2020 has been a year like no other in my life. And I know it’s popular right now to describe it as a dumpster fire, but it hasn’t been that for me. I got two new nephews this year and my first grand-nephew. So personally, it’s been a good year for me. And I’m one of the fortunate ones who has a job that I can continue to do without much risk and my family has stayed pretty safe. Most of the people I work with are working remotely, so when I go to the office to take care of some things, I’m one of the few people around. So I feel it’s pretty safe. I wear my mask a lot and generally try to avoid people as much as I can. I feel like people have an understanding of how the virus spreads, so we just need to follow the rules. I’m pretty happy that, for the most part, the people in my neighborhood are good about this. And I’m a rule-follower, especially when I understand the risks involved. So limiting physical contact with people hasn’t been that difficult for me.

As for what I had planned versus out it worked out, let’s take a look.

The daily planner was a definite fail for me. I kept it up through the first week of March, though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. I stopped when I moved to my sister’s house when she was due to have her baby. I didn’t take it with me and I didn’t miss it at all. When I came back home a month later, I didn’t go back to using it. In theory, I like the idea of filling in boxes of the week’s main goal, priorities, wins and how I’ll improve in the next week, but I found them very difficult to fill out. These are things that I just write in my journal and I don’t know that I’m that fine-grained in how I work on this stuff. I tend to go more in fits and starts, so the journal didn’t really work for how I work. Some weeks nothing gets done, though I am thinking about things and others seem really productive. How I seem to work best is to use two journals or notebooks. My small journal, which is the one I used to take to the coffeeshop is just me writing what I’m thinking about and plans I have. I used to mainly write a couple pages in this on the weekends. Now I’ve been trying to write just a page a few times a week. But I like this journal. My second journal is actually a sketchbook (and I just bought a new one yesterday) that I use for details about things I’m trying to learn or stuff I want to build. If I’m going to draw a picture or write notes about how something works, I’d use the sketchbook for that. So I think I’ll stick with my systems for that.


My plan for more physical projects was successful. I think I made a good number of things last year. I had started keeping track of them in my daily journal, but quickly gave that up. So I don’t have a convenient list of things I made. But here’s what I quickly found:

There are probably more, but I’ve been lazy about documenting them. The good news is that I have no problem picking up tools and trying to make something. My skills aren’t great, but they are getting better.

Eating more beans has been a fail. Though I’m still working on this.

I could probably leaf through my journal and see what I’ve been thinking about and what I actually got accomplished. But I feel like that’s a waste of time. This review is long enough and even though I have some fails, I’m generally happy with how the year went.

I have a lot of ideas for next year, but I hope to get to that tomorrow.