Thoughts on Beeminder

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I
can think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from Beeminder.
I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good
at that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I was
probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became difficult as
they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some were things I
wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do occasionally anyway and
just wanted logged somewhere. Some were automatically pulled from other
applications. Over time, this just started to feel very confusing and I
didn’t like that the only effective organization to this was how many days
I had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or
with the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of the
habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy, untameable
octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to give me
structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would be
Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that a
lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use
Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.

As I start more and more goals I am also noticing that the goals page is a
little cumbersome. I hadn’t thought categories of goals would help,
because I was imagining topic-based categories (health, work, etc), but
categorizing by when you want to look at them is a great idea.

I also have a little bit of tension between realizing that if I want to get
anything done I should track it, and feeling like my entire day would be
spent getting reminders if I did that. I get a lot of texts at the same
time at the end of the day. Having reminders set for a category of goals
instead of each individual goal would probably help. (I like inputting data
through the iPhone app, so I don’t need a text to come from the goal I’m
going to update.)

Presley

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:33:45 PM UTC-4, Brian F Crain wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I
can think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good
at that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some
were things I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do
occasionally anyway and just wanted logged somewhere. Some were
automatically pulled from other applications. Over time, this just started
to feel very confusing and I didn’t like that the only effective
organization to this was how many days I had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or
with the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to
give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would
be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that a
lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the cluttered
inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start cluttering it
up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist interface,
and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long term
tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan on
doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls from
it, and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I can
set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows the
next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks less
impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain crainbf@gmail.comwrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I
can think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good
at that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some
were things I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do
occasionally anyway and just wanted logged somewhere. Some were
automatically pulled from other applications. Over time, this just started
to feel very confusing and I didn’t like that the only effective
organization to this was how many days I had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or
with the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to
give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would
be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that a
lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
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I think that interactive graphs would solve the graph readability problem.
I personally would also like the ability to set the y-axis on the graph. If
you look at my weight graph, it looks like I have made some big changes,
but if you made the y-axis start at 0, it would look very flat (which is
closer to the truth in my opinion)

https://www.beeminder.com/rob/weight

Rob

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Reto Stamm reto@retostamm.com wrote:

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the
cluttered inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start
cluttering it up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist interface,
and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long term
tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan on
doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls from
it, and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I can
set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows
the next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks less
impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain crainbf@gmail.comwrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I
can think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good
at that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some
were things I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do
occasionally anyway and just wanted logged somewhere. Some were
automatically pulled from other applications. Over time, this just started
to feel very confusing and I didn’t like that the only effective
organization to this was how many days I had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or
with the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to
give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would
be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that
a lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
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You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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For your weight graph, set vmin to 0 in the advanced options.

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Rob Felty robfelty@gmail.com wrote:

I think that interactive graphs would solve the graph readability problem. I
personally would also like the ability to set the y-axis on the graph. If
you look at my weight graph, it looks like I have made some big changes, but
if you made the y-axis start at 0, it would look very flat (which is closer
to the truth in my opinion)

https://www.beeminder.com/rob/weight

Rob

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Reto Stamm reto@retostamm.com wrote:

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the
cluttered inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start
cluttering it up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist interface,
and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long term
tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan on
doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls from it,
and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I can
set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows
the next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks less
impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain crainbf@gmail.com
wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I can
think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good at
that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data points
the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became difficult
as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some were things
I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do occasionally anyway and
just wanted logged somewhere. Some were automatically pulled from other
applications. Over time, this just started to feel very confusing and I
didn’t like that the only effective organization to this was how many days I
had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or with
the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to
give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would
be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that
a lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have avoided
this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key, then use Mailvelope to encrypt your webmail.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
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Thanks for the tip Katherine! I didn’t know about that feature. And now
that I have played with it, I think I like the beeminder defaults better!
Thanks for knowing what I actually wanted Danny!

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM, Katherine Baxter <
baxter.katherine@gmail.com> wrote:

For your weight graph, set vmin to 0 in the advanced options.

