Revamped Reminders

Here is a thread to list any issues you have with the new reminders system or give any praise about how awesome it is and how it makes your life complete.

The folks at Beeminder will be working hard to make sure any issues get addressed as any teething[1] problems get ironed out.

[1] Or whatever the Bee pun equivalent is.


I’m a bit confused about the reminder settings. I just looked at how they were set up now, and saw the following:

So what exactly does “Start reminding me at 23:59 when I have 0 days until derailing at the deadline of 00:00am” mean? Do the reminders start one minute before I derail or one day before I derail?

It would be helpful if the settings would display something like “reminders will start X minutes/hours/days before you derail” or something along those lines.


In this case it means reminders are turned off.

It would help if one could see that you had turned reminders off when you want to turn reminders off without having to resort to mental gymnastics and memorising strange exception cases.

There needs to be a ‘turn reminders off’ button.


Agreed. When reminders are turned off this should be stated explicitly: It wasn’t clear at all to me that I had them turned off. After all, I do get reminded. It’s just that the reminders do not arrive through email or SMS, but through the notifications send by the Beeminder Android app.

So are the revamped reminders coming to the android app?

(Email reminders are useless to me since, for productivity reasons, I check my email only once per day and I have email notifications disabled on all my devices.)


I have most notifications disabled on my devices, too. But there are people who I’d like to know promptly when they attempt to contact me: e.g. girlfriend, clients, et al.

On iOS devices you can specify VIP-only notifications in Settings > Notifications > Mail. I’ve similarly silenced SMS and other notifications except from specified people.

You can also use a 3rd-party app like Prowl or Pushover to selectively forward some email as a notification.

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Interesting. Selectively enabling notifications only for emails from the Beeminder bot might be a workaround for me. However, I think it’s too dangerous for my productivity. Getting email notifications at all, even if they are selective, would just tempt me to open my inbox. And once I’m staring at my inbox, it’s very likely I’ll waste time there when I should be doing something else. Unless it’s my scheduled time to process email, I don’t want to see my inbox or even think about anything related to email.

Thus I really hope that the revamped reminders will come to the android app so that I can get reminded about my upcoming derailments through notifications from the Beeminder app.


What notifications do you want in the android app that it does not already do?
It already does zeno polling on eep days and notifications if you have n days until expiry (panic buffer).

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I see that I can enable/disable zeno polling on eep days and that I can choose the time of day when the zeno polling should start on an eep day:

But where can I set reminders to start when I have n days until expiry? I only get reminders from the app when I have 1 day of safety buffer left. I don’t see where I can change that to n days.

In any case, even if I can get a notification when I have n days of safety buffer, it would not be zeno polling: I would not get a notification n/2 days before derailment, nor n/4 days before derailment, etc. That’s how the revamped reminders work, right? That is, with the revamped reminders I would get a notification n days before, n/2 days before, etc.? Or did I misunderstand how they work?

Also, wouldn’t it make sense to have the way reminders are configured on the app be consistent with how they are configured on the website? That is, have the configuration in the app be phrased like “Start reminding me at TIME when I have N days until derailing at the deadline of TIME”? Or alternatively, make the app generated alerts respect the configuration chosen on the website.


If you are viewing a goal, you can choose ‘goal settings’ from the menu which allows you to set a 'Panic buffer’
This gives you a notification when you have n days until the goal date. (I’m not 100% sure if it notifies you every day you are inside the buffer, always set it to 0 to turn it off.)


I think you get a reminder every day at the remind me time every day up to the last day then you only get zeno polled throughout the day on the last day. (Need @dreev to confirm this.)

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I fully sympathise with the getting-sucked-into-email problem.

My Pushover notifications, for interest, are triggered by an email but don’t launch the email app.

Similarly, you could rig something using IFTTT, including international SMS alerts.

Or, if the android app genuinely doesn’t have the right settings (yet), y’all should continue to petition @saranli until it becomes true…


I like the idea of the new reminders a lot :slight_smile: It looks like something I wished had existed for quite a long time :slight_smile: Now I am trying to implement my intended use, and encountered something that is perhaps a bug but maybe a feature :smile:
Here are some of my goals before I apply defaults to them:

And here is how they look like after I check just the first checkbox.

All three goals which had similar names had their settings turn to inactive. Why do I even have goals with similar names, is a separate question :slight_smile: I will see from tomorrow’s reminders if this behaviour meant that defaults were applied to all the three goals, or just the input boxes went inactive.

UPD: After I saved all the changes, I saw that the defaults were not applied to the goals #2 and 3 of the pictured three goals. So, this bug doesn’t influence anything meaningful, but perhaps this is still not the intended behaviour (and may be an easy UVI ;))

UPD2: And one more suggestion, because I have just received one of those reminders.
It says: “This goal uses an automatic data source, so no need to respond with data, but do go do whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing!”
Which is quite misleading because it is a do-less goal, and the only thing it is reasonable to be reminded about here is to be careful and to avoid doing the thing too much :slight_smile: (And I suppose that the reminders are already goal-type-specific, as this one shows the “limit” in the email topic).
It maybe argued that “go do whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing” implies “not doing the measured thing”… but that may be too complicated a logical operation if somebody is under stress of the eep! the reminder reminds of.


I’ve also encountered this default highlighting issue for multiple goals beginning with ‘read’ I’m guessing there might be some kind of javascript selector issue.


On the default email settings page, I’d like to be able to toggle the sort order from the current alphabetical order to eep distance order the same as my front my goals page.

Alphabetical is good and useful, and makes a sensible default ordering, but I spend a lot more time looking at my goals in time order so I tend to know where to find them and the ones I am most interested in are closer to the top.



Changing goal deadline via the default settings page does not trigger a chart refresh so the chart still shows the old deadline. (This may not be something worth fixing until after client side graphs.)

Manually refreshing the graph from the goal page fixes the problem.


Our counterargument from the blog post:

We think the right way to stop Zeno polling is to dispatch your dang-diggity beemergency (i.e., get back on the yellow brick road) and if you disagree we want you to prove you’ve thought about it!

But mostly our answer is: don’t. Zeno polling is brilliant. And if we’re about to take your money we really should tell you about it. [With a footnote about the Uncle button.]

We very much want this to be consistent across the smartphone apps and the website, yes. The first step is getting zeno polling on iOS at all, which is happening.


And insti’s description is good. I tried to initialize settings to be as close as possible to the settings you’d already had, so looks like you had reminders off for this one.

What we’ve done is actually quite similar to what’s already available in the android app. Hopefully coming to iOS soon.

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Yeah, I think this is what’s happening. I’m using javascript to update the state of the fields when you check/uncheck the box, and if the three goals all start the same, must be using a lazy selector that isn’t differentiating.

Love the different sort order thing. Definitely would be useful.

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Since I use Gmail, I have IFTTT send me mobile notifications when the bot sends me an eep message. There’s some latency but it’s not bad until you get into the last 1-2 hours before derailment.

(Is this in the IFTTT integration launch user-contributed recipe list?)

I used to have Gmail automatically forward bot messages to a custom forwarding address that forwarded to my phone number’s email to SMS gateway. That was very low latency despite how convoluted that all sounds, but the notifications were harder to parse when they came in groups.


I’m really enjoying the new defaults. It makes it much easier to change the large number of goals that I have. Thanks for doing this, @bee