I already wrote an article about doing a daily review. But that's not the only part of the journaling I do. I like to have a general overview of the things I'm doing, so doing a weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly review is also part of my journaling story.
As stated in my last article, I do my weekly review in an app called Day One. My daily reviews are also stored here, so it makes it easy to keep them side by side. The weekly review plays a very important part in my productivity system. It let's me reflect on all the daily reviews of that week, makes me clean all the tools I use and gives me an insight in what's coming the next week. I usually do this at the end of my weekend on Sunday.
So, how do I do it?
I start with a simple question to reflect on the past week:
What were the higlights of this week?
To answer this question I look at all the daily reviews and pick the higlights I wrote down. You will be amazed how much you already forgot about this week. All the to-do's you completed, the highlights of the days and all the new things you've learned. Even when I think I have an unproductive week, summing up all the things I did gives me a feeling of accomplishment 😄. After I finish listing all the highlights I pick the top one of the week to use it later in my monthly review.
What new things did you learn this week?
This are a couple of bullets with articles, knowledge or just general information about some things I've learned this week. If I don't keep track of these things I will probably forget about them in a couple of weeks. Writing them down and reviewing them regularly helps me retaining this information.
I do 5 things at the end of every week to start the next week clean and organized:
- Clean Things 3 (my to-do app) and identify this weeks tasks. How I do this is described in this article.
- Inbox Zero: Organize all the mails in my inbox to where they belong to start with an empty inbox at the start of the week.
- Check my agenda for the upcoming week to get an idea of all the events or appointments I have and see what's waiting for me.
- Clear your Downloads folder. It's probably full of old junkfiles, where most of them could be deleted. You can move the files that are still relevant to the right place on your computer.
- Clear in-tray/notebook notes. I have a reasonable amount of things I write down in my notebook. Most of it is already done but there is always a small note that is still important and I should do something with. Check if my in-tray is also empty so that I won't forget important things I still have to do something with.
What could you do better next week?
The question says it all. It's one point I can improve the next week so I don't fall behind and get in a routine of bad habits.
What should be the highlight of next week?
This highlight sets my course of the upcoming week. I will know where most of my focus should go to.
Journaling helps me with reflecting on the things I did and otherwise probably would forget about. I can see the things I did well or could be doing better. It's also fun to read back what you've accomplished the past week, or later on what you did 3 months ago that specific week. I set a weekly recurring reminder for doing my weekly review which only takes 5-10 minutes to do but gives me so much in return. I would advice everyone in doing the same 🤓.