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Rob Felty robfelty@gmail.com wrote:

I think that interactive graphs would solve the graph readability
problem. I
personally would also like the ability to set the y-axis on the graph. If
you look at my weight graph, it looks like I have made some big changes,
but
if you made the y-axis start at 0, it would look very flat (which is
closer
to the truth in my opinion)

https://www.beeminder.com/rob/weight

Rob

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Reto Stamm reto@retostamm.com wrote:

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the
cluttered inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start
cluttering it up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist
interface,

and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long
term

tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan on
doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls
from it,

and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I
can

set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows
the next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks less
impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain crainbf@gmail.com
wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my
life

and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in
Nick

Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions
with the

Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding
and I

feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company
I can

think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating
about

them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and
more

urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very
good at

that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat
resentful

about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very
motivating.

But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points

the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped
working

for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult

as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some were
things

I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do occasionally
anyway and

just wanted logged somewhere. Some were automatically pulled from other
applications. Over time, this just started to feel very confusing and I
didn’t like that the only effective organization to this was how many
days I

had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has
been

that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals
or with

the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of
goals.

e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been
able

to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I
could

have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder
feels

like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your
attention

when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder
has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author,
rating

and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a
few

more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something
else to

give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that
would

be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and
that

a lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great
and I

really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very
successful

future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from
the

knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided

this?

Cheers,
Brian


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I would also like some categorisation or organisation system. Even
something light weight would do. The below the fold, above the fold stuff
is okay. But it’s a very blunt tool.

I have three major contexts: personal, open source, and work. And often I
only care about one context at a particular point in time. (Though logging
on in the morning to see what is red, yellow, etc, gives me a good idea of
what I need to work on during the day.)

But I also imagine that it would be useful to add more than one category to
a goal. For example, within those contexts, I have binary success goals (1
or 0 for the day) and time based goals.

So the ability to perhaps tag goals would be useful, and then an easy way
to filter or sort or group based on tag. Perhaps something like OS X’s
smart search (in Mail.app, Finder.app, any lots of other places) so you
could create a smart search for "all goals tagged with ‘personal’ and
’time’ and under seven days safety buffer’ and then save that as “Priority
(Personal)” or whatever, and have that saved search come up in a list on
the dashboard. And then you can just flip between searches. Could even do
something like that with JS on the client side.

Anyway, just spitballin here. But yes, “one big inbox” can be cumbersome.
(I track over 30 goals!)

On 25 September 2013 17:19, Rob Felty robfelty@gmail.com wrote:

Thanks for the tip Katherine! I didn’t know about that feature. And now
that I have played with it, I think I like the beeminder defaults better!
Thanks for knowing what I actually wanted Danny!

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM, Katherine Baxter <
baxter.katherine@gmail.com> wrote:

For your weight graph, set vmin to 0 in the advanced options.

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 10:52 AM, Rob Felty robfelty@gmail.com wrote:

I think that interactive graphs would solve the graph readability
problem. I
personally would also like the ability to set the y-axis on the graph.
If
you look at my weight graph, it looks like I have made some big
changes, but
if you made the y-axis start at 0, it would look very flat (which is
closer
to the truth in my opinion)

https://www.beeminder.com/rob/weight

Rob

On Wed, Sep 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM, Reto Stamm reto@retostamm.com wrote:

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the
cluttered inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start
cluttering it up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist
interface,

and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long
term

tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan
on

doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls
from it,

and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I
can

set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows
the next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks
less

impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain <crainbf@gmail.com

wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted
to

share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my
life

and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it
in Nick

Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions
with the

Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding
and I

feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other
company I can

think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and
I

derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating
about

them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important
and more

urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very
good at

that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat
resentful

about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not
really

aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very
motivating.

