Request: Make Focusmate integration consider length of sessions

First of all, thanks for the integration or, more specifically, the blog post about it. That’s how I learned about Focusmate in the first place. I like it!

Now, the integration does not currently differentiate between 25 and 50 minute sessions and I wish it did. There’s arguments for and against and, really, I wish it didn’t count the number of sessions but the time I spent using it and if @shanaqui’s poll is any indication, I am not alone in this. In fact, @dreev touched on this point, too.

Cheap way out of this

Make the integration add the session’s length in the comment, so rather than “Session at 15:45 with Jimmy H. [Auto-entered via Focusmate]” it could read, e.g., “Session at 15:45 with Jimmy H. for 50 minutes. [Auto-entered via Focusmate]”.
Bonus points if you make this info available via the API, too, in, say, some extra json property that is returned for a datapoint.

Yes, this is somewhat of a hack and I’d much rather have the integration simply count the minutes rather than times. But I know how much the Beehive likes its quick UVIs and this certainly sounds like one and it doesn’t (I would assume) break anything. However, converting all goals that use the integration to “time spent” does not sound too difficult either. Obviously this depends on things like, does the Focusmate API even provide this info. I suppose @davidaugustus might know more about this. I at least could not find a publicly documented API for Focusmate.


Yes. I found out about Beeminder through Focusmate. I need to be getting three hours in of writing. I think maybe for now it seems like I need to manually enter this time instead of using the integration. If I’m using forcusmate for other stuff I don’t want it to count towards writing time goal. But, even if I am just shooting for a general session goal the 25/50 min differentiation seems important.


Hey @phi, just to quickly answer your questions: 1) we do include the session title in the API, 2) we are adding the session duration to the API as well very soon (this week). Would love to see Beeminder use these! And no, the Focusmate API is not publicly documented - yet :wink: this is something I’m thinking about doing in the near future, barring other priorities.


+1 for this feature request (+vote for the simplest form of “count 0.5/1 for 25/50 minutes”).

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Any update on this? Seems like it could be implemented quite easily. To not break legacy focusmate goals, 25 mins could count as one session and 50 mins as two.

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Is this in the API now? Custom deadlines seem like they would also be easy to accommodate with the timestamps.

I was thinking about archiving my focusmate goal until then since it’s my only goal with midnight deadlines (which I am eager to abolish from life altogether) but I came here to check on this first.

I don’t think there’s anything stopping us from making custom deadlines on Focusmate goals. I will check this week.




@lancemcdoogal, Focusmate goals can now have custom deadlines. Please let us know if you have any problems with it!



@clavdia_c makes a good point that tracking focus time is more nuanced than just how long the session was.

Including the (optional) session title and (scheduled) duration in the datapoint would enable folks to chain goals together, either by hand, via our IFTTT Macros, or when the meta goals arrive and reach their potential.

I’m glad that I only need to fit in a 25-minute session on a beemergency day. For me, forcing it to be the scheduled duration would probably trigger some non-focussed trival uses of the tool.

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totally agreed, I think there’s still tons of potential with this integration.

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@adamwolf (sorry for ping if you’re the wrong person)

Is there any update on plans to consider the length of the session? Focusmate has recently introduced 75-minute sessions as well, so the discrepancy/mismatch with tracking all sessions as equal is getting even bigger.

As it is now, I realize tracking sessions with Beeminder biases me towards preferring short (25-minute) sessions even though that might not be optimal for productivity, so I have archived my Focusmate goal for now.


The same thing happened to me, when I was on the red with my focusmate goal I started doing more 25m sessions instead of the 50m which I used to prefer.


I’m a reasonable person to ping. Not the decider, but I’ll get it where it needs to go.

I’m actually in two minds about this. I can totally see philip’s point of view:

I’m glad that I only need to fit in a 25-minute session on a beemergency day.

That has happened to me, but also what vivgui described:

[…] when I was on the red with my focusmate goal I started doing more 25m sessions instead of the 50m which I used to prefer.

I’m still leaning towards the integration considering the length of sessions, especially given the recent addition of 70 minute long sessions.