Metaminding - what's your use case?

I was thrilled to see in the daily Beemail that metaminding is now officially launched! This is where the output of one or more Beeminder goals is fed into another goal. Here’s the official blog page, which (as of right now) is also the base set of instructions.

There is also a somewhat more technical thread in the forums over here, for those who want to dig into it, or have techie questions.

For myself, I’m really interested to know how people are using this! Here’s the first two that I’ve set up, and I’m encouraging you to add your own, so we can see how this marvelous innovation is being used!

  • Danny already mentions one great use case, which is for weight loss: a goal that records your weight at each weigh-in, linked to a meta-goal that just records that you did a weigh-in. This means you have to weigh in at the rate you’ve set, even if your weight is unchanged, just to keep the datapoints coming in to the second graph. (The subtlety here is that the source goal records weight in units of mass, while the metagoal just records +1 for each weigh-in.)
  • I’ve also previously had individual goals to ensure I talk to my (grown-up) children every week or so. Now I also have a meta-goal which each of those goals feed into, and the meta-goal ensures I talk to at least one of them every few days. I can no longer just talk to them both every Sunday, as that would fail the metagoal! Love it!

So, what’s your use case for metaminding?


I don’t yet use the “datapoint entered” thing yet, but I’m thinking about it. I might do the weigh-in thing (actually, I really could have used it because I haven’t weighed myself in 3 months due to the hassle of reconfiguring my scale to connect to the new wifi after I moved…), at the very least.

Currently I have two handmade “add up other goals” goals (which I submit datapoints to using the API in a cron job). Nonfiction adds up the page counts from all my reading goals. The spirit of this goal is kinda like the meta goal for weigh-ins, in that it’s there to close a “do nothing” loophole—it makes sure that after I finish the book I’m reading, I eventually need to start a new book. Calories, on the other hand, tracks calories by adding up (with appropriate weights) data from my protein (do-more) and alcohol (do-less) goals, as well as fat and carbs goals with tiny slopes which just exist to feed into the calories goal.


@clivemeister This is great idea for a forum thread!

I have three metaminder goals so far. Details are in this entry from my beeminder journal but in brief:


@poisson - ah those are great! Interesting that your current ones are “weighted” meta-goals! In both cases, you don’t want just a +1 for each source entry, you want a (weighted) version of the source entries added to the metagoal. Good idea to have different weights for each source goal - including negative ones, too, by the look of it!

@alys I like the hybrid approach, too - very useful, I didn’t think it through and hadn’t realised you could manually add to the meta goal at the same time as it’s taking a datapoint from a source goal.


I already had a meta goal for Anki cards. I want to review a certain # per week, and I also want to do it almost every day.

Now I have to figure out how to make anki_days a metaminder…or not


I was dragging my feet on setting up metaminding for my pre-existing meta goal because I thought it would be fiddly … but it’s not! So, to reiterate from the instructions at

Just go to the Settings tab for your main goal, scroll down to the DATA section, look for the Webhook field, and paste in the URL of your meta goal. That’s it. Now your meta goal will get an automatic +1 when you add data to your main goal.


Same here! I only just set one up. When I read the beemail it sounded like it might be fiddly but @dreev undersold the achievement cause it was basically painless!

The only thing that tripped me up for a moment...

…was that I ctrl-F’d for webhook and ended up getting the web hook field in the Reminders section instead of the web hook field in the Data section, but I quickly found my confusion. But I assume the final version doesn’t have us using the web hook field anyway there’s already a landing page for this anyway now, so this is probably moot, hence why I’ve tucked it away.

My first use case was for making sure that I remember to enter a datapoint in an autodialled do-less goal that’s designed to make sure I start something earlier and earlier in the evening and that takes a time as a datapoint. I’m super prone to forgetting to enter it because Beeminder is the second place where I enter that info so sometimes I enter it in the first place and my brain decides I’m done and checks it off the mental to-do list. This will keep that from happening.

Some of my future use cases include tracking mini-habits, where, like @alys’s “at least once per day,” I want to track doing the mini habit daily while also enforcing a minimum daily or weekly average. I also like the idea of using it for increasing “no spend” days in certain categories separately from beeminding expenses in those categories. (So the meta-goal would be a do-less in those cases and would get a +1 when I do spend in those categories.)

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