The case for making "Automatically trim safety buffer" a free feature

Totally! So that goes back to what I was asking about the Help Docs. E.g. we have the Quick Start Overview articles – what’s lacking there, for you? What don’t you understand that you think a newbie should be able to read about, for instance?

It’s really difficult to know what users actually want here, because often the feedback we get about what people are looking for is really vague. Just that it should be “better”. I’ve done a round of improvements to a number of the docs, and created new pages for some of the things people have mentioned, but as someone who knows it well and always found it intuitive, it’s difficult to guess what exactly people want and can’t find. Specific feedback on that is always really welcome!

[Yes, yes, fellow workerbees; it is my day off and I should buzz off. Buzzing!]

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Putting in my +1 for “moving autoratchet to at least infinibee” - it’s the only feature of Bee Plus that I particularly care about, and I don’t care about it enough to double my monthly cost. Let me make it easier to have to give you money! :stuck_out_tongue:

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Sorry for the old-post-bump, but also not that sorry: has there been any movement towards making autoratchet available on at least infinibee? The more goals I have the more annoying ratcheting during calendial gets, which seems ungood.

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Funny you should ask – we were just talking about it this morning. Which is not to say “movement” exactly. I’m arguing for The Great Autoratchet Flippening in which no one accumulates more than 30 days of safety buffer unless you pay for more as a premium feature.

But in the meantime, autoratchet is sadly just locked away as a Bee Plus feature and there are technical reasons that it will take us a while to change that even though we’re on board in theory.

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Is “30 days of safety buffer” Beeminder’s “640k should be enough for anyone”? :wink: I tend to agree and I think I’d like TGAF…

I’m sure one could find things to Beemind which should only be done less than once a month, but making those premium seems reasonable at first glance.

I’ve long advocated that trimming safety buffer shouldn’t be premium, not least because more frequent nudges should create more awesomeness (as well as more revenue, which we think is strongly correlated).

Looking at my own goals that have more than 30 days of safety buffer, here’s what I found:

  • a weight goal that’s in flat-forever definitely-stay-below-this-weight mode
  • inbox zero goals, which although they might look like they’ve got loads of buffer will be on emergency days more often than not
  • my Anki goal, which the pessimistic projections from @bluetulip’s Anki addon: maintained progress mean that it’s in the red every couple of days
  • a professional development goal, where I aim to spend at least a set amount of money each year on courses, conferences, and learning. It autoratchets to 90 days.
  • a tracking-only ‘goal’ that I could dispense with
  • goals that have real-world end dates, such as a conference or other deadline that’s sufficiently far in the future that the Beeminder goal shouldn’t start to bite yet, but will start to prompt action with the appropriate lead-time

The other 21 Beeminder goals all have less than 30 days safety

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Another one I thought of right after posting my previous reply would be a goal to make a yearly dentist’s appointment, for example. That falls under your last bullet point.

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I’ve definitely had plenty of goals that by design regularly had more than 30 days buffer, but I’m also a premium user, so…

On documentation: Have you guys considered making doc updates and training material count as UVI’s? Or adding another UVI-like in the vein of your growth “UVI’s”? (I know you have a cute name for that, but couldn’t find it right now…)

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Thanks, everyone! I think there’s going to end up being a best-of-all-worlds answer to this. Like maybe (probably not actually this but…) if you accumulate more than 30 days’ safety buffer it gets ratcheted away by default but you can explicitly reconfirm every 30 days if it’s intentional. The more I think about that the more I like it. But it needs a whole spec to be sure.

We do! Most recently http://beeminder.com/changelog#3911.

Groovies. But we hated doing that so much that we dropped it. I’m tentatively willing to defend that as rational. Working on growth is not the fun part for nerds like us. So as long as we are growing, no matter how slowly, we’re ok focusing on where our passion lies: the actual product.

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I have several goals that intentionally have more than 30 days buffer— most notably, my goal to get a flu shot annually— but I am also a premium user and would be happy to have long-autoratchering be a premium feature.

