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 bit. 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.