If you have reminders set up then before you derail on a goal, Beeminder will send you a bunch of reminders and tell you what you need to do to avoid derailing. The reminders will increase in frequency toward the deadline time if you haven't added enough data yet.

What reminder methods are available?

  • Email
  • iOS and/or Android notifications
  • posting to a Slack channel
  • sending a Slack DM
  • POST requests to an external webhook
  • SMS (for Bee Plus and Beemium subscribers in the US only)

For each goal, you can get notifications via any combination of these channels.

When do I get my reminders?

Beeminder sends the reminders starting at the Start Alerts time, with the Lead Days number of days before the goal derails at the Deadline time.

An example: if my Start Alert time is 6am, with 5 Lead Days, Beeminder will start sending me my reminder emails at 6am when I have 5 or fewer days until I derail on the goal. I will get one reminder each day until the beemergency day. During the beemergency day, I will get multiple reminders until I've either added data or passed the deadline.

The reminders come more and more frequently as the goal gets closer and closer to derailment. We call this zeno polling, after Zeno's paradox.

I get an error when trying to set my reminder time!

The usual issue here is when you're trying to set your reminders to start after the goal's deadline. Make sure your reminders start before your goal deadline within the same calendar day and try again! This applies when you're trying to change your deadline and don't want to have reminders at all, as well: your reminder start time still needs to be before your deadline.

If you're still getting an error, please send us an email at Make sure to let us know what time you want to set your reminders to!

Why can't I set reminders to start the night before if my goal starts in the morning?

If your goal derails at 10am and you wanted to set your reminders to start at 6pm, Beeminder interprets that as if your reminders started after the goal derails, so this setup isn't possible. You might want to use the Lead Days setting to give yourself a reminder the day before your goal is due, but it will still need to be set to a time before your deadline.

Do I have to set these for every goal?

When you make a new goal, we'll use your Defaults for new goals reminder settings for it. You can modify the settings after creation on a per-goal basis if you want to be notified at a different time or using a different channel.

You can change your default settings anytime, but the changes won't automatically be applied to existing goals.

I'm getting too many reminders. Can you just send me all the reminders in one message/notification instead?

The main reason we separate them is so that it's easy to quickly reply to them with data! This makes it really easy to treat your inbox of reminders like a to-do list, replying to cross things off your list by adding data to your goals.

If you're getting overwhelmed by reminders, we recommend carefully reconsidering your current reminder & deadline settings and making modifications where necessary. Perhaps you don't need 3 days notice for your tooth-brushing goal; that one might be fine to start at 8pm with 0 lead days. Spacing the reminders & deadlines out can make them more manageable, as well as making it easier for you to actually do all your goals throughout the day, rather than rushing to dispatch all beemergencies before bedtime.

If you're still hoping for a batch/combined reminder of some sort, send us a feature request so we know the demand is out there!

How do I read the reminder notifications?

For most goals, a standard reminder header will look something like this:

shanaqui/teeth on 03/13 (~1 safe day)

This means that for my goal teeth, today is March 13, and I have 1 safe day remaining before I derail!

On beemergency days, the subject lines will be a little more dire:

shanaqui/physio on 03/13 (Beemergency!) at $5

For my goal physio, today is March 13, I must get back on track tonight or lose $5

Subsequent reminders after the first Beemergency Day! alert will read

Beemergency! +1 by 00:00am for shanaqui/physio ($5)

For my goal physio, I need to do 1 more unit before midnight (00:00am, my deadline) to avoid derailing and losing $5!

The reminders shown above are all for Do More goals. Reminders for the other goal types will look very similar and give you the same critical information. Depending on your goal type, you'll need to either reach or stay under the value that Beeminder tells you, or else risk derailing.

I didn't get any reminders!

If you didn't get reminders and you had them turned on, that's definitely not a legit derailment, and we want to hear about it!

First, check your reminder settings to ensure that everything is configured the way you want. If your start time is 11:59pm, with 0 lead days, and your goal deadline is 12:00am... you're not going to get many reminders! You'll want to change those settings so we have time to notify you to get your stuff done.

Second, check your spam folder if you're missing email reminders. We do as much as we can to prevent spamboxing, but it does happen from time to time. Marking those emails as not spam and adding the Beeminder bot to your contacts list may help stop this from happening (and helps us a lot too by teaching spam filters that users definitely want our emails!).

Other users have found that email management services (e.g. sometimes hide or trash their Beeminder reminders unexpectedly.

If you still can't find the missing reminders, please contact support and we'll investigate to make sure they were sent as expected!

I don't want reminders — how do I unsubscribe?

We really think most people should keep reminders on! Beeminder isn't terribly effective if you're able to easily forget about your goal, so we try to make that a difficult task. But it's also unpleasant to get too many reminders, because they lose their urgency, so here's how to tweak things:

  • If you don't want emails but do want a different reminder type, you can uncheck the email option in favor of one or more other delivery methods. You can do this for a single goal at a time on the goal's page, in the "settings" tab, or you can change your reminders in bulk on the Reminders page.
  • You can turn off reminders altogether by just unselecting the email option and not checking any others.
  • If you're okay with emails, but you're receiving too many, adjust the Start Time and Lead Days settings for your goals to space them out a bit. (See "I'm getting too many reminders" above for examples.)
  • You can click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email to disable all reminder emails and beemails instantly. You will still receive emails after goal derailments so you know that you're going to be charged, and possibly from support (if we need to contact you, or if you contact us and we reply!).

Keywords: alerts, zenos, zeno polling, zeno schedule

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