Tomjens newbee guide part 2: more advanced things

Okay so now you know the basics of how to use Beeminder (if not, see [part one][1]). However there is a lot more to Beeminder that you will eventually want to know.
[1]: Tomjen's Mega Newbee Guide

##I am going on a vacation and need to put some goals on a break##
The easiest way to do so is to go to your user page and see a list of all your goals. For example my page currently looks like this:

Then look over your goals and see which goals you don’t want to do on your vacation. In my case I wouldn’t want to have my earlybird goal or my play more games goal.

So I click on the early bird goal and locate the “Take a break” link right over the road editor (which you remember from part one):

Then you should see a screen like this:

Click on the start date (which, like all changes that makes your goal easier can’t take effect until a week from now) and keep the warning in mind: to take a break for a week, select the start of the break as the day before.
You can also just adjust the goal to be easier during the break.

Click Schedule to schedule the break. Don’t forget to update for your other goals too.

##What does “Retroratchet” mean?##
Trouble, usually. It is an advanced feature where you can cut away your slack, if you have any (this happens e.g when you have worked extra on your goal and so have say six days before you derail). Click on it will popup a warning:

Since I am a premium user I can choose how much to cut my slack down to, non-premium users can only choose to cut down to 2 days.
If that is what you want click the blue button.

In addition to making you having to work more, Retroratchet will remove any vacation you have planned, doesn’t work well if you have a scheduled a change in your road or if you have derailed yesterday. See why I said it usually meant trouble?

##What options can I change for a goal?##
Lots. Open the goals overview, click on the goal you want to change options for and click the settings icon (the one that looks like a gear, right on the top above the hard cap/bare min numbers). Depending on your goal you should see something like this:

Most of these options should be self-explanatory, but Weasel-profing and No-mercy-recommit deserve a specific explanation:

Weasel-profing is meant to be be used if you are the kind of person who would want to email support to get out of a derail with a legitimate excuse, e.g that you were ill, but weren’t. Normally support would accept that without question, but if you check this box they will ask for prof.
I wouldn’t check it unless you had actually done that. Since Beeminder make money when you don’t do what you said you would do, lying to them is technically theft.

No mercy recommit: Normally when you derail you get a week flat spot on your graph so that you have a chance to get back on your feet. With this checked, the graph continues where you fell of. This is mostly useful for e.g do 1000 pushups before Christmas type of goals where you care about the overall rate.

You can also set a fine print on the contract. This isn’t as limiting as you may think, since a) you get to write the fine print and b) you can change it at anytime.
I mostly don’t use them, but some people do write elaborate statements. Use it if you want.

If you changed something, don’t forget to click the “Save changes” button.

Okay I know you noticed that there were few options more in the top:

We will only look at Terrifyingly Advanced and Data since reminders are simple enough (this is where you change when you want to be notified via email) and I have never used the Supporters feature:

Note you won’t see the option to convert to a custom goal or the max safe days options as they are both premium only features.
Most of these options aren’t actually as terrifying as advertised but the Turquoise swath is pretty cool, basically it shows you a series of straight line segments that show when and how much you work. This allows you to quickly see if you often work in burst or your are constantly following the road.

Deadline: this is the time of day at which point you will derail if you are of the road (under on a do more goal, over the road on a do less). You can change it so long as you are not of the road or there is more than 6 hours to the deadline. If you set your deadline to before 6 am it effectively means you have until that long on the day after to get back on track (ie you were derailing on a friday, you now have until 6 am saturday to get back on track). If you put it after midday (say at 1pm) then that is on the day itself so if you have to complete that days task before then (ie. if you were of the road friday morning and your deadline were 2pm then you have to get back on the road before 2pm friday or you derail).

The webhook is useful if you run your own website and know how to code, otherwise ignore it.

The data display is explained in the next section:

##How do I edit data/see my old data/download all my old data?
Select the goal you want to see data for, click the gear icon (right above the bare min/hard cap numbers) and click data on the options.

You should see something like this:

If one of the datapoints have been added by mistake click the corresponding delete button (you will get a popup warning) but it is more likely that you entered an incorrect number or you forgot to add a comment. To solve this, click the “edit” link next to that datapoint.
You will then see this:

Change what you need to change and click “Submit”

You can also add datapoints for more further back than yesterday by clicking the “Advanced Entry” link.

Yes this allows you to add fake data so you don’t derail without doing the work, but a) you can already do that from the goal page anyway and b) if you are the kind of person who would do this, Beeminder isn’t for you anyway.

To export your data click the “import/export” text under your user information in the right hand corner of the screen. This reveals a menu like so:

To play around with you data in Excel or Google spreadsheets you want the CSV export option.


These print screens and related details have helped so thanks a bunch.

I have a question about the first screen shot.
Why is the center goal highlighted/frame-highlighted as opposed the the other 8?

(4 of my 12 goals are highlighted)

1 Like

Hi JJ!

I think you’ll find that all the ‘highlighted’ goals in your gallery are ones that you’ve marked as private. For other people, those will appear as mystery goals. You can test that out by loading your own gallery in an incognito/private browser window.