But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points

the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped
working

for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it
I

was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult

as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some were
things

I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do occasionally
anyway and

just wanted logged somewhere. Some were automatically pulled from
other

applications. Over time, this just started to feel very confusing and
I

didn’t like that the only effective organization to this was how many
days I

had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has
been

that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals
or with

the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of
goals.

e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been
able

to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I
could

have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder
feels

like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your
attention

when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on
these

derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder
has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author,
rating

and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are
a few

more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some
of

the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something
else to

give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that
would

be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and
that

a lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great
and I

really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very
successful

future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder
somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful
for

Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from
the

knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided

this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key, then use Mailvelope to encrypt your webmail.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups

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If you want a % habits done/day, you could try moving to DayScore (
http://dayscore.net), which is designed specifically for tracking that
(although with no commitment contracts-maybe a beeminder graph for your
dayscore score?). I used to use it, but I found the fact that you couldn’t
see which habits were getting missed and which ones done made it pretty
useless, although any % habits done/day system would have the same problem.

Categorisation of goals would definitely be useful

Nate

On Thursday, September 26, 2013 2:42:57 AM UTC+12, Reto Stamm wrote:

I think I agree with each of these points, really. Especially the
cluttered inbox state. I made a new account just for that, and I start
cluttering it up again. It seems that goals are not forever.

I have moved daily habits to lift.d, which has a nice checklist interface,
and community cheering, which was somewhat nice. Since there’s no long term
tracking, I’ve done that for all of a week, then stopped. What I plan on
doing is to add lift.do to Beeminder - it has a Ruby gem that pulls from
it, and a csv interface also. The lift.do guys were friendly but not very
helpful when I chatted with them.
I plan to add a “% of habits done/day” tracker (or # of habits), so I can
set up a “do more” goal for these as a whole thing.

The “Urgent, extremely demanding project” is a very real thing. Getting
back into the groove afterwards is hard, too.

Graph readability with many datapoints may be improved if it only shows
the next week and the last month or so. But then it of course looks less
impressive.

Reto

On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:33 PM, Brian Fabian Crain <cra...@gmail.com<javascript:>

wrote:

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been a very active user of Beeminder for over a year and wanted to
share some of my thoughts on it.

First things first, the past year has been the most productive of my life
and Beeminder played a significant role in this. I learned about it in Nick
Winter’s (excellent) book and I’m very glad I did. My interactions with the
Beeminder team in various support emails have also been outstanding and I
feel a more personal connection to Beeminder than to any other company I
can think of right now.

Yet, over the past months I have gradually been moving away from
Beeminder. I’ll describe the reasons why.

Akrasia Horizon
In August I worked extremely hard on finishing my Master’s thesis and I
derailed on various goals during that time. I wasn’t procrastinating about
them. It was simply that I had one project that was more important and more
urgent and I made the decision to neglect everything else. I tried to
anticipate these by adjusting the road beforehand but I was not very good
at that.

I know this was my fault, but I couldn’t help feeling somewhat resentful
about it. More broadly, I often felt that the short-term rigidity of
Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of derailing was not really
aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Graphs
Initially, I found the graphs and staying above the road very motivating.
But over time this effect disappeared entirely. With hundreds of data
points the graphs had become very difficult to read. I might have felt some
satisfaction looking at how far up I had come but they just stopped working
for me as a motivational tool.

Clutter
I have tracked 24 things overall on Beeminder and at the height of it I
was probably tracking around 17 things simultaneously. This became
difficult as they pertained to completely different areas of my life. Some
were things I wanted to do daily. Some were logs of things I do
occasionally anyway and just wanted logged somewhere. Some were
automatically pulled from other applications. Over time, this just started
to feel very confusing and I didn’t like that the only effective
organization to this was how many days I had left until derailment.

Behavioral/Project Alignment
Following up on the Clutter point: The broader problem, for me, has been
that Beeminder doesn’t really align (anymore) with overarching goals or
with the structure of my day.

