DRMacIver's Notebook

Beeminder for Enforced Participation

Beeminder for Enforced Participation

I’m a huge fan of beeminder. I was on a break with it for a while, not for any very good reason, but I’ve been back using it for a couple of months now, and it’s really good to be back.

A lot of the things I’ve been using beeminder for recently are a sort of… “making the fundamental feature of Beeminder contagious”. The fundamental feature of Beeminder for me is that you cannot simply decide to give up on a goal - because the goal will charge you if you don’t satisfy it, and because you have to wait a week for changes to take effect, the choice to stop a goal has to be a deliberate decision planned out in advance.

This is fairly huge to me.

A lot of goals I’ve had recently are basically of the form “keep doing the thing”. This allows me to create systems with this property - beeminder doesn’t track my success at using the system, it just tracks that I’m doing it at all.


The notebook and day plan goals do have some quantity attached to them but it’s not that important. The journal and book goals literally all they track is “Did I do the thing today?”. If yes, I get a point. If no, I don’t. I can do as much or as little as I like as long as I do something. The system itself is then what keeps me doing it well, “all” beeminder is doing is keeping me participating in it.