What is my data?

You'll probably see us talking about "entering your data" a lot. When we say that, we're referring to the fact that Beeminder needs to know how much progress you made on your goal today! The way it's represented is a pair of numbers: 

< date > < value > "any optional comment or note about today's data"

For example, let's say I have a goal to read 100 pages per week. I would tell Beeminder that I read 10 pages on the 8th by saying:

8 10

You can also expand the date format further if you want to enter older data: 

2014 08 10 10 "wanted to remember these 10 pages forever"

would add a datapoint of 10 on August 10, 2014 to my goal with the comment "wanted to remember these 10 pages forever" attached to it. We've carefully written code to infer the right date no matter how precisely you specify the date, but if we guess wrong, you can edit the data after submitting it.

Check out  this page to see more information and screenshots for all the different ways you can submit data to a Beeminder goal.

Data entry tricks

There are a few shortcuts we've built in over the years to make it more convenient to enter your data! All of these shortcuts apply to any of the  data entry methods; there are no special rules for whether you're submitting using the dashboard vs. email vs. SMS.

  • Use the ^ symbol as a shortcut for "today." For example, if today is the 16th, you can submit today's data by sending 16 1 or by sending ^ 1
  • Use the ^^ symbol as a shortcut for "yesterday." For example, if today is the 16th, you can submit yesterday's data by sending 15 1 or by sending ^^ 1. (You can keep going further back in time by adding more ^s!)
  • If your goal unit is hours, you can submit values like 0:28 or 2:47 or 1:15:42, and Beeminder will calculate the exact number of hours for you. If your goal unit is minutes, you can't use this trick unless you decide to scale your goal into hours.
  • British users who want to enter a weight in stones can use the form 10st5 — that will record a weight of 145 in your Beeminder goal.
  • When sending bot emails or using the Advanced Entry textbox, you can submit multiple datapoints at once by entering one datapoint per line.

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