goal finally makes a difference! :partying_face:

General Productivity

Current goals:

I have upped the frog goal a little (1 → 2) since I have noticed the same problem as @Narthur did: Taskwarrior emphasizes (over)due tasks in their urgency algorithm a lot.

Weight Related

Current goals:

No changes.

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General

  • I bought Flowstate, a writing app with a very interesting concept.
  • Since I’ve always read the most when I wrote and I also want to experiment with writing some kind of book project, I bought an upgrade for my old Scrivener license, too.
  • I hate stress on the weekend. I have therefore reactivated weekends off for all goals except the calling my family goals and my reading goal (“lesen”)
  • I try to use the “treat yellow as red” mantra (articulated by @penten in his journal thread) to do a little more every day, if possible
  • I may have to check out @narthur’s slick journal automation script, to generate these entries…

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

Even though I doubled the commitment on both goals, still no heat. But since my job has been very demanding lately, I’m not gonna up the commitment on these for now.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

Nothing new here. I might shift the showers deadline a little earlier, but not now.

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

No changes.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

I derailed on my blog goal, because I was watching a hockey game and started writing the post too late. I anyways wrote it, but yeah. That felt like failing a little. Doing the right thing and then still coming up with a derail. But alright.

General Productivity

Current goals:

I have lowered the frog goal again, since it artificially increased stress in a non-helpful way. I will observe the situation for now, but might have to stop relying on taskwarrior’s urgency algorithm. Also, my frog goal and asi goals are not automatically trimmed anymore, because that prevents me from using the weekends-off feature (although no one seems to know why this is exactly the case).

Weight Related

Current goals:

No changes.

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One option is to turn on autotrim and then put in the fine print that derailments on weekends don’t count.

I’d like to hear more about this scheme and your tree structure!
Have you looked into MyLifeOrganized at all? It’s great for organizing projects in a tree structure.

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Basically it’s my own little URI naming scheme. So anything can (and in theory should) have a relation to a tree of “projects”. A project can be very broadly defined as a temporary or permanent subsystem (a system here is very generally thought of as a structured whole and a subsystem therefore would be a self-contained system within that whole. The whole here is the tree of my projects. It is strongly related to my life and is a structured articulation of my world).

Alright. With that said the goal of the tree structure is to relate, in a context appropriate way, all the things back to this tree structure:

  • in taskwarrior, the project field is an obvious choice for codifying a place in my tree
  • in my notes app of choice, TiddlyWiki, the tags field makes the most sense
  • in the file system naming the folders according to the scheme is the way to go
  • and so on…

So how does the scheme look? Here are two fictional examples:

07-work.2-chatbot.1-research.1-machine-learning
07-work.2-chatbot.1-research.2-react-hooks

  • projects and subprojects are divided by a dot (or an appropriate substitution within the context, e.g. in the file system it would be folders and subfolders so in the terminal it’d be a slash)
  • root-projects start with a two digit number followed by a hyphen and a short descriptor of the project
  • subprojects follow the rules of the root-projects, but add two digit numbers only when needed

The growth of the tree according to this scheme is governed by a small list of rules:

  • branch out deep rather than wide
  • if a new subproject could branch out from two equally plausible points, branch out from the stronger one
  • branching out temporarily/in a bad way is better than not connecting things to the tree

This ever growing tree is documented inside my notes app, accompanied by a description of the naming scheme, the aforementioned rules and a changelog.

Projects (or rather their identifiers) are created as soon as a thing is understood to be related to a project not yet named (and therefore not yet connected to the tree).

Finally: A thing might in practice be related to more than just one project. That’s fine. The tree is not meant to track every possible relationship between the things it’s connecting and itself. I strive for “the best” relationship at present and in context. By utilizing cross-references (e.g. a text file in the folder structure in the file system, a note in my notes system…) a migration to a different place in the tree is possible.

I looked into it after you mentioned it! It reminds me a lot of OmniFocus actually which also allows for (in theory) unlimited branchability, a property that is mandatory for any software that’s supposed to be more than an intermediary.

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Neat, thanks for sharing. What are the problems this system is solving for you?

