Skip to content

Life review

Sometimes is good to stop, get into your cave and do an introspection on how is your life going.

I like to do this exercise the last week of the year. Although I'd like to do it at least twice a year.

This article is the checklist I follow to do my life review, it may seem a lot to you or maybe very simple. You can take it as a base or maybe to get some ideas and then create your own that fits your needs.

The process then has many phases:


As they are time expensive, probably lot of time may have passed since your last life review, it's a good time to do some housekeeping tasks to have a tidy environment (and data!) before you start analyzing everything.

  • Extract all your media (photos, videos, text) from all your devices (mobiles, laptops, servers) to your central archive. For the portable devices I use syncthing to sync all the important data to the NAS, although it's usually untidy.
  • Once it's extracted tidy them all. For example you could group the pictures and videos in a tree of directories (trips, trips/2022-06-Glasgow, trips/2022-06-Glasgow/2022-06-10-hiking-trail-lakes, ...). As this is an unpleasant task I've created claspy a command line tool that helps you categorize the files into their desired paths. Do the same for the documents, music, binaries... everything! until you have an empty mobile and empty Downloads directory.
  • Update your ledger so that it reflects the reality.
  • Update your task manager systems so that it reflects the latest state.
  • Update your digital garden so that you don't have any uncommited changes.


To do it I gather all the information from my life logging sources and start thinking of what do I want to change. It helps me to write a markdown document with the insights gathered in this process.

What you have learned

It's always interesting to look back and see what you've learned throughout the year. I have these sources of data:

Digital garden

If you happen to have a digital garden you can look at your git history to know what has changed since the last year. That's cumbersome and ugly though, it's better to review your newsletters, although you may need to use something like mkdocs-newsletter.

While you skim through the newsletters you can add to the analysis report the highlights of what you've learned.

You can also check your repository insights.


I use anki to record the knowledge that I need to have in my mind. The program has a "Stats" tab where you can see your insights of the last years to understand how are you learning. You can also go to the "Browse" tab to sort the cards by created and get an idea of which ones have been the most used decks.

What you've read

Each time I finish a book I register it in a document with a rating and optionally a review. When doing the review I check which ones I read, which ones I liked more, what genres have been the most popular for me, which authors. With these data I create an analysis of what seems promising to read in the future.

I also update the section of "what you've learnt" with the insights of these books.

Task review

Follow the review process of the task management article.


What to read

With the analysis of what I've read I research for new books and create an ordered list per genre.

Last update: 2022-12-27