[This is a guest post by Beeminder superfan — and self-quantifier — Jake Jenkins who tells us the story of how Beeminder made all his dreams come true. Well, one particular dream, which will have come true in another year or so of hard work.] When I was 9 years old I went to a beach party. As the sun set and the bonfire was lit a guy broke out his guitar and started playing familiar songs. People gathered close to the fire, but closer to him, and broke into song as the music moved them. At that moment I realized that I wanted to learn how to play guitar.
If you’re a connoisseur of productivity porn then you probably already know about Mark Forster and his Get Everything Done blog. Or you might know his various time management books, the most well-known being “Do It Tomorrow”. He’s also the inventor of the AutoFocus system, which has been featured more...
[This is a guest post by Gandalf Saxe.] Having been a university student for some years now, I've come to appreciate just how important it is to spread out your studying over the whole semester. It's the single most important aspect of good study technique. I'll even go so far as to advocate the opposite extreme of the typical student's modus operandi
The problem of self-control may be a ridiculous first world problem but it's the granddaddy of first world problems and I want to solve it. We live amidst a deluge of opportunities for instant gratification, especially in the form of food and entertainment, and most of us don't handle it well. The general problem, known as akrasia, is this:
[The Beeminder founders, Bethany Soule and Daniel Reeves, presented at the Portland Quantified Self Meetup on April 10. This is what they said.] We’re excited to be here! We used to go to Quantified Self meetups in New York and we just moved here, to pursue the Portlandian Dream of working a couple hours a week in a coffee shop and going to clown school. [They hate it when you say that.]
Our bodies and minds have evolved to enjoy life right here and now because it could be gone tomorrow. We crave fatty foods because they gave us extra padding in case we couldn’t eat next week. We crave sweets because they gave us energy to keep ourselves alive. Then came all the conveniences of the modern world.
I recently won $1000 (sharing a $10k prize) for the following essay on how to solve what people in healthcare call the adherence problem, which costs the healthcare system "billions of dollars in unnecessary hospitalizations and nursing home and rehab costs". My prize-winning essay in its entirety follows. (I gave the actual money to
This is a guest post by Philip Hellyer who can walk on water and outrun bullets, with the help of Beeminder. He eloquently describes what we think is currently the single biggest pain point (though there are many) with Beeminder right now — how to keep from procrastinating indefinitely on getting back...
UPDATE 2014: Sadly (for us), Chirpify pivoted away from Twitter-based payments so this post is now obsolete. We will add Paypal support at some point for people who need that payment option (keep bugging us if that’s you!) and we’ve now added direct Twitter integration. We’re often advised that Beeminder...
The Beeminder founders completed the NYC Triathlon yesterday. I was nearly twice as fast as Danny in the swim — 1.5 km down the Hudson — but he took those 15 minutes back out of me on the 40 km bike course. Danny was hilariously lopsided. There were only a few people in his division slower than him in...
We’ve been collecting a list of synonyms for the crazy lifehack that sites like Beeminder facilitate. In addition to us being shameless SEO-whores, it seems like this list could be genuinely useful for humans, especially the kind of humans who read the Beeminder Blog. Here’s how a co-founder of StickK...
[UPDATE: GymPact (later Pact App) sadly shut down in 2017.] If we were nervous about our competitors — and we’re not — we might be most nervous about GymPact. GymPact is currently an iPhone app (UPDATE: Android as well now) that pays you money for going to the gym, funded by the slackers who failed to...
Katja Grace, long praised by economists and now collaborating with one since joining Robin Hanson’s OvercomingBias blog, just wrote a pretty amazing article about how much Beeminder improves her life. She made several important points, one of which is particularly reblogworthy, especially if we take...
We’re delighted to announce that the Beeminder API is now open to the public! Before you dive into the full documentation, let’s start with a taste of this beeliciousness. First, grab your personal auth token from beeminder.com/api/v1/auth_token.json. Let’s pretend it’s TOOLEGIT. You can now add a data...
Bethany and I woke up at 7am on March 7th to a text message from Jill that some graphs seemed to be fubar. Panic ensued as we hacked away nonstop till 5pm or so, never getting dressed or leaving the house. What was the problem? The night before we had run a seemingly innocuous
*This is a guest post by Alice Harris. It is crossposted on Mark Forster’s Get Everything Done blog which we’re long time fans of. UPDATE 2020: This post has aged amazingly but if you’re here for a quick refresher, maybe you’ll like this handy quick start reference: Add an initial datapoint of...
Lately at Beeminder we’ve been using Trello for just about everything. We use it to stage blog posts and track bugs and new features on the Beeminder API and website. The Beeminder iPhone and Android apps each have their own board too. “We automatically track the number of cards in your Done list.”...
National Novel Writing Month starts today! Over a quarter of a million people participated last year, logging over 3 billion words! Here’s how the NaNoWriMo site describes it: NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write...
UPDATE: Check out the announcement of Beeminder integration on the RescueTime blog. A lot of people use RescueTime as a way to keep track of how they spend their working hours. While RescueTime is great for showing you how you currently spend your time, RescueTime combined with Beeminder is great for...
Until now you haven’t had much choice about how much to pledge (put at risk) on your Beeminder commitment contracts. It starts out free, then $5, then each subsequent time you derail from your yellow brick road you’re encouraged (though not forced) to jump to the next pledge level for your next attempt:...
This is a guest post by Philip Hellyer, who has done more in 2012 than he thought possible, with the help of Beeminder. He’s going to get a head start on 2013, and so could you. Here’s how. It’s approaching that time of year again. People will ask you about your resolutions for the new year. They might...
Beeminder is goal-tracking with teeth. We plot your progress on a graph with a Bright Red Line (formerly Yellow Brick Road). If your datapoints cross that line, we take your money.
The Beeminder blog is a hodgepodge of productivity nerdery and behavioral economics written by the founders and various friends.
Does Beeminder sound super crazypants? Just confusing? One of the first things you may want to check out is our User's Guide for New Bees. Check out other posts we're most proud of by clicking the "best-of" tag below. If you're a glutton for honey, the "bee-all" tag has everything we still think is worth reading. Other good ones are the "rationality" and "science" tags, if you're into that.
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Akrasia (ancient Greek ἀκρασία, "lacking command over oneself"; adjective: "akratic") is the state of acting against one's better judgment, not doing what one genuinely wants to do. It encompasses procrastination, lack of self-control, lack of follow-through, and any kind of addictive behavior.