Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

How and Why do I write monthly reviews?

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/f5
⚠️ This entry is already over one year old. It may no longer be up to date. Opinions may have changed.

Yesterday I wrote my third monthly review and since I think it has become a habit by now, I will summarize here how and why I am doing this:

On some blogs that I follow I see weekly so-called “Weekly Notes”. After I wrote my first annual review for 2019, I didn’t want to start with weekly reviews directly, but started with monthly reviews.

And I think that was a good decision. For one thing, it is a much lower commitment to reflect the past time only monthly instead of weekly. Also my stress level and the time available varies quite a bit1. And last but not least in some weeks nothing worth mentioning happens.

How do I write my monthly reviews?

Usually on the last day of the month I sit down at my computer and look through all the posts I have written during the month, both in English and German. Then I think about what was most important in the past month, whether I experienced something special, learned something specific or made progress on a project.

In German I start to write the text. Mostly I add more thoughts while writing and I adapt the text.

If I think I have written down everything important, I go through the whole text again and if I like it I use DeepL to have it translated into English. I can write English texts without the help of a translator, but I like the automatic translations much better and so I can focus on the content instead of the language.

Afterwards I let DeepL translate the English translation back to German again. DeepL is really good and sometimes it really improves the texts.

Finally, I link some of the thoughts to articles I have published over the month and then publish both versions.

Why do I write my monthly reviews?

By reflecting each month, at the end of the year it should be much easier for me to see what I have experienced this year, whether I have evolved, what I have been working on. Already now, a look at my January review helps me to remember things that I spontaneously didn’t think about anymore.

My blog is like a public diary, in fact it’s my own platform. I share what is important to me, I write down what I experience and learn or what I think about. A lot of things I forget quite fast, but I hope in a few years my blog will help me to look back into the time of my studies and my life during this time and help me to reconnect synapses and remember.

  1. At the moment I have a lot of time and would be able to write weekly. But towards the end of the semester it often gets quite stressful. ↩︎

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Jan-Lukas Else
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