One solution to this, I think, would be to allow categorization of goals.
e.g. Beeminder might have partially kept its usefulness if I had been able
to group goals by ‘Morning Routine’ or ‘Learning’ or ‘Weekly’. Then I could
have looked at the relevant place and it would have provided a clear
overview of where I’m at in this area. Instead, coming to Beeminder feels
like coming to a cluttered inbox with (now) a jumble of relevant now,
relevant some other time, not relevant anymore, and or in undefined
limbo-state.
It’s not pleasant and there are ten things that take away your attention
when only a small subset is relevant at that moment.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking
A very minor misgiving I have is that I can’t see anywhere how often I
derailed, when, on which goal and how much money I have spent on these
derailments. I find that a bit against the spirit of a self-tracking
service, particularly one of the high ethical standard that Beeminder has.

Going Forward
I am not quite sure what I will do going forward.

I will most likely continue using Beeminder particularly for sporadic
activities. For example, I log how many books I read and put author, rating
and title in the comment. This works fine for me and I like that I can
export the data and analyze it at some point if I want to. There are a few
more similar trackers and I’ll also keep up things like the fitbit
integration as it is frictionless.

But when it comes to my daily habits, the thought of restarting some of
the habits makes me feel as if I’m about to take on some unwieldy,
untameable octopus. The only thing I can imagine is using something else to
give me structure and use Beeminder to keep a data log. But then that would
be Beeminder without its core behavior change functionality…

I know these are my personal experiences and feelings right now and that
a lot of you are getting a great deal out of Beeminder. That’s great and I
really hope the Beeminder and its great team will have a very successful
future. I might also change my mind and restart with Beeminder somehow.

But I wanted to share these thoughts as I hope they might be useful for
Beeminder itself and because I would love to get some reactions from the
knowledgeable folks of this list.

Have some of you had similar issues and dealt with them successfully?
Should I have adopted a different approach somewhere that would have
avoided this?

Cheers,
Brian


Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+u...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Brian, thank you so much! Let me first say to everyone: Categorizing
goals, got it. That’s actually the number 2 item on
uservoice.beeminder.com but I hadn’t taken it seriously until hearing
all this. So thanks especially to Brian and to everyone else for
chiming in on that. I’m still thinking that customizing “midnight” (#4
on uservoice) is even more important – it’s the biggest thing I
personally need – but I see now that they’re related so we’ll keep
thinking hard about how best to handle the general problem of goal
clutter and inbox-style overload.

More specific comments interspersed:

the past year has been the most productive of my life and Beeminder played a significant role in this

I get a warm glow every time I hear that kind of thing :slight_smile:

short-term rigidity of Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of
derailing was not really aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Every once in a while I feel like I’d have some value for customizing
the akrasia horizon. With my blogging goal for Messy Matters I’ve
found myself akratically procrastinating beyond the nominal akrasia
horizon (“maybe next month when I’m not so busy with Beeminder work”)
and at the other extreme my mustdo goal is sort of like having a 1-day
akrasia horizon and that additional flexibility can have value.

Of course there’s a definite cognitive savings to be had in sticking
with a universal immutable akrasia horizon. So far I haven’t been
convinced that it’s worth the cost to customize that. I’d love to keep
hearing evidence to the contrary.

With hundreds of data points the graphs had become very difficult to read

This is really important. Note the stopgap we have in the meantime:
change tmin in advanced settings (we’ll probably at least move that to
basic settings soon) to zoom in on the more relevant part of the
graph.

Clutter

Like I said at the top of this email, this was persuasive. All I can
recommend in the meantime is to use the frontburner/backburner feature
(or just archiving) to pare down the goals at the top of your gallery
to just a handful of things that you’re really akratic about.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking

Roger that. We shall add it. We have beeminder.com/contracts which, if
you’re signed in, shows all your current pledges, but not history,
which is needed.
Trello’ing that here: Trello
(And thanks for being frank about how glaring an omission it is!)


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com

Thanks for all the responses. I was at a conference so it’s taken me a
while to get around to it.

I’m glad the categorization feature is high on the priority list. I
remember voting for that too!

Regarding the flexibility versus rigidity point, I would agree with you
that any weakening of the akrasia horizon is a very significant change and
the chance of getting it wrong is probably higher than that of improving
Beeminder. This wasn’t so much a change proposal as it was me noticing that
personally derailing was often a consequence of busyness rather than
procrastination.

