Taking a break on Gmail Zero goal


In couple of weeks I expect to take a vacation where I’ll be offline for a few days. At the moment I have plenty of safety buffer as the goal is just in “maintenance mode” but I’m afraid that during this vacation emails will accumulate in my inbox and cause me to derail. As far as I understand scheduling a break just flattens the brick road slope so It can’t prevent derailment if suddenly received too many emails. I suppose I can create a gmail filter to skip the inbox or something along these lines but wonder if there is a better solution.


1 Like

I thought by default the GmailZero goals only count messages marked as read? So if you abandon your inbox it won’t get more read messages (unless you’re marking things as read via filtering).

1 Like

Cool, I didn’t know that. That solves it.

1 Like

Agreed! Just to add: Even if you don’t have it ignoring Unread messages (which you can now configure for GmailZero) you can schedule a “break” that’s actually an upward sloping section to make sure you’re covered during the vacation.

I create a literal break in my email graphs by setting an end date for those goals, and then resuming them on my return. This has the side-effect of losing any data for the period, of course.

Non-monotonic data sources make a good case for implementing true breaks (as opposed to ordinary sections of road with atypical slopes).

Indeed, as @philip says, there is no finite amount of upwardness that will make sure you’re covered.


I hope these still let you add data to the goal. I usually still want to get the QS data for the period of time where I’m off the hook.


I know that @insti put some quality thinking into how breaks should function. I don’t remember any of the detail off the top of my head, but they may well have been zones of derailment-protection and should continue to accept data. (And if they weren’t, they may be now!)

1 Like

I think my conclusion was to adjust the road so that derailing was impossible.[1][2]
But I don’t think any progress was made on implementing anything.

[1] This may involve step changes to ± infinity
[2] There were some other ideas related to allowing multiple roads per goal which would also allow some other interesting features.

1 Like

I really dislike this solution, not just for the loss of QS data, but because True Akratics may procrastinate indefinitely on actually restarting the goal. If we finish the Road Editor before a True Breaks feature [1] that will serve as a workaround. Then you can make the road ridiculously conservatively steep during the break and then just clean it up afterwards. We can do this for people manually with the admin road editor in the meantime (I realize that’s a horrible workaround).

[1] They’re actually a bit related and may end up coming at the same time.

+1 for “true breaks”…just getting back from a trip.

Or some other better solution to breaks on “flat, stay under” goals in general…but a true pause seems like it would fix all goals. (While my use case is GmailZero, and a flat unread <10 setting.)

Problem with the “unread doesn’t matter” part is I get a lot of email and when on a trip or vacation I need to not worry about Beeminder during that time. (A few hundred/thousand emails will stack up, and when using something like slow satellite internet, I don’t care at all about my unread message counts – can’t care, both because of low speeds and high cost of access. So I will go over on the unreads, when I need to peek at a few.)

I do the same, upward pre-planned ramp as others have mentioned. But it’s ugly, and isn’t the right message or a chart of “truth” from my perspective…especially if you allow a lot of headroom. Feels a little less like you’ve stayed/accomplished the road with the spikes. (But also looking forward to the Road Editor to clean up past history!)

Just my $0.02. Beeminder still does the job though. :slight_smile: