2022 has passed in a flash. After being a first-time father for close to a year, I can’t believe I ever said “I don’t have time” before!
I always get inspired in the period between Christmas and New Year. I turn my mind to reflecting on the previous year and trying to plan out the year to come in some shape or form. So here’s a round up of some of the things I’ve been working on this year and how I’m going to move forward into 2023.
Personal Knowledge Management
I started getting serious about personal knowledge management (PKM) back in June when I downloaded the audiobook of Tiago Forte’s Building a Second Brain. It’s gone off the boil slightly, but I have maintained a practice of capturing information and storing it in UpNote.
I recently revisited it with a bit more intention and decided to start thinning out a lot of the articles that I’d saved since 2018 — getting rid of a lot of the ones I kept as vaguely interesting and keeping the ones that offer real nuggets worth returning to. The key is distilling the information I have so it’s more accessible for future use — a load of non curated articles is just digital hoarding.
2022 has probably been my worst year for reading in a long while. There are so many books I want to read, but every time I try to get stuck into a book before bed, tiredness sweeps over me and I can barely keep my eyes open.
For 2023, I’m thinking of keeping my Kindle outside of the bedroom and switching reading to the early hours. I’m also going to take advantage of audiobooks a lot more, though I need to systematically work through one book at a time rather than jumping from book to book, otherwise I just get lost. I’m aiming for at least 30 minutes’ reading a day (though this can be made up for with extra time if I miss a day).
My journaling habit has been strong and it’s helped me capture this lightning fast year to look back on. For 2023, I’ll continue this, but I would also like to go deeper with my journaling though as currently it’s more like a diary recording what happened rather than exploring my thoughts and feelings. This will probably have to be limited to once a week with a nudge from my todo list as I already capture the day’s happenings on a daily basis.
I’m also looking forward to new features being added to Diarium – the best journaling software out there!
I’ve jumped between Everdo and MyLifeOrganized a couple of times this year but have once again settled on using MLO due to its Android app being much more usable (and this is important for when I’m not in front of a PC but have time to spare). MLO 6 is due out early next year for desktop with dark mode and a bunch of other improvements so that will be a welcome upgrade for working in the we hours.
Aside from home and family life which is busy enough in itself, I’ve got several complex, multi-step projects on the go including my blog, my photography website, and a brand new website for work. I’m also trying to organise my digital files on my PC by deleting stuff that’s no longer relevant, as well as tagging my book, music, and photo collections. This is where GTD really shows its strengths as I can break these tasks down into smaller recurring next actions which can be ensuring that each project is progressing slightly each day.
So for 2023, I’m just looking at being more consistent with my GTD practice.
On previous years, I’ve practised Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler and it has helped me get excited about the year to come, but it seems like life always gets in the way and momentum is lost after a few months.
I recently stumbled across a podcast called Your Best Year Ever by Rob Cressy. He’s involved with something called The Big Ass Calendar club which, from what I can gather is about putting all the things you want to do in the calendar before life takes over and fills those slots instead.
It reminded me that around a decade ago, I did actually buy a large year-planner and marked out in coloured pen the plans for the year. It was very effective and that year was full of excitement. That process fell by the wayside, but this year I will return to it.
I’ve used Google Calendar for years, but it’s been more about keeping track of obligations than scheduling the fun things. I recently purchased One Calendar for Windows and Android to give me a nicer looking calendar view so I can start scheduling all the fun stuff for the year. I’m gradually building a list of ideas to schedule in UpNote, so there will be a rough layout of things throughout the year, then I can zoom in month by month to add more detailed planning.
I’m guilty of complaining to myself that I haven’t done this that and the other during the year . A regular one is getting to autumn and wishing I’d gotten out more in the summer. Another one is wishing I’d been outside during more sunsets. And I always wish I’d spent more time on the coast. Hopefully with intentional calendaring, it’s not going to happen this year.
Finally, there’s the someday/maybe list — a bunch of things I would maybe like to do someday, but I’m just not sure when. This year I’m not going to leave these on a list to be forgotten about, but will instead set regular intervals to review these and decide whether to action them or to schedule another review date.
So that about wraps it up for now, but it’s important to remember that plans for the new year aren’t set in stone. The key to success with them is maintaining regular course corrections throughout the year.
I’m looking forward to having my best year ever. Happy new year!