I also saw the separate emails by Essy and Ben Ellis regarding the
dashboards they have constructed. This is something I have been thinking
about a lot as well and I may also try to do something of that sort in the
next month.

Thanks for all the comments and discussions. I think it’s fantastic this
forum exists to discuss and improve Beeminder!

On Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at 10:03 AM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.comwrote:

Brian, thank you so much! Let me first say to everyone: Categorizing
goals, got it. That’s actually the number 2 item on
uservoice.beeminder.com but I hadn’t taken it seriously until hearing
all this. So thanks especially to Brian and to everyone else for
chiming in on that. I’m still thinking that customizing “midnight” (#4
on uservoice) is even more important – it’s the biggest thing I
personally need – but I see now that they’re related so we’ll keep
thinking hard about how best to handle the general problem of goal
clutter and inbox-style overload.

More specific comments interspersed:

the past year has been the most productive of my life and Beeminder
played a significant role in this

I get a warm glow every time I hear that kind of thing :slight_smile:

short-term rigidity of Beeminder often meant that the ‘punishment’ of
derailing was not really aligned with my bouts of laziness.

Every once in a while I feel like I’d have some value for customizing
the akrasia horizon. With my blogging goal for Messy Matters I’ve
found myself akratically procrastinating beyond the nominal akrasia
horizon (“maybe next month when I’m not so busy with Beeminder work”)
and at the other extreme my mustdo goal is sort of like having a 1-day
akrasia horizon and that additional flexibility can have value.

Of course there’s a definite cognitive savings to be had in sticking
with a universal immutable akrasia horizon. So far I haven’t been
convinced that it’s worth the cost to customize that. I’d love to keep
hearing evidence to the contrary.

With hundreds of data points the graphs had become very difficult to read

This is really important. Note the stopgap we have in the meantime:
change tmin in advanced settings (we’ll probably at least move that to
basic settings soon) to zoom in on the more relevant part of the
graph.

Clutter

Like I said at the top of this email, this was persuasive. All I can
recommend in the meantime is to use the frontburner/backburner feature
(or just archiving) to pare down the goals at the top of your gallery
to just a handful of things that you’re really akratic about.

Minor: No Derailment/Expenses Tracking

Roger that. We shall add it. We have beeminder.com/contracts which, if
you’re signed in, shows all your current pledges, but not history,
which is needed.
Trello’ing that here: Trello
(And thanks for being frank about how glaring an omission it is!)


http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use
Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.

Hi Brian,

I had problems keeping up with my goals during busy periods too (still do) but found that was part of my own particular brand of procrastination / time management problems. (I’m not saying this is probably the case for you; I’m just tossing this out there.) I was planning too many things (or to do too much of each) and so I was getting too few done. The problem wasn’t that “being busy” unfairly ruined my plans, but that my plans were failing to take that kind of fluctuation into consideration. As Beeminder kept stinging me, I started learning to leave wiggle room, to agree to less, to sign up for less, to under-promise… and it’s really helped me move away from overcommitting and towards seeing how to plan more realistically.

There have been a couple of times when (the equivalent of) my boss threw me a huge curve ball that I really couldn’t have predicted and so I used the legitimacy check to cancel the crisis/busyness-induced derailment, but that was rare. (If I had a boss who sprung things on me frequently, I would consider that something I ought to start leaving room for and to start adapting my plans to accommodate.)

What I’m getting at is that maybe the benefit of the akrasia horizon for people who are often very busy is that it forces us to start imagining ways our plans might be thwarted and to work some space into those plans. In a way, it’s helped train me out of best-case-scenario planning of my time and train me to REALLY pay attention to how much time and energy I have.

E.g.:
Last night a goal I should never have tried to squeeze in right now derailed. It sucked, but I realized that I’m trying to do too much. I didn’t give the goal up, but I dialled the road to a slow crawl. I also realized that I’ve hit my limit for now and have started streamlining. (“All for the low, low price of $5!”)

