16 Obscure Beeminder Features

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
By dreeves

Person covered in bees

It’s our first ever listicle! We tried these out in a daily and weekly beemail and even among those most hardcore users, many didn’t know about many of these features. For the average feature in this list, 30% of daily subscribers and 40% of weekly subscribers weren’t aware of it. [1] So here they are, listed from least obscure to most obscure:

1. Cap your pledge at any level you like

Actually everyone we asked knew about this. And you likely do too since we’ve blogged about it but it wasn’t obvious to newbees until recently when we made it a very prominent part of goal creation.

2. Edit past datapoints

Another one that all the hardcore people know about. You can edit past datapoints by clicking All Data. A lot of newbees miss that. We’re working on a lot of UI changes to address problems like this! UPDATE: The 2016 redesign elegantly unobscured this.

3. Insta-delete goals in the first week

This is important for experimenting but it’s one feature that perhaps should be sort of obscure, to avoid the temptation of loophole abuse. In fact, we recently made it easier to close that loophole for yourself. If you check the “weaselproof me” box for a goal then it won’t let you delete it even in the first week.

4. Customize where the x-axis starts

You can change x-min in goal settings as a cumbersome way to zoom your graph.

5. Timer built in to the Beeminder Android app

It’s super useful! Swipe on the data entry part of the interface to switch to the timer (or tally mode — recommended for counting pushups with your nose).

6. Snooze deadlines if still more than 6 hours out

(I didn’t think to include this one in the original poll of hardcore users so I’m just guessing where it would’ve fallen in this list.) You can always change your deadline if it’s not an emergency day. If it is, you still can, until you’re within 6 hours of derailing, then you can’t.

7. Push graphs to the bottom or top of your gallery

UPDATE: We got rid of this feature and replaced it, for now, with an even more obscure tagging feature.

We call this backburnering. You can click the corner of graph thumbnails to move them above/below the fold in your goal gallery. We intend to replace this with richer tagging/sorting features, or at least a simpler pinning feature.

8. Rescaling utility to convert goal to different units

Halfway through the list and it’s getting obscure indeed. This feature is at the bottom of Terrifyingly Advanced settings. You can, e.g., multiply all your data and road rates by 1/60 to convert an existing goal from minutes to hours.

9. Goals default to public, datapoints private

Actually this has gotten much less obscure with our new goal creation wizard which highlights these settings. Goals are default public with datapoints (in particular the comments) default private. We really want to encourage public graphs for greater accountability and showing off progress, but it was bad for these settings to be obscure so they’re now less so.

10. Get reminded and enter data via Slack

We’re so excited about this one that we got the domain slackminder.com which you should click on if you use both Beeminder and Slack.

11. Thicker yellow guiding line indicating week of safety buffer

You know the thin yellow lines showing the good side of the yellow brick road? Well one of them is thicker than the rest and that represents a week of safety buffer.

12. Hide the numbers on the y-axis

In case you want to show off your graph without revealing the actual numbers. This is another Terrifyingly Advanced setting. Probably all of those settings belong in this list. Especially the ones for custom goals, which you need a premium plan for.

13. Gmailzero can track arbitrary Gmail queries

This is another one we blogged about but clearly need to make less obscure in the UI.

14. Enter time as HH:MM:SS

We call it the colon shortcut. The other shortcuts for entering data are on the obscure side as well.

15. If you have over a week of buffer you’re immune to the akrasia horizon

Akrasia horizon immunity! This was inadvertently a trick question when we polled people but all I meant was that if you have over a week of safety buffer then if something comes up you can immediately flatten your road and — though it takes a week for the flattening to take effect — by the time you run out of safety buffer you’ll have reached the flat spot.

16. Use “take a break” to schedule a harder period

This was technically the most obscure in our poll but I think it mostly just never occurred to half of folks that this would work, because why would anyone ever do that? But it’s true that when you schedule a “break” you can actually schedule any rate you want.


And there you have it. Feel free to react incredulously in the comments to things you’re just now learning about.

P.S. Special shout-out to the previously obscure and confusing freebees feature which is now so obscure that it doesn’t exist. As you can tell, Beeminder is a bit of a beehemoth, so we were proud recently to have untangled a gnarly knot of complexity. We’re working hard to do more of that.


 

Footnotes

[1] As a control I included in the original poll a feature that didn’t actually exist. 80% of respondents correctly said they weren’t aware of it.

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