Tracking medication consumption

How does one go about doing this? My current/first/only Beeminder goal is just a daily reminder to take my pills (I like that it can text me and ask if I did it!), but I’m not sure if I’m doing it right, or if there’s a better platform for this use case. These aren’t so much “goals” or things I’m trying to improve on - I just need to make a note when I take a pill, and be reminded if I forget to take any particular medication for the day.

Is Beeminder the right tool for this?
Do other people use it for similar purposes?
If not, what do you use instead?

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Beeminder isn’t the wrong tool, but if you just need to remind yourself to take the pills it is not going to be the best tool - you can simply put a recurring action into your google calendar and have it send you an email.

Beeminder is more approriate if you don’t really want to take the pills right now (say because of they will give you nausia) but do need to take them.

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Beeminder certainly seems like overkill for this use case (unless, as @tomjen points out, you’re akratic about taking the medication) but @bee, for example, uses Beeminder this way to make sure she takes the garbage out on garbage day. Our Zeno polling can be helpful if you get the reminder, dismiss it thinking you’ll get to it later, and then end up forgetting.

If you want the tracking/reminders without Beeminder’s sting (commitment device), we have an old blog post with ideas:

Btw, we’re working on revamping the reminders in Beeminder so this use case will hopefully be less cumbersome soon. I’m interested to hear what other tools you try regardless; thanks for asking about this!

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Hi There! I recently started using beeminder for taking pills (supplements and prescriptions) as well. Mostly because a) I have a history of taking them for a few months, then getting off them because I think I’ll be fine (and am wrong), b) because I can be forgetful, and c) because it enables me to comment on them: each day I have 2 sets of pills to take (morning and evening) and when I log it, I can note if I’ve left one out and why, how I’ve felt, any side-effects, and so on. That way it keeps me in touch with the benefits they’re offering. If I derail, I can look back and remember why I’m taking them so I get back on track, and if I have reoccurring issues, I can talk to my doctor or look up interactions/possible changes that should be made.

Hope some of this is useful to you or anyone else interested in using this for pill-taking. And if they are added uses, I’m interested.


I have found beeminder extremely useful in reminding me to take pills.
One case was when I had to take 3 during the day, and without entering the data to beeminder I would never ever be able to keep track whether I have already had enough earlier that day. But keeping up with the slope did its job. (I kept noting when I opened a new pack so I could review if I didn’t miss tracking any).
Another case is that I take some supplements at different rate during the month. And with this, the changing slopes are helping a lot. I can schedule “breaks” with different rates in advance and then just take the pills on whatever days and in whatever amounts they appear in orange or in red. It’s like outsourcing a huge piece of work of “having to remember”!
However, I see that this is useful to me that I have 20+ other goals and that my beeminder gallery is constantly open in my browser and consulted with during the day anyway… But initially, I started beeminding because of the pills, in fact, and only later added a bunch of things related to my phd, languages learning, etc.


Dang, love these use cases, @thephackt and @scarabaea! Summarizing the reasons to beemind taking medication:

  1. As pure reminders
  2. Adding comments for tracking the effects
  3. Keeping track of when you took the last dose
  4. Dialing the yellow brick road for scheduled changes in dose
  5. Akrasia – committing to taking medication even when your short-term self thinks it’s unnecessary
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Taking medication may be one of the few useful examples of every-day-for-the-rest-of-my-life road slopes, where you don’t want to miss any days, ever, and if you do miss a day, you don’t want a week of flatness, but an immediate, next-day, resumption of the slope.

(obviously, some medication regimes do come to an end, so they’re every-day-until-the-end-of-the-prescription rather than forever and ever. In which case the road dial is best configured as number-of-doses-prescribed & number-of-doses-per-day, with no end date. Set no-mercy recommit and, if you’re on premium, a zero safe day limit. If your dosage gets changed at short notice, email support and we’ll adjust your road.)