Total instead of delta?

Is it possible to enter data points as totals instead of deltas?
I’m writing a book and it would be slightly more convenient for me to just copy & paste the output of wc than calculate the difference each time.

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Yup! That’s what odometer goals are for. I’m not 100% sure it’s easy to
change goal type, but I would ask support if you already have a goal you
want to change.


Ah, I can’t see this goal… I assume a premium account is needed for that, right?
Anyway, thanks!

Hi @ptlen!

Since writing da book is your main reason for trying Beeminder, have a conversation with us at and we’ll get you started off on the right foot. (Tell 'em I sent you!)

In addition to a total-number-of-words goal, many people find it helpful to have another goal to tackle the same challenge from other directions simultaneously, e.g. number of writing sessions per week, or minutes spent writing and/or editing, etc.

And definitely start with a more lenient goal slope than you might think is ideal, especially if you create more than one goal for this.

Happy writing!

I managed on my own. Sort of…

  • exported the goal data to a TSV file
  • used Perl one-liner to sum up the numbers (note to Perl guys: I did not try to golf it)
    perl -ne '@f=split/\t/;$f[1]=~y/-/ /;$t+=$f[2];print"$f[1] $t \"\"\n" if $.>1' < ptlen_dabook.tsv
  • created an odometer goal (dabook-chars) with -27-day safety buffer (yep, -27 to re-create the original leeway, this hack seems to work)
  • paste the output of the Perl script to “Advanced Entry”

So far, so good, the graph looked exactly the same as the original non-odometer goal, but when I tried to add today’s data point (the total for today), it was treated as a delta and the graph shot up. This is so fricking weird… The other odometer goal is OK, when I enter a data point, it’s treated as a total, not as a delta. What is going on here??

When in doubt, email so that the intrepid bee team can figure out the weirdness…