I personally see the cost of “I’m too busy for this right now” derailments as the cost of that kind of training.

Essy, this is an astoundingly good email and is wonderful reassurance
that your other so-called cranky email was motivated by nothing but
love for Beeminder. :slight_smile:

(You’ve also given an eloquent rebuttal to the common claim that
Beeminder’s business model is perverse, by making clear that you pay
Beeminder for value you derive from Beeminder. As opposed to the
outside perception that the more people fail the more money we make.)

Since Essy and Brian’s emails are sort of in conflict (Brian: “we need
better categorization/organizational features!” vs Essy: “slow down
with the new features!”) and we’ve decided that Essy is right (for
now), maybe we should talk more about workarounds for Brian’s problem.
Custom dashboards using the API is a pretty hardcore solution, of
course.

I also wanted to see how people react to the suggestion to just
beemind less. Pick one thing (or a handful at most) that you’re
blatantly, egregiously akratic about and focus on it. Dial everything
else down so they’re no-brainers, put them below the fold in your
gallery, or even archive them. In other words, apply the Pareto
principle and identify the 20% effort you can put in for 80% of the
results.

On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 7:22 AM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Brian,

I had problems keeping up with my goals during busy periods too (still do) but found that was part of my own particular brand of procrastination / time management problems. (I’m not saying this is probably the case for you; I’m just tossing this out there.) I was planning too many things (or to do too much of each) and so I was getting too few done. The problem wasn’t that “being busy” unfairly ruined my plans, but that my plans were failing to take that kind of fluctuation into consideration. As Beeminder kept stinging me, I started learning to leave wiggle room, to agree to less, to sign up for less, to under-promise… and it’s really helped me move away from overcommitting and towards seeing how to plan more realistically.

There have been a couple of times when (the equivalent of) my boss threw me a huge curve ball that I really couldn’t have predicted and so I used the legitimacy check to cancel the crisis/busyness-induced derailment, but that was rare. (If I had a boss who sprung things on me frequently, I would consider that something I ought to start leaving room for and to start adapting my plans to accommodate.)

What I’m getting at is that maybe the benefit of the akrasia horizon for people who are often very busy is that it forces us to start imagining ways our plans might be thwarted and to work some space into those plans. In a way, it’s helped train me out of best-case-scenario planning of my time and train me to REALLY pay attention to how much time and energy I have.

E.g.:
Last night a goal I should never have tried to squeeze in right now derailed. It sucked, but I realized that I’m trying to do too much. I didn’t give the goal up, but I dialled the road to a slow crawl. I also realized that I’ve hit my limit for now and have started streamlining. (“All for the low, low price of $5!”)

I personally see the cost of “I’m too busy for this right now” derailments as the cost of that kind of training.


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http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com

Hi Essy,

Yes, I see your point and I certainly agree that using Beeminder that way
can help you to plan better. It just serves a different function then as I
think good planning and time management may be related to procrastination
but it’s not the same thing.

Daniel, Beeminding less is exactly what I’ve resorted to now. Apart from
some things that are connected through the API or long-term goals that I
won’t derail for a long time, I am just really tracking one thing at the
moment (http://blog.beeminder.com/mustdo/). I also redialed the axis which
makes the road look relevant again.

But thinking ahead, I’m definitely tending toward the custom dashboard.
I’ve started playing around with the API and I hope to build something
simple until the end of the month.

On Wed, Oct 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Essy, this is an astoundingly good email and is wonderful reassurance
that your other so-called cranky email was motivated by nothing but
love for Beeminder. :slight_smile:

(You’ve also given an eloquent rebuttal to the common claim that
Beeminder’s business model is perverse, by making clear that you pay
Beeminder for value you derive from Beeminder. As opposed to the
outside perception that the more people fail the more money we make.)

Since Essy and Brian’s emails are sort of in conflict (Brian: “we need
better categorization/organizational features!” vs Essy: “slow down
with the new features!”) and we’ve decided that Essy is right (for
now), maybe we should talk more about workarounds for Brian’s problem.
Custom dashboards using the API is a pretty hardcore solution, of
course.

