Some feedback from my experience


Just wanted to chime in with some fairly disorganized thoughts about my Beeminder experience.

I was initially captivated by the allure of Beeminder as a new system that might finally tap into the immediate time horizon / consequences mechanism I lack given high-moderate ADHD. It worked for a good 3-4 months and was scrupulous about data entry. Yet even when things were going well, I found myself stubbing my toe against the user experience.

  1. The mobile app UX is very poor especially in contrast to what mobile apps are capable of in 2023. It is not well designed around the goal of as quickly as possible letting me see what’s due and entering that data.

  2. Even the main website could be so much better in terms of visually communicating deadlines, progress etc. The thumbnail graphs don’t really explain much (some simple numbers around completion % or # of derails or latest streak post last derail, etc. would be more useful), especially for longer running goals. There’s also no clear way to see the reporting at a global level? Total number of derails, total $ paid in penalties, best performing goals, etc. I can only imagine there are ways to instill encouragement and motivation, especially for an app that’s animated by a pretty punishing mechanism.

When it comes to the escalating penalties, they make sense in theory but for indefinite goals, they’re just too dangerous given the vagaries of life. There’s also something distinctly discouraging by the ratchet upwards since it feels like an unredeemable failure (rather than some price finding mechanism for what will motivate me). If, for example, I could dig myself out of a hole and auto reduce the penalty with a certain kind of streak, I’d be excited about that. I got to the point where I am unwilling to risk more than $10 for every goal and now I have to remember to de-escalate the penalty by one rung one week at a time until I get back to my target. I don’t understand why the akrasia 7 day gap needs to be applied to everything.

On the topic of setting breaks, why can’t I set a global break for all the beeminders? As someone who has ADHD, I might forget to set a break and given the 7 day gap, I’m then screwed across a dozen or so more goals, so I then have to communicate and overload support (who have been consistently fantastic) for multiple days in a row.

Finally, for an app that I’m guessing selects to some degree for more ADHD users, the lack of native calendar support for creating events/reminders is baffling. The sheer number of times I completed a goal but then in a moment of absentmindedness forgot to enter it and then have to bug support definitely detracts from the experience.

In summary, it’s a really interesting concept with a really passionate and active community and great support, but the execution on the application / UX is disappointing.


Thanks for this feedback! Valuable stuff!

Probably this is true for both but are you talking about Android or iOS here?

Good ideas. You can see that the hard way at

Just to check (mainly for us to know if we’re communicating such things well enough), do you know about pledge caps?

As for auto-decaying pledges, I do like the arguments in favor of that. We discussed it some years ago:

Yeah, there are a lot of things I want to improve about changing the pledge amount.

You mean as opposed to using the page? Our thinking there is that you need to consider each goal when setting a break. Some goals you can do more of than usual on vacation, for example. Or you want to do less but not zero during a break. And just the fact that if you have plenty of safety buffer, you may prefer to use it instead of adding an additional break. Some goals you really want to stick to a certain overall average rate.


True fact.

Programming is hard?

PS: But also, upvotes on this are welcome:

Amen. And thank you again for articulating this!


This is something I have stumbled upon too.

I’m archiving goals instead of de-escalating them because it takes multiple weeks + I have to do it each week + I have to not derail on my goal.


Ah, yep, this is feedback we’ve heard before: since you can get rid of a whole goal in seven days, you should be able to drop the pledge to whatever you like after seven days. And we agree that’s pretty logical, so you can actually contact support to do this for you, in the meantime. (It’s documented in the help docs, if you were wondering where to find that information!)

So to take advantage of it, you’d set up one stepdown, let it complete, and then ask support to continue dropping the pledge to a specified level.

I know some folks do actually prefer needing to step it down over multiple weeks, since it enforces each stepdown being a deliberate, measured decision that you get to think through for a bit longer… so I don’t know that we’re committed to “fixing” it in terms of making multiple stepdowns at once actually possible in the web interface. I think we’re waiting for more feedback on that front. But the support team are available for the workaround. :slight_smile:


I appreciate this!

I find the Beeminder Android app absolutely unusable, and its Tasker integration questionable at best, so even workarounds and integrations are… rough. The main UX is rough as well… I don’t really care about the graph, but on my big goals, I have to wait for a really long time for the graph to calculate before I can go do the thing I actually want to do. I love the idea of seeing those stats because a reminder that I spent hundreds of $$ on a goal already is a good way to frame your priorities and give a push to not grow that number further.

I have whined about the lack of a proper break page where I can just say, “I need to be off the hook for all my goals for this time period”. After I come back, there’s always some problem of some goals suddenly being due I didn’t plan with, and the last time I went on vacation, it kind of ruined the relaxation I got from it.

But in my admittedly jaded opinion, in my lifetime, I will not see a user-friendly version of this. The Beeminder philosophy from an end-user experience is to give as many checkboxes as possible and not assume reasonable defaults because they once wrote that blog post about some anti-magic principle.

The advice of having a meta-goal to regularly check and make breaks in advance feels like a bandaid to me for a larger problem, but it is one I am using currently because otherwise, I’m writing 10s of emails to support fixing a break or something. So I can recommend the Calendialing in the absence of another reasonable solution.

I have used the implementation because it’s a modern interpretation of beeminder. But I also noticed that because it’s not native, so it’s using the API, it is easy to cheat on automatic integrations. So slippery road there.

As for coping with the interface: I have also written a userscript that refreshes the main page when I switch to it because if I don’t and have the tab open for longer, the data gets stale, and I actually miss deadlines. I also wrote specific email filters that serve as a notification now because the Android app is too flaky. Desire paths everywhere :wink:

I would love for Beeminder to get a modern design and the Android app to work and not look the way it does. But alas, I now try to do everything over automatic data entries as much as I can.

Also, I agree that there’s a very vibrant community, and support has been pretty great in most aspects. But I would really like to have to bother them less on some of these things. Breaks especially. Thanks for adding these viewpoints from a neurodiverse and “newbie” experience. As an old-timer who has given up raising these points, I absolutely agree! Thanks for this!


I have whined about the lack of a proper break page where I can just say, “I need to be off the hook for all my goals for this time period”

Ooh @mufflon , that’s interesting! I’m sure you’ve used the breaks page to set a break on multiple goals at once - how would you improve this? (Have you seen the hack where you can set start/end dates in the URL? Does that help?)

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I have @clivemeister. But as always, that’s not a first-order functionality but something hidden in the readme. Additionally, I still have to click on every single goal in this recommended usage.

A user-friendly version would, for example, look like an interface where you can choose all or a tag. And the time for a break. Maybe with a dropdown or something.

Put [all / tag1 / tag2] on break from [start] to [end].

I simply should have to manipulate query strings to use an app.


Is there a way to change the pledge cap or lower pledges on the free Beeminder plan? I’m at the default of $270 and want to try it at $200, because to my brain $270 and $200 are not far apart enough to be worth the $70 loss every time. But the only option i see is to lower the pledge to $90 – which is lower than I want it to be.


premium and free plan have the same pledge amounts, you can’t make custom pledges in beeminder, see this help page: what pledge levels are there? (linked to a specific subsection, but the whole page might be of interest to you.)

within beeminder, you’ll have to decide between $90 and $270, because there’s no “middle ground” / way to do custom pledges.

the page does suggest a way to do custom pledges, at the end, with ifttt: can i have a custom pledge amount like $50?