Tag Archive

Do-Zero Goals Considered Harmful

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021
Do-Zero Goals Considered Harmful

Look what we found in the attic! Our original Support Czar, Chelsea — known for such classics as “Beemind Easy Things” and “Weasel Heart-To-Heart” — wrote this screed in 2017. It was... »

How To Beemind Nebulous Goals

Tuesday, December 29th, 2020
How To Beemind Nebulous Goals

Beeminder works brilliantly for quantifiable, graphable goals. What about nebulous projects like remodeling your kitchen or finding a therapist? It doesn’t really work for those things. Unless! Unless you find a clever metric to mind. Like the word count in a log of your progress. Here’s what I recommend: Create a... »

Beeminder’s Achilles Heel

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Beeminder’s Achilles Heel

Beeminder’s Achilles heel is that you need a meta-Beeminder to get yourself to create a Beeminder goal in the first place. (We sometimes call it Beeminder’s bootstrap problem.) Here’s a trick to mitigate that problem: Create a goal as soon as you think of it, but with an initial flat spot of a week or a month or... »

Beeminding the Right Thing: A Bookcase Study

Monday, October 26th, 2020
Beeminding the Right Thing: A Bookcase Study

I want to read more books. I already read a lot of books, but I want to read more! It sounds like that should be a simple thing to beemind. Do-more graph, set the rate to however many books I want to read per day/month/year, go! It has turned out... »

How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Friday, September 4th, 2020
How To Write Functional Specs II: The Spec-List

Writing software involves a lot of backing yourself into corners. For even the simplest-seeming program, you find yourself adding duct tape and chewing gum to satisfy different requirements and logic bugs that come up. Then you gradually whittle it back down and end up with a few simple lines and it’s... »

Beeminder ♥ Boss as a Service

Sunday, August 9th, 2020
Beeminder ♥ Boss as a Service

We’re so excited to announce Beeminder’s Even More Official partnership with Boss as a Service, of which we are big fans! Some of us on the Beeminder team use it every day, in fact. In the past, Beeminder actually attempted to... »

Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

What’s the most absurdly provocative way I can put this? Never imagine what your users will want! Apps must only ever do one single thing! If-statements considered harmful! Yes, this is all pretty rich coming from the people who built a goal-tracking app with, if I’m doing this math right, multiplying out all the various settings… 73,728 types of... »

The Anti-Robustness Principle

Thursday, July 16th, 2020
The Anti-Robustness Principle

This is another tech nerd post. Normal humans seek cover!   Abstract: Fail loudly and immediately.   (I sure hope all the normal humans took cover already because that sentence sure would sound different to them than to us! I also hope this isn’t all too obvious... »

Announcing TaskRatchet: Like Beeminder for Your Todo List

Monday, June 22nd, 2020
Announcing TaskRatchet: Like Beeminder for Your Todo List

Nathan Arthur (narthur) has been beeminding for over two years now, brilliantly and prolifically. He’s also no small part of what makes the Beeminder forum the wonderful place that it is. And now he’s built an app of his own that complements Beeminder beautifully, which he’s about to tell you about... »

The Anti-Magic Principle

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
The Anti-Magic Principle

Being a fan of overly provocative titles, I was tempted to title this “If-Statements Considered Harmful”. Meaning that it’s so tempting to add little bits of intelligence to your app to make it do the sensible thing in different circumstances. And that’s usually perfectly correct but the Anti-Magic Principle... »