Workflowy is kind of an unlimited tree, as well…

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It’s little bit like when Linnaeus figured out a way to name all plants: By having an all-encompassing system like this it’s possible to have a “semantic anchor” that relates to a more or less arbitrary aspect of reality, that can be used to describe the environment of that anchor better and to orient oneself within one’s world. In other words: Having a system like this (it could also take on the shape of a network or a tag cloud or whathaveyou) allows for a holistic view. In a picture: It relates a map to a territory by putting up street signs in the real world that can be found in the map.

Secondly an easy naming scheme makes it possible to take the possibility of order anywhere. That means two things: 1) I can use the system for anything, since it doesn’t express the essence of the thing, it’s just (if very important) metadata. 2) I can use it anywhere where I can write something down. Any app on any of my devices, but also real-life folders for real-life paper, for example.

Thirdly the system itself has emergent properties as it connects things that I would have not connected consciously. It’s serendipitous in that way. This means at a certain tipping point a holistic system like this starts to work for you, especially for theoretically inclined people that like to write a lot of notes like me.

True!

The cool thing is that having a system like this negates the need to only rely on one app. It of course still makes sense to maybe not use OmniOutliner, Dynalist and Workflowy at the same time, but it’d be possible - opening up this room of platform agnosticism frees you from the need to find the app™. Apps are just implementation details or articulations of the general system which itself is not reified as an app or a collection of apps anymore. There might be a present setup, but exchanging apps or changing whole workflows doesn’t change the order of the tree, which makes it a reliable conceptual tool.

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General

  • “You can set a travel-friendly slope overall and use the so-called take-a-break feature to schedule periods of more intense work.” - What an amazing idea to keep in mind, e. g. when testing out a new slope.
  • My project naming scheme (see here and here) has “usurped” my older, less well thought-out scheme for notes and reference material! That also means I’m getting closer to actual platform agnostic “semantic anchors” everywhere, which is great. Beeminder goals are still exempt, though.
  • I had the crazy experience of recommending beeminder to a coworker today! :grimacing: There is this eternal fight in me: I like sooo many nerdy things and I’m happy to discus and comment on them openly online, but I’ve never been comfortable sharing my journey in the form of distilled down advice or in a chit-chatty way with others in real life. I’m not exactly sure why, though… But people see the results of my life organization habits and so there is some inevitability to being interested in things like beeminder as regards to having to share those experiences. I tried my best though! I explained that it won’t necessarily be able to bring purpose to your life (even though you might be able to brute force it if you have the right mind for it) but it can help build habits and help you find some discipline. I explained that discipline doesn’t come cheap. The service costs money and earning the opportunity to learn how much you truly want to do (or avoid to do) something comes at a price. I mentioned brain.fm as well as Alex Vermeer’s 8760 hours and his procrastination poster as a starting point. I also mentioned stoic philosophy, which I’m a big fan of. Don’t know how well received any of the things were, but I tried Beeminder folks, I tried! :wink:

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

I have lowered my memrise goal (3000 → 2000) since that’s more realistic and upped my clozemaster goal (112 → 224) since that’s also more realistic.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

I derailed on my showers goal (payed $10 → now $30) and was thinking that maybe I should keep it at 10, since I like the option to go over once in a while.

What I have done instead is slightly lower my commitment on all of these goals so that I can build up safety buffer (every goal’s commitment 1 → 0.95; that works out to one buffer day per month).

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

No changes.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

I renamed my reading goal (lesen → read) and my consume-some-news goal (nachrichten → news) in effort to keep the naming more consistent.

Lesspods is on two podcast episodes a day at the moment, which seems to be the sweet spot. I might deceive myself though, since it could be that a 7 episode buffer on the weekend is simply too much, but so far I like it. Even just entering all the episodes as a comment when I add a data point to this do less goal makes me mindful of how much I consume this form of media.

General Productivity

Current goals:

I have decided to allow both most urgent tasks and tasks tagged as +frog in taskwarrior (the frog tag should be prioritized before urgency) as my definition of a permissible +1 on the eatthefrog goal. The former is now part of the fine print.

I’m not sure how, but weeklyreview now derails on Saturdays instead of Fridays - I just can’t remember that I changed this! Anyways, I like it, so it stays. It gives me more time to actually do a gtd style review and keeps my taskwarrior list relevant.

Weight Related

Current goals:

My weigh-in goal got renamend (wiegen → weighin).

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What are your top-level projects? Are they sort of like areas or scopes (“work”, “family”, “personal growth”)?

