how to review, part three

The last Friday review of the year is special as it incorporates both a normal review and the big and scary sounding annual review. I sit down much earlier in the day with a large mug of tea and after a quick weekly review, I begin to look back on the year. It doesn’t take a considerable amount of time, but it is one (relatively quiet) time of the year when I take a slower approach to the task and try to take several hours for it and spend more time in contemplation than I generally do.

As I mentioned in my monthly newsletter (subscribe here) I begin my focus with a big picture view of the year.


While printables are nice (and I am planning some worksheets), I find this is a very easy DIY project and saves toner! I take a sheet of paper and fold it into quarters and label them Q1-Q4. For the purposes of a better photograph I draw the quadrant in a darker marker for you. I also gather together all my log books and planners and use them as reference.

(click image to make it larger)

3 positive events

I draw these from both business and personal. Maybe it’s a hike, or finishing a client project, or it can be anything.

one thing different

If we don’t learn, we don’t grow. Is there a project I wish I had done differently? How? Why?

the numbers

I just look at the big numbers here. What was my income? What were the expenses? How many hours did I bill?

Looking forward

A key part of review is to not get stuck in the past but continue to move forward.

I take another sheet of paper and divide it into quarters again and write out known events and deadlines.

Then I look through and review open projects and write in when I should finish them.

Why I keep rolling notebooks/planners

I find the notion that one will start fresh in the new year adorable and not very accurate. I can’t flip a switch and change from who I am on December 31st to January 1st. While some accounting things need that binary shift, I am human and messy and imperfect. A rolling notebook helps me with that.

Additional Resources (and links for thought)