I just started using Beeminder and I’m finding the experience a bit overwhelming…
All I want is this:
Beeminder tracks if I study foreign languages every single day (at least 15 minutes)
If 15+ minutes studied – OK
If no study time [or less than 15 min] – STING
To stay accountable I use Toggl (a time tracking app)
The problems I’m running into:
- When I study more than 15 minutes, the app rolls this result over to the following days (hence, studying for 2h = studying for 8 days, and that’s not what I want it to do). Every single day should have the “minimum 15” requirement, it doesn’t matter if I studied for 12h the day before.
- I simply don’t get the counting process. Right now, with 8 minutes logged on Toggl for today, I’m at “+00:02 due in 1d 10h 37m.” I think it should say 7 minutes due in 10h 37m… (8 min logged + 7 that still needs to be logged =15 minimum)
Can someone please help explain this to me? I feel quite stupid right about now…
Welcome to the Beeminder forum!
It sounds like you’re looking for the autoratchet feature in the Beeplus plan (“Automatically trim safety buffer”). With that feature you can set your goal to automatically trim your safety buffer down to one day if it gets higher than that.
Hope that helps!
p.s. I felt overwhelmed when I first started using Beeminder, too, it’s a pretty geeky service. But once you start learning the lingo things start getting a lot easier.
Thanks for the response – I wasn’t aware this was a premium feature.
However, at this point I am not able to pay $16/mo for it
What would be an alternative?
I suppose I could set up a simple YES/NO goal with manual input? Then I wouldn’t have to deal with the surplus building up so fast…
Yes, I’ve done that, too, and it works pretty good. Then you can set your rate at 6.5/week (or 7 if you’re feeling super ambitious, but I wouldn’t suggest that as it’s nice to build up a little buffer!) and you should be good to go.
I’ve set it up like this. I think this will do
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can manually retroratchet should you build up more buffer than you want to have.
For anyone else interested in this kind of thing, just thought I’d copy in my reply to an email about this!
There is a simpler way to do this, though it would require a manual check in: you can just make a simple do-more goal with +1 due each day. Towards the end of the day, check whether you’ve done at least 15 minutes per day. Add +1 if yes; add 0 if no. On that set-up, there’s no way to build up buffer.
Autoratchet wouldn’t actually quite solve the problem either, as it wouldn’t always ensure you needed 15 minutes – it makes whatever is due due today, for sure, but that could be 8 minutes or something like that.
There are two other possibilities which we would normally only suggest to experienced users, as it’s a bit fiddly and may not always work quite as expected – and it requires premium, which is a bit of a big ask for a new user! However, if you were interested in premium, there’s a custom goal aggregation method called “skatesum”, which doesn’t allow you to build up safety buffer, or you could set up a non-cumulative graph. We’re huge fans of cumulative graphs for all kinds of reasons – here’s one blog post that illustrates part of that reasoning: Baby Got Bonus: Beeminding Your Way to Awesome – Grayson Bray Morris – and non-cumulative graphs aren’t really how Beeminder is “meant” to work, so this isn’t a suggestion so much as just mentioning that the option does exist.
Personally, I’d be inclined to the simplest option; it’s not automated, but it works without any other additional fiddling around. Looking at your forum posts, it sounds like that’s what you’ve selected already! Hope that works for you!