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I’ve been thinking about road-dialling and that 30-day buffer warning could serve as a notice to manually (or automatically) multiply the slope of your goal by a set percentage, say 10%…

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Here’s a bunch of links to forum posts about what @Mary invented as the autodialler in her (doubtless now defunct) dashboard: Search results for ‘autodial’ - Beeminder Forum

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I like the idea of the Flippening, but I also think @dreev is correct that it will mystify and anger new users who build up a safety buffer. Maybe it’s even a violation of the anti-magic principle.

What if you send users an email the first time they hit a 30 day safety buffer with an opt-in button?

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Would love to see this automatic option implemented either free or Infinibee as would allow for daily goals even if i go over my desired goal on a daily basis and keep me on track to still put in effort the next day. Double the monthly price to get the feature is too steep for me personally.

Been trying to use IFTTT instead to trim the safety by subtracting 1 if it equals a certain number of safety days but this has meant creating lots of recipes for each of my goals and for the number of safety days I may accumulate. I havent properly got it working with the if more than certain number of safety days unfortunately and when it did work it only removed -1 from the goal rather than triggering multiple times.

Perhaps have it unlocked like your suggestion with the gaining new goals by derailing with money on the line (then gradually drop more features and understanding of the website as you go along) or weasel proofing/no excuse mode if enabled?

I don’t think this is as magic with ratcheting already being in place and a massive amount of what is good about Beeminder is the magic of APIs and auto-population of the goals.

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Linking from this thread to @narthur’s autodialer

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I greatly miss this feature. I only track one goal, number of items ticked off on todoist. Everyday, I waste about 2 minutes to login to the website, and ratchet this goal to zero. Otherwise it just accumulates. I would be ok to pay a little bit for this feature, but 165 USD a year is a bit steep. I wouldn’t use any of the other features of the beeplus plan.

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Five out of eight of my current goals are phrased, in my head, as “do at least x units every day/week.” For example, I want to have a one hour contemplative period of not using devices every (continuous) week, even if I spent two hours last week. However, I have no way of communicating this to Beeminder without autoratchetting. As a result, Beeminder disincentivizes me from achieving my goals whenever I happen to do them ahead of time. I know I could pay for a more premium plan, but they are incredibly pricey for the one feature I’d be getting. The feature would also make me more likely to derail, which is a win for Beeminder.

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I want to echo two previous posts.

Is this topic dead or there’s some ongoing discussion?

Maybe consider bumping from $8 to $10. How many people are at 8 vs at 16 plan? Maybe make 16 unattractive to make people buy 8 plan? Call me Ebenezer but I think it’s possible to pay $100 for browser automation that would ratchet daily and keep $65 (and 165 next year) in my pocket.

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This topic isn’t dead, just clearly a bit backburnered. But it does continue to come up and I think it’s important.

Btw, can you spell this out more:

pay $100 for browser automation that would ratchet daily and keep $65 (and 165 next year) in my pocket

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Sure. I mean I can use cypress or playwright or selenium to log in and click „reduce safety buffer”. Then, I would launch this program automatically every day.

I tried cypress and it works:

describe("template spec", () => {
  it("passes", () => {
    cy.visit("https://www.beeminder.com/users/sign_in")
      .get("#login_user_login")
      .type(userData.user)
      .get("#login_user_password")
      .type(userData.pass)
      .get("[name=commit]")
      .click()
      .wait(5000)
      .visit("https://www.beeminder.com/skorytnicki/conquers-duolingo") // your goal
      .get('[name="newsafety"]')
      .clear()
      .type("45") // some new buffer
      .get('[data-disable-with="Ratchet!"]')
      .click();
  });
});

I subscribe to $8 plan and just like @goalpuma2 I don’t want to pay extra (double my monthly payment) for exactly one feature I care about, even if Beeminder generates more than $16 a month for me.

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