Zapminder! Share Zapier-mediated autodata ideas

This is the thread for sharing ideas for creative ways to automatically get data into Beeminder using Zapier. See also the announcement on the Beeminder blog and the announcement on the Zapier blog and our landing page.

I’m also making this post a wiki for compiling a list of cool examples, starting with integrations that were requested on our uservoice forum. Without further ado:

  1. Todoist todoist
  2. Bitbucket bitbucket
  3. Asana asana: Protip - add a filter to track specific projects when you create the zap.
  4. Toggl toggl
  5. [Foursquare/Swarm] foursq: Check out Philip’s post below for details about how he beeminds Foursquare data
  6. [Harvest time tracker] harvest
  7. Dropbox dropbox: The most useful trigger from Dropbox is a new file. You could for example track number of photos you’ve uploaded, or number of journal entries you’ve written.
  8. Feedly feedly (This requires a premium Feedly account, FYI).
  9. [Indirectly beemind Goodreads] goodreads. Another description below from Philip of how he uses the Goodreads RSS feed to zap to Beeminder.
  10. Beemind your published blog posts by @apolyton

(Hover over those links for example zaps!)


Beeminding the Gym

A bunch of folks want to update their gym goals only when they’re actually at the gym. Now that we’ve got Zapier, it’s possible, using Foursquare to verify your location.

And like most of our auto-data goals, Zapier goals disable manual entry on your goal’s page,which removes any temptation to weasel out of my commitments to myself. (This is an improvement over the IFTTT equivalent recipe, which relies on emailing the Beeminder bot.)

The Straightforward Version

I “check in” at the gym using Foursquare (a.k.a. Swarm, since they moved the checkin functionality)

Then I created a Zapier zap to notice when I’d checked in to the gym and have it update my Beeminder goal.

You can filter the checkins by “Venue Name”, so in my example, any location with Gym or Fitness in its name would count. (It feels as though there ought to be a category filter, but I didn’t see one…) Obviously by adding a filter, I can have different location-triggers for different goals, and I don’t get gym credit for checking in at the pizza place.

Having said that, I did create a Foursquare account for the sole purpose of updating Beeminder goals, and turned on the privacy settings that I could find, and it still seems to work. So if you’re antisocial like me, this is still an option.

The Somewhat Messier Truth

Zapier is free for keeping 5 zaps running, so I’m trying very hard to limit my enthusiasm. This also means that I’ve created only one Foursquare zap to update only one Beeminder goal, and then update my real goals from there. i.e. meta-beeminding by using a slightly evil data-only goal as an intermediary.

On that Beeminder goal’s Terrifyingly Advanced Settings tab, I’ve set up a webhook callback that happens every time Zapier adds a datapoint to pjh/foursquare.

That triggers a bit of logic on my server that looks at the content of the checkin (or of any other Beeminder callbacks that I’ve set up) and adds a datapoint to the appropriate Beeminder goal.

Code available as at

You can also build this kind of meta-beeminding by making a Zapier zap from Web Hook to Beeminder, which someone is bound to describe in this thread in more detail eventually.


Reading List

I’m trying to figure out how to prioritise and read things. Some things are physical books, others are ebooks, paper or electronic documents, and of course, web pages. So I’m starting by corralling all that into a big list that I can sort and tag and suchlike: i.e. a Trello board.

I’ve recently discovered Goodreads, and have started scanning my physical books into that, and @dreev pointed out this to zap your Goodreads into Trello. (If you want to beemind just whole-books-read, you could use that pattern to update a Beeminder goal directly…)

I’ve created a Trello board with 3 lists: To Read, Am Reading, Have Read.

I created a zap to pick up anything in my to-read Goodreads list (There’s an rss link at the bottom of any My Books shelf listing) and to add a card to my To Read trello list. Along with some metadata, including the names of the books shelves in Goodreads, and a blue label to highlight that it’s a physical book.

Now I can create a Trello-to-Beeminder goal that’s fed off of the Have Read list, and maybe also counts any cards that I add to a Read Some Pages list, to avoid it being all-or-nothing.

Now I’ve got somewhere that I can start adding the other To Read things that crop up, and some of those might be amenable to Zappery. e.g. adding files to a To Read Dropbox folder.