Yeah, kinda. The tree started as a list of my yearly goals divided into subgoals, though. I have to refactor the tree sometimes. Right now I’m working under the assumption, that this won’t be necessary as much as I continue to improve the tree. Again, in plant systematics there have been a lot of changes since its beginnings, but nowadays the general outline is pretty stable.

My top level projects include:

  • archive
  • meta
  • growth
  • a book project
  • my apartment
  • theory
  • adventure
  • a weight loss goal
  • finances
  • my job
  • relationships
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General

  • I’m going on vacation tomorrow! Therefore all my goals are paused until the 11th.
  • “Ultimately I think the way forward is going to be to perhaps find the goals where cheating is more effort than not cheating. I have no idea how to cheat a weighing scales on a daily basis. Likewise I’d have no idea how to cheat a step-counter. If I only ever use Beeminder to lean into the goals that I don’t know how to cheat on, that’s still a good way of doing it.” How well put! Not knowing can be a huge plus.
  • Taking part in the first alpha of TaskRatchet has been a lot of fun. Seeing and being able to use a thing like this - even for a short amount of time - has really shown me how much I would LOVE to have a One-Off-Commitment-Contract-Tool like TaskRatchet.
  • I had to keep my reflections rather short this time, since I still need to pack before leaving tomorrow.

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

No changes.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

One slack day per week on all of these works. I’m less stressed and still have to do the thing every day.

wakeupontime actually derailed non-legitely, because my wifi didn’t work (or rather the wifi did work, but not my cable modem).

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

No changes.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

My new blogging process consists of three goals now. I have to come up with a topic for a post before writing a draft of a post and finally publishing it. Hopefully this’ll help me raise the quality of writing over there.

General Productivity

Current goals:

No changes.

Sports, Weight Related

Current goals:

The Yoga course is going well, but I have stopped losing weight, I think. Not sure yet what to do about it, but maybe I’ll come up with something when I’m on vacation.

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  1. The Beeminder Blog
  2. Messy Matters (well, I haven’t posted anything there in a long time but can’t hurt to add it just in case!)
  3. Slate Star Codex
  4. Scott Aaronson’s Shtetl Optimized
  5. Matt Levine’s Money Stuff (free as an email newsletter; I haven’t figured out how to automatically get it into Pocket)
  6. PutANumOnIt
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Thanks @dreev!

Just for anyone interested (not that it’s that hard to find): The newsletter signup form is here.

P.S.: If anyone else has anymore recommendations (could also be your own blog), I would be happy to try them out!

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Oooooh Flowstate looks dangerously good. Like I am getting similar vibes as when I first discovered Beeminder. I got to try that!

Addendum: There is a similar tool for git repositories:

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General

  • I’m going on vacation today! Therefore all my goals are paused until the 11th.
  • “Ultimately I think the way forward is going to be to perhaps find the goals where cheating is more effort than not cheating. I have no idea how to cheat a weighing scales on a daily basis. Likewise I’d have no idea how to cheat a step-counter. If I only ever use Beeminder to lean into the goals that I don’t know how to cheat on, that’s still a good way of doing it.” How well put! Not knowing can be a huge plus.
  • Taking part in the first alpha of TaskRatchet has been a lot of fun. Seeing and being able to use a thing like this - even for a short amount of time - has really shown me how much I would LOVE to have a One-Off-Commitment-Contract-Tool like TaskRatchet.
  • I had to keep my reflections rather short this time, since I still need to pack before leaving.

Learning Finnish

Current goals:

No changes.

Keep a Daily Rhythm

Current goals:

One slack day per week on all of these works. I’m less stressed and still have to do the thing every day.

wakeupontime actually derailed non-legitely, because my wifi didn’t work (or rather the wifi did work, but not my cable modem).

Stay in Contact With Family

Current goals:

No changes.

Reading, Writing, Consuming Media

Current goals:

My new blogging process consists of three goals now. I have to come up with a topic for a post before writing a draft of a post and finally publishing it. Hopefully this’ll help me raise the quality of writing over there.

General Productivity

Current goals:

No changes.

Sports, Weight Related

Current goals:

The Yoga course is going well, but I have stopped losing weight, I think. Not sure yet what to do about it, but maybe I’ll come up with something when I’m on vacation.

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@phi @matti

How does this Flowstate thing work? I don’t understand - everything gets deleted if you ever stop writing? Do you lose it forever? Seems like you’d need a keystroke logger with it…