Why You Should Do a Year-End Review — Especially If Your Year Sucked

My favourite year-end review tools and benefits

Danny Forest
4 min readDec 7, 2020


Illustration by the author

I love to do year-end reviews in December. I’ve been doing that for four years in a row and always found the exercise insightful, especially if I thought my year was subpar before starting my reflection.

For some years, I’ve created my own process and tools. But every year, without fail, I still flocked to some interesting alternatives by other people or companies.

In this article, I’ll share one I use every year and another one I recently found but is remarkable in every way. I’ll also share some of my favourite benefits of doing a year-end review. If you’re reading this in 2020, I’d say it’s more important than ever to do one. You know why :).

Classic: YearCompass

Photo by the author

YearCompass is a booklet that helps close your year and plan the next one. In the routine of everyday life it’s easy to lose sight of your true goals and aspirations. And even though we all have dreams, only a few of us plan for them. Effectively, at least. YearCompass works simply. Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals. — YearCompass.com

The YearCompass is a 20-page booklet you can print and fill by hand. It contains important questions to ask yourself for both the current year and the next one. These questions help you reflect both on the positive and the negative outcomes of your current year. With the way it’s structured, you don’t see the negative stuff as a bad thing, but rather as a learning experience. As a result, you leave with a positive mindset about the next year.

Newcomer: The Ultimate Annual Review

Screenshot of https://www.annualreview.life/

The Ultimate Annual Review is an actionable blueprint to conduct your own self-paced annual life review



Danny Forest

Polymath. Life Optimizer. Learner. Entrepreneur. Engineer. Writer.