The remaining problem is going to be remembering to move Trello cards between lists when I actually read the underlying thing. That’s always going to be a problem when your autodata source isn’t directly driven by doing the thing.

This is almost certainly not an optimal solution, so I’m keen to hear how you’ve solved a similar problem!

Here’s the selection of fields that I used from the RSS feed:

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We like the Hipchat integration here at the Beehive! We’ve been using it to pick up tweets that mention @bmndr and send them to our Hipchat room for a long time. But I can definitely see this going the other way by picking things up from our Hipchat and beeminding them. We could track the number of refunds we do by adding a refund hashtag (we already mention them in hipchat), or we could use it to collect testimonials, or snippets of morale-boosting bee-love (which we already frequently paste for everyone to bask in on our hipchat).

I love this idea. It’s still manual data entry, sort of, in that you have to type a hashtag, with your actual fingers. But you’re hanging out in Hipchat anyway so the friction is drastically reduced.

Just set up a zap so I can update my pomodoro-ish goal via work IM. I might stop forgetting about it during the daytime now that I can keep a perma-reminder up alongside all my work IMs all day long :slight_smile: (Of course I did this on a Friday at 5:30pm.)

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Weekly & Monthly Progress

I currently write down how the “week” went. Not strictly weekly because it’s driven by a Beeminder slope. But I’m often amazed how much stuff I got done, or what went well, or what was hard. I certainly wouldn’t do that level of reflection without reminding.

I also roughly follow Dave Seah’s groundhog resolutions process. I write a paragraph or so for each ‘constituency’, or what David Allen might call Areas of Focus in GTD.

What’s exciting is that my current process is to write this stuff into a text file, and to save it into a single directory (one for weeklies, one for monthlies).

Zapier can do the counting for me, so that doing the review will automatically update my Beeminder goals.

Zap: from Dropbox “new file in directory” into Beeminder with a datapoint value of 1 and a comment of the filename.

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It just occured to me that you could set up the webhook hack on your weigh in goal and have another beeminder for weighing in often enough.

I.E. every time you add a data point to your weigh in beeminder, it pushes via Zapier webhooks function to your “Make sure I weigh myself every day” goal.

Also, @pjh, I only have 3 free zaps, how did you manage to get 5!


Even on a clean web browser, this is what I see on Zapier’s pricing page, so I don’t have any reason to think that I’m on a special or legacy free plan.

As I understand the terms, a Zap is an active configured recipe, and a Task is when that recipe actually performs an action. i.e. triggered items that are filtered out don’t count.

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Hmm, that links is different to what I get when I click upgrade. here is what I see when I click on upgrade.

@pfh, looks like you found a temporary bonus. Pricing is now back down to 3 Zaps for free.

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Just found this in my spam bucket, which makes it sound as though ‘3’ was an aberration:

From: Zapier
Subject: Re: Support Request: I have a billing/pricing question by Philip
Date: 7 December 2014 17:14:55 GMT

Hey Philip,

Sorry about this! It was likely that we were running a short term promo pricing when those users signed up. If you have those users email us and ask for the Free plan with 5 Zaps, we would be happy to honor that plan for them.\


Jess Byrne
Customer Champion - Zapier

Hi guys!

We’ve had some discussion about using Beeminder and Zapier on our forum, and there’s been some inconsistent experience with your pricing plans. Even in an incognito window on a clean IP address I seem to be offered 5 zaps on the free plan, but some of our users report being offered only 3 zaps on the free plan.

Can you share some insight as to how this arises and what we ought to be telling people who email our support?


Some bookbeeminding suggestions that may or may not work (and depends on whatis available and so on):

  • For physical books, add a beeminding token (postIt or whatever) at the last page when starting the book.
  • Audible tags books as finished when they’re done - maybe there is an API?
  • Amazon sets progress in the ebooks to 100% - maybe there is an API for that? Or I suppose you could add a note on the last page there too, possibly depending on the Kindle client. Or feed off the suggestion to tweet about the read …

Okay, maybe not the best solutions, but the fact is that this almost necessarily have a manual aspect to it. Personally I have no problems recording such things if I have something that depends on it :slight_smile:

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