I also wanted to see how people react to the suggestion to just
beemind less. Pick one thing (or a handful at most) that you’re
blatantly, egregiously akratic about and focus on it. Dial everything
else down so they’re no-brainers, put them below the fold in your
gallery, or even archive them. In other words, apply the Pareto
principle and identify the 20% effort you can put in for 80% of the
results.

On Tue, Oct 1, 2013 at 7:22 AM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Brian,

I had problems keeping up with my goals during busy periods too (still
do) but found that was part of my own particular brand of procrastination /
time management problems. (I’m not saying this is probably the case for
you; I’m just tossing this out there.) I was planning too many things (or
to do too much of each) and so I was getting too few done. The problem
wasn’t that “being busy” unfairly ruined my plans, but that my plans were
failing to take that kind of fluctuation into consideration. As Beeminder
kept stinging me, I started learning to leave wiggle room, to agree to
less, to sign up for less, to under-promise… and it’s really helped me
move away from overcommitting and towards seeing how to plan more
realistically.

There have been a couple of times when (the equivalent of) my boss threw
me a huge curve ball that I really couldn’t have predicted and so I used
the legitimacy check to cancel the crisis/busyness-induced derailment, but
that was rare. (If I had a boss who sprung things on me frequently, I would
consider that something I ought to start leaving room for and to start
adapting my plans to accommodate.)

What I’m getting at is that maybe the benefit of the akrasia horizon for
people who are often very busy is that it forces us to start imagining ways
our plans might be thwarted and to work some space into those plans. In a
way, it’s helped train me out of best-case-scenario planning of my time and
train me to REALLY pay attention to how much time and energy I have.

E.g.:
Last night a goal I should never have tried to squeeze in right now
derailed. It sucked, but I realized that I’m trying to do too much. I
didn’t give the goal up, but I dialled the road to a slow crawl. I also
realized that I’ve hit my limit for now and have started streamlining.
(“All for the low, low price of $5!”)

I personally see the cost of “I’m too busy for this right now”
derailments as the cost of that kind of training.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups “Akratics Anonymous” group.
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an email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
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http://dreev.es – search://“Daniel Reeves”
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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“Akratics Anonymous” group.
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Go get my PGP Public Key http://bit.ly/1dLh6sl, then use
Mailvelopehttp://www.mailvelope.com/ to
encrypt your webmail.

Brian,

Here’s some bad coding for a custom dashboard, if you’d like it. (The
Beeminder api files need to be placed in the appropriate places alongside
this, as well.)

Once it’s up and running, tweak to your heart’s content to make any kind of
groups you’d like. Also, it pulls a picture for each goal from a Dropbox
folder, making it easier to find graphs quickly if you have many of them,
as well as giving you something visual to add to your motivation.

dashboard.php

div.outter { float:left; border:thin solid black; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 5px; padding-bottom: 0in; padding-left: 5px; margin: 5px; }
div.inner {  

float:left;
height: 275px;
width: 160px;
}

div.innersmall {  

float:left;
width: 205px;
}

div.outterarchive { 

background: #BABABA;
float:left;
border:thin solid black;
padding-top: 0px;
padding-right: 5px;
padding-bottom: 0in;
padding-left: 5px;
margin: 5px;
}

