Zapier is a service that can connect different apps and websites to add data to your Beeminder goals automatically.

What can I beemind with Zapier?

Possibly literally (maybe not literally) anything. They have over a thousand different apps you can use to send information to a Beeminder goal. If the app you want isn't supported, you might be able to use its notifications, emails, or digests as the trigger instead.

How do I make a Zapier goal?

First, make sure you know what type of data Zapier will send, because this has implications on the Beeminder goal type you want to use. Do More and Do Less goals are by far the most common, but there are use cases for the other types as well. The most important thing is to think about whether you want adding data to be a good thing (Do More) or a bad thing (Do Less).

You'll need to create a regular Beeminder goal with the correct goal type first, then create or enable an existing Zapier zap to send data to that goal. Once your zap is set up, Beeminder should receive a datapoint the next time your zap runs.

Can I start sending Zapier data to an existing goal?

Probably! If the existing goal is already using a Beeminder autodata integration, contact support first so we can remove the current configuration and make it a manual goal again for you.

If your existing goal has a different kind of data than the Zapier setup you're planning (e.g. you're just adding +1 each time and the Zapier connection will add data in hours), it may not be possible to convert the goal cleanly and retain its history. It's most likely simpler to start a new goal, but you can contact support to check what they think.

Why can't I enter manual data on the website anymore?

When we first receive a datapoint from Zapier, we change the Data Source in your goal settings to indicate that it's been picked up as a Zapier goal. Removing the entry boxes on the site makes it a little more difficult to enter non-automatic datapoints... since they should be coming only from your Zapier zap... right?

However, if you don't like this setting, or if your zap fails to run and you need to input missing information, you can switch that setting back to Manual and the entry boxes will appear again. (And we won't switch it back on you anymore!)

I did my goal right before the deadline, but Zapier sent my data too late and I derailed.

Don't worry, that's not legit! Reply to the legitimacy check email to let us know what happened, and we can cancel the charge and get you back on track.

Beeminder isn't showing any of my data.

Check the task history in your Zapier dashboard to be sure that the trigger is being recognized and actually triggering. We receive data from Zapier, rather than fetching it from them; if we don't receive anything, we don't know whether there's been a problem, or just no data to add.

Sample Zapier goal setup

In this example, we'll create a goal to post more frequently to a blog that has an RSS feed with data fed by a Zapier zap rather than by regular manual data entry.

  1. Head to create a new goal (also accessible through the New Goal link in the top menu).

    "How will you track your progress?" With a button directly below saying "Add progress manually to Beeminder (web, email, Slack, SMS, or mobile apps)"
  2. Click the + icon to start a new manual entry goal.
  3. Select Do More as your goal type (because you want to Do More posts).
    "Select goal type", followed by the various options: Do More, Do Less, Weight Loss, Weight Gain, Custom, Odometer, Whittle Down
  4. Enter the units you want to use and the amount you want to commit to. In this example, I'm aiming to post to my blog that has an RSS feed once per day

    If you want to delay your goal's start a few days (maybe you're traveling this weekend), be sure to tick the "Start this goal with extra leeway" box. Enter the number of days you want to delay and press Continue.

    "Commit to at least" followed by a box allowing you to choose the number of units you want to do per day, followed by a box where you can name the units. Below that, a checkbox allows you to start with extra leeway.
  5. Give your goal a brief name. If you want, you can also write a short description with more information.

    "Give your goal a name", followed by two text entry boxes. The first allows you to enter a short slug which will name your goal and create a URL for it. The second textbox allows you to set a short description, and is optional.
  6. Finally, choose your initial pledge. This is the amount you will pay the first time you derail on the goal. After derailing, the pledge will increase by default — use the dropdown below to control how high it goes by selecting the cap. In the example below, I have chosen to start at a $5 pledge, which will increase each time I derail, until it reaches $270 — the pledge cap. (To read more about pledges and payments, check out some FAQs!)

    If you want to start out with a sort of trial period, you can choose to start the goal at $0. If you do that, the pledge will automatically increase to $5 after seven days. If you derail before that, it will also increase to $5.

    Screenshot of the "Starting Stakes" screen. The text says "Your pledge will increase each time you derail until you reach your pledge cap (which you can adjust below)", with a demonstration below showing the pledge progression: 5, 10, 30, 90... to the pledge cap, which currently shows $270. Below, a checkbox button allows you to choose to "Hold the pledge at $0 for 7 days while I get my feet wet"
  7. The next screen will show you a goal preview, and then there's a screen reminding you of your payment method. Click "continue" and "finish" through those screens to create your graph!
  8. And now my goal is ready to get some data from Zapier. I'll need to post in the next 4 days to avoid paying Beeminder my first $5!

    Example graph ready to be linked up to Zapier
  9. Now we need to instruct Zapier how to update this goal when we post to a site with an RSS feed! We're going to start with this pre-made zap. Click Try this templateto begin configuring the applet. Zapier will walk you through adding the RSS feed information for the first section.
  10. Then you'll configure the Beeminder connection! You want the "New Datapoint" event, so click continue...

    "New datapoint in Beeminder" zap creation, showing how to choose an app and event
  11. You may then need to sign into Beeminder.

    Screenshot showing the "New datapoint in Beeminder" action in Zapier
    Click "Sign in to Beeminder" and a window will open asking you allow access to Zapier Beta. Do that and then click "Continue" back in Zapier...
  12. First choose the right goal from the list. Edit the Datapoint Value if necessary. For many Beeminder goals, the default value of 1.0 will be what you want to use, but there are definitely use cases for other values as well (e.g., tracking time at work from a timesheet app), so make sure that's set up correctly!

    You may also want to set up what will be entered in the datapoint comment. This could be the title of the post, or a link to it.

    Screenshot showing the "Set up action" page on Zapier
  13. Zapier allows you to test out your zap to make sure it works. Click Test & Continue to send a test datapoint to your Beeminder goal. Your goal should be updated quickly, so refresh the original page. Adding a datapoint via Zapier should change your goal to a type that gets data via Zapier, and add a datapoint. If you see a new datapoint with the information Zapier provides, you're all set! You can delete the test datapoint afterward, or you can skip the test and wait to see what happens after your first post.

    If everything looks good, choose to turn on the zap! You're all set up.

Keywords: autodata integrations, meta-integrations, productivity, automation

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