Over on a past thread on the new design, I said the following:
Today I tried to set up another Gmail-related goal. This criticism is still true (the end date appears to default to 2027). To add to that: 1) There’s no way to modify the query during goal creation, and 2) Modifying the query in the settings doesn’t seem to stick.
What this means is that I essentially created a goal that’s intended to help me whittle down my archived “Backlog” label, but in fact is forcing me to whittle down my actually-on-track inbox read messages - and the rate isn’t what I want in the next week anyhow. Of course I know support will resolve it for me, but I’d like to be able to set up these types of goals without emailing support.
I also found it odd recently when I set up a “whittle down” goal (a manual-entry one) and it defaulted to 2027. I’d been planning to complete my dissertation proposal to-do list… rather before then. It didn’t even require an email to support, since I could just put the new due date in, but on reflection it was a pretty unintuitive way to create the goal. And I think I even had to click something to get to the end amount/date setting method, which could really confuse a newbee.
Ok, so there is trickiness with updating a gmailzero query. Really we need to make it available (as an advanced option) when you’re creating the goal, because changing it after the goal is set up doesn’t change the road to match the new query, so if the default query returns only 5 threads, then you change it to a custom query afterward that has 500 threads, the road doesn’t update to 500, and you’ll instaderail (or have to clear 500 messages) on the second day.
So, anyhow, further explanation for what is happening when you change the query:
Say Query A has 100 threads. We add a datapoint with value 100.
Now you change to Query B, but Query B has 400 threads. 400 > 100, so we don’t add the datapoint (we only want to use the low water-mark for the day. We want you to be safe for the day if your count hit the threshold at any point during the day today). But since this is slightly confusing we append to the comment “Latest count 400 at HH:MM”, as a sanity check for you. (But clearly it’s still all surprising and confusing regardles… :\ )
That is logical behavior, but not particularly reasonable IMO. As you said, that option needs to be available while creating the goal (or not at all, though obviously that’s less preferable). Otherwise you end up with a goal that has all the problems you described.