div.innerarchive {  

background: #BABABA;
float:left;
height: 275px;
width: 160px;
}

img.MaxSized {
max-width: 150px;
max-height:43.63%;
}

<?php /* 1. Create a folder inside your Dropbox "public" folder called "goalpics" and add a jpg that represents each goal (named with the slug for each goal: goalslug.jpg). Keep the picture small in size so you don't waste bandwidth for nothing. 2. Change the placeholders below to your own info. The items you need to change are preceded and followed by "xx" to make it easier to search for them (as well as to find and replace them without unintentionally wiping out anything else). */ require_once 'lib/Beeminder/Autoloader.php'; Beeminder_Autoloader::register(); // Include the autoloader require_once dirname(__FILE__) . '/lib/Beeminder/Autoloader.php'; Beeminder_Autoloader::register(); // Create new client $api = new Beeminder_Client(); // Setup auth (private token) $api->login('xxyourusernamexx', 'xxyourprivatetokenxx', Beeminder_Client::AUTH_PRIVATE_TOKEN); // Fetch a list of goals for the user $goals = $api->getGoalApi()->getGoals(); $date = new DateTime(); $startToday = strtotime('today'); $endToday = strtotime('tomorrow'); $endTomorrow = $endToday + (24 * 60 * 60); $endWeek = $endToday + (6 * 24 * 60 * 60); $fourWeeks = $endToday + (27 * 24 * 60 * 60); $countDays = 0; $countDiff = 0; $countAver = 0; // Output today's derail risks echo "
"; echo "

Could Derail Today

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( ($goal->losedate < $endToday) ){ echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // NEEDS TODAY'S DATA echo "
"; echo "

Needs Today's Data

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( // NAME ( // As soon as I figure out how to request whether "pessimistic presumptive" is set to "on" for a goal, I will add that here. ($goal-> goal_type == "drinker") // If you've changed your goals to the custom type, you'll have to change this to list the do-less goals individually, which uses this format: ($goal-> slug == "goalslugtitlegoeshere") || ($goal-> slug == "nextgoalslugtitle") ) && ($goal->lastday < $startToday) && ($goal->burner != "backburner") && ($goal->frozen != 1) ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // LIMIT SET echo "
"; echo "

Limit Set

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( // Limit Set ( ($goal-> goal_type == "drinker") // The same note about custom goals applies here ) && ($goal->burner != "backburner") && ($goal->frozen != 1) ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "Max: "; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // COULD DERAIL TOMORROW echo "
"; echo "

Could Derail Tomorrow

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( // NAME ($endToday < $goal->losedate) && ($goal->losedate < $endTomorrow) && ($goal->burner != "backburner") && ($goal->frozen != 1) ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // COULD DERAIL THIS WEEK echo "
"; echo "

Could Derail This Week

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( // NAME ($endTomorrow < $goal->losedate) && ($goal->losedate < $endWeek) && ($goal->burner != "backburner") && ($goal->frozen != 1)) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // SOME GROUP I WANT TO TRACK // (add something specific to the end of the title of each goal, "(Projects)" in this example, and then adjust what's below to have those grouped together. echo "
"; echo "

Work Projects

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( ((substr($goal->title, -6)) == "(Work)") // When you change this, don't forget to change the "6" to the right number of characters ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // ALL ACTIVE GOALS echo "
"; echo "

Active Goals

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( ($goal->burner != "backburner") ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; // 'ON HOLD' OR 'TO BE ARCHIVED' echo "
"; echo "

'On Hold' or 'To Be Archived'

"; foreach ($goals as $goal) { if ( // NAME ($goal->burner == "backburner") ) { echo "
"; echo "{$goal->title} \n
"; echo "{$goal->limsum} \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\"> thumb_url}\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "slug}\" target=\"_blank\">slug}.jpg\" alt=\"{$goal->title}\"> \n
"; echo "{$goal->frozen} \n
"; echo "
"; } } echo "
"; ?>

==================================

On Wednesday, October 2, 2013 6:45:34 AM UTC-4, Brian F Crain wrote:

Hi Essy,

Yes, I see your point and I certainly agree that using Beeminder that way
can help you to plan better. It just serves a different function then as I
think good planning and time management may be related to procrastination
but it’s not the same thing.

Daniel, Beeminding less is exactly what I’ve resorted to now. Apart from
some things that are connected through the API or long-term goals that I
won’t derail for a long time, I am just really tracking one thing at the
moment (http://blog.beeminder.com/mustdo/). I also redialed the axis
which makes the road look relevant again.

But thinking ahead, I’m definitely tending toward the custom dashboard.
I’ve started playing around with the API and I hope to build something
simple until the end of the month.