Beans: Putting things on the books

Beans are simply a way to track an amount or quantity of something: cash, time, chickens, coconuts, toilet paper, or pearls.

Beans function by adding to, or taking away from some symbol. Suppose you want to keep track of your coconut venture. Harvesting just started and you received 200 coconuts. You chose the coconut emoji to represent this account. Then in /tap, you create a note with the bean to indicate receiving 200 coconuts.

The Bean is the +🥥:200 text. This command tells /tap to add 200 to the 🥥 account.

A Bean has a few simple criteria

  • It must start with a "+" or "-" sign
  • Following the +/- must be a symbol: emoji, or word, dashes or underscores are allowed
  • Optionally the Bean may end with a ":" and number. Decimals are allowed

Suppose you decide you want to make my day and give me one of your coconuts. To record this change in inventory, you would send /tap this note:

Notice in the above note if you're only subtracting 1 you don't need to include the number at the end of the Bean.

Back in /tap, on the Beans page you will find a summary of your coconut dealings. Check out the Beans section in the /tap system guide for a preview of this concept. /tap will show you your all-time total of coconuts (199), a yearly breakdown, and a monthly breakdown. /tap shows what came in, what went out, and the net for each time segment.

Keep in mind, folders and tags can also be applied to Beans. Using folders you can segment your Beans, leaving one folder for your tree fruit enterprise, another for your cash and another for your time, whatever makes sense for you.

If you are a developer and want to programmatically create and retrieve Beans, check out the API documentation. The Beans endpoint will return totals of your symbols for all-time, monthly and yearly breakdowns.

Beans become even more powerful when combined with a simple Spell. When you have a recurring source of income or outgo, you may want to model that flow on your books. Using the "Save Note" Spell you can write out the Beans you expect to occur on this schedule.

For example, suppose you have a job that pays twice a month and a dozen bills that are the same amount each month.

You could create a Repeating Note Spell that models this:

Repeating Note

Weekly on Monday at 8:00 AM

Schedule the Spell to run every month and your budget is automatically set. You can also send /tap ad-hoc notes for any expenses that are outside the recurring budget.