Review Your Year With NotePlan (with Template)
As another year draws to a close, it's a perfect time to pause and reflect on the year that has passed. Did you achieve your goals? Did you learn something new? Did you miss out on any opportunities?
Writing a review of your year can help you answer these questions and more. By taking some time to assess the highs and lows of your year, you can gain clarity and insight into what’s important to you and how you can make the most of the year ahead.
In this article, you'll find a template with questions to help you think about your year and write a thoughtful review. Reflect on your accomplishments, challenges, and lessons learned and start the new year with a clear path forward.
How to get started
Take some time to answer the questions below. No need to hurry, you can stretch this activity across a few days near the end of the year or when the new year begins. In NotePlan, open the yearly note you want to review (or create a new regular note and set the title to the year) and paste the questions below.
If you don't have yearly notes enabled yet, open Preferences > Calendars and set the checkbox for all calendar notes you want to see in the sidebar (iOS and:
## Review - **What were my major milestones or moments that I'm proud of?** > Goals you have set and reached, progress you have made in an area, or random moments and personal achievements that you've made. Did you learn a new language? Have you made progress on your finances? Did you improve relationships? Spent more time in nature? Etc. - Personal: - Work: - Health: - Finance: - Traveling: - **What are the people, events, habits, or tasks that I look back fondly, energized me the most, or made me feel the most expansive?** > Which people in your life make you feel good, energized and productive? Do you have established or maintained habits that kick off your day or keep your body and mind in a healthy state? Scan over your days and events in NotePlan to find some hints, review the photos you took on your phone. - People - Habits / Events - More next year - **What are the people, events, habits, or tasks that I dreaded, drained me the most, or made me feel the most contracted?** > Who are the energy draining and toxic people in your life? What kind of situations are you dreading? Are there habits that are holding you back? - - **How did I grow as a person?** > Are you more patient, did you conquer your major fears, did you gain a bit more peace of mind? - - **What were my favorite books, podcasts, articles, videos and how did they inspire me and shape my thinking?** > Check your library in iBooks, Kindle or the physical books you got. See what you listened to in Spotify or Apple podcasts, etc. Which of the content you consumed inspired you? - - **What is currently stressing me out the most?** - - **What habits, people, routines, or environments support me in reaching my goals?** > A goal tells us what, but a system, habits and routines tell us how we get where we want to go. Which systems helped you so far? - - **What habits, people, routines, or environments are holding me back from reaching from my goals?** > Identify what's making it harder for your to reach your goals. -
1. Review Days and Months in Split View
If you have trouble coming up with good answers for the questions above or want to go into more detail, you can go a step further and review each month of your year first and then the complete year.
Do this by opening the monthly note on the left and going through each day of the month on the right in a split view. Open notes in split view by clicking on the note you want to open while pressing the option key, or using right-click (works also on iPad).
Review the tasks and events and summarize what happened this month:
After this, you can do the same with the current year and open the months on the right. Selecting a monthly or yearly note lets you also scroll through all events of that year or month, making it easier for you to see what happened roughly in that timeframe:
2. Review your routines
Open two notes: One on the left titled "Current Daily Routine" and one on the right "Ideal Daily Routine". Then write in bullet points how you spend every awake hour of your day typically on the left and how your ideal day should look like:
Identify where you can improve your current routine. Shift habits, tasks, and people to different times if needed. Which tasks can you automate, delegate, or eliminate? Or think of ways how you can stack tasks. If you are taking a walk, or have to do some household chores, listen to a podcast or audiobook at the same time for example.
Find bad habits you tend to give your attention to throughout the day and plan ways around them. For example, are you getting sucked into text messages, Instagram, or TikTok? Set your phone into "Do not disturb" mode and put it out of reach (not directly on your desk, if you can avoid it).
This template and article as a whole is heavily inspired by Anthony Gustin's Annual Review. Follow the link to find the original document with a lot more tips.