Allow scheduling of "days off" in advance
... so I don't have to manually reconfigure my graph 1 week before holidays and birthdays and set it back later. I'd like to spend some time in a setup session getting the graph just right and then not have to think about it for the long haul.
Voila! Let us know what you think! Thanks to everyone who’s been helping us think through how this should work, especially Glenn Willen!
Rafał Rzepecki commented
Glenn Willen commented
Glad I was helpful! Thanks for putting this in! :-)
This is a good start, but things became more complicated since the safe-days cap was introduced.
- As you approach the flat-line period, the safedays cap causes you to jump towards the road.
- After the break when the road goes back to normal, you realise that you're starting with only a day or two worth of safe-days rather than the buffer that was built up previously.
The way around this is to disable the safedays cap, dial the road to zero, then reset the cap once you get back. Would be cool if that step could be integrated with the "schedule a break", as it's quite annoying if you forget to disable the cap.
This feature becomes even more important if you use auto-retroratchet (because you can not build up a safety buffer).
@dreeves I want this, but not for weekends. My problem is that I am by law required to attend military exercises, so I will from time to time spend about a week out in a forrest without access to the internet. I want to be able to put these pauses into goals in an easy manner.
Would this help in the meantime? http://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/3655578-weekend-off-targets
I won't pledge on any of my goals without this feature. Adapting the weekly rate is cumbersome and doesn't work if, e.g., you have no internet for 1.5 weeks. And I also don't want to enter fake data for holidays.
Yvonne Frindle commented
I handle this in the following ways…
If a goal is a weekdays thing only (let's say "do 1 hour of research a day") then I set the goal as "5 hours per week". As I plot success on weekdays, the angle of my achievement is slightly steeper, and that gives me leeway to use over the weekend. No need for reconfiguring goals on a weekly basis.
Again, for work/weekday goals, if I'm going to be on vacation or if I'm sick, then I simply report having completed the minimum for that day. My graph doesn't pause, but it follows a smooth diagonal until such time as I return to work and pick up again. My relative distance above or below the yellow brick road doesn't change during the time I'm away, and that's what counts. Obviously that works better for goals which are to do with rate (so much per day or per week) and not so well for cumulative goals where you're attempting to clock up a total number of hours or whatever over time. I suspect for cumulative goals you'd have to factor in likely leave days into the goal total before you start.
Justin Kwok commented
I would love to have a way to communicate to Beeminder the following commands:
The commands will only be applicable to dates after the Akrasia limit.
The end of the Akrasia period would always set the initial goal/rate.
* On this date, set my goal to this number.
- Beeminder will look at the preceding goals/rate and set the rate going forward
* On this date, set my rate to this number.
- Beeminder will look at any previous goal/rate and set the rate as specified
Interface wise, just a list of commands in chronological order.
When it's time to get fancy, perhaps a calendar with coloured days for days with commands specified.
Between Two Parks commented
@dreeves, @Donovan I would also prefer a way to reflect off-days explicitly to a way to "game" the system. I understand this adds complexity to the setup and maintenance for the user and complexity to the graphing for the programmer.
@dreeves the current method works alright, and the workaround you proposed could simulate what I want (although I doubt I would remember to make the incline adjustments every week). But from a psychological standpoint - and really that's what this whole game is - I don't like the concept of being "ahead" and then losing ground over the weekend by no fault of my own. I want to hold myself accountable to do work, but only in those days/hours where work is the thing I'm expected to do.
Admindreeves (Cofounder, Beeminder) commented
@Donovan, we thought about this a lot, and for a long time we wanted this for ourselves but ended up liking the way it works with the different lanes of the road. If you get into the green (above the road) by Friday night then you can take Saturday and Sunday off (it will then be an emergency day on Monday). We'd love to hear if you end up finding that that works for you or if you still find that explicit flat spots on weekends are better.
Another thought: You could actually do this with the Road Dial, flattening and unflattening at the start and end of each weekend. The Akrasia Horizon means that those flattenings would be delayed a week, but that's perfect. Flatten on Saturday, unflatten on Monday. Then the following Saturday you've guaranteed you can coast and two days later the yellow brick road will be sloping up again.
Good idea. I'd especially like it if we could limit the road to weekdays or a specific schedule of some kind. I want to encourage myself to work M-F 10-5. This would mean a steeper graph during M-F and a flat graph on weekends.
I agree this would be really useful, as long as it's impossible for me to schedule a day off for today or tomorrow (which would just tempt me to slack off).
Glenn Willen commented
I have sketched a design for what I would find desirable in a 'pause' feature:
There are definitely some sticky corner cases, mostly around editing future pauses. A more general system for scheduling future changes in line slope _might_ end up being better.
Number 1 desired feature for Beeminder. Say I have a long weekend holiday which I want to have a flat line for. Right now I have to remember to exactly one week in advance update my goal, and then also remember a few days later to restart the goal again. Not easy, and really have to resort to calendar reminders for this to happen reliably. Of course, not so much of a problem if I have a large safety buffer. But if I consistently had a large buffer I wouldn't be needing beeminder!
Greg Bradshaw commented
Yes please! I typically schedule vacations well in advance at work. It would be great to do that with this FANTASTIC app as well!
I'd like to upvote this as well. I'm going on a vacation at the end of the year, so I'm ending my goal early, and then restarting a new one when I get back (forcing me to start with a one week flat period). I'd rather be able to pre-program a slight bump and continue on the current goal.
Tijl Kindt commented
I'd like to have this as well. Recently I went on vacation for 1 month, so I configured my goals in such a way that I wouldn't run off them, but there's no convenient way to get them back running as if nothing happened. So... please do think about ways to make this as seamless as possible.
Yep - the ability to flag up holidays in advance would be really useful. I've just started with BeeMinder and am on holiday next week. I'm really not sure what to do.