Mountain Stream Coaching in words with M stylized as mountains and S stylized as stream
Weelkly review questions in spreadsheet and Obsidian note

In my previous blog, I shared my revised for 2024 daily note template. In this brief blog, I share my 2024 weekly review process. Unlike the daily note, I can’t claim this is a “makeover” because it has been at least a decade since I last did a weekly review. Oh my.

Now that I have a month of weekly review practice under my belt, I am confident that the process will stick for 2024. I’m seeing the benefit. Plus, I have the additional motivation of being an occasional productivity coach. I need to walk the talk.

I do my weekly reviews on Monday morning. Some people do their weekly on Friday afternoon. For me, I tend to be tired in the afternoon and I want to give the review my prime energy and focus. I also tend to work some on Saturday and Sunday, so Friday can still feel like midweek. I considered Sunday morning; however, I don’t want anything on my calendar on a day that I aspire to be for rest. By Monday morning, the prior week is definitely closed irrespective of if I worked on Sunday. I also find that the review is a good launch pad for the work week. Your mileage may differ. 

I allow ninety minutes for my weekly review; however, my goal is to complete it in one hour.

I do not plan to implement monthly reviews since my life does not have a monthly cadence. There is nothing special for me about the close of one month and the beginning of the next. However, I do plan to implement quarterly reviews, which I envision as a time for deeper reflection and planning compared to the weekly review where I try to move quickly, while still being comprehensive.

As seen in the image above, I use a spreadsheet and an Obsidian note template. The spreadsheet is for quantitative progress tracking. The Obsidian note is used for the qualitative and reflective components of the review.

My Weekly Review Process

  • In Obsidian, open the seven daily notes from the prior week.
  • Close any loose ends (“open loops”) left in Obisidian daily notes, audio notes, email, or just in my mind by completing the needed closure task in the moment or creating a new task in Microsoft To Do and/or adding a task or a time-block in my Google Calendar.
  • Review and organize To Do tasks. Prioritize tasks by reordering and/or “starring” tasks to mark as important. Delete any tasks that I no longer feel committed to even for “someday maybe.” Note: unlike generally accepted best practice, at this point, I do not populate my calendar with time-blocks. Aside from feeling challenging to time-block for the entire week, I do not want to fill up my calendar because I want to leave as many openings as possible for my coaching clients or others to schedule sessions with me on short notice. I did some quick research to conclude that there isn’t an easy way to configure Google Calendar and Calendly to have Calendly ignore specified time-blocks and allow people to schedule on top of those, but not other appointments. Someday I may invest in creating a work around by creating an additional calendar or some other approach that eliminates this technology-driven excuse. 
  • Review calendar for the next few weeks. Are there any appointments where I need to schedule time-block(s) for preparation or travel time?
  • Log the number of open To Do tasks, by category, in the spreadsheet. This provides a measure of whether I am completing or deleting at least as many tasks as the number of new tasks I am adding each week. Or is my task list continuing to grow ever longer, as it is prone to do?
  • Log website, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Medium traffic in the spreadsheet. This involves opening each platform and looking at the stats.
  • Tabulate daily, weekly, and fortnightly routine achievements in the spreadsheet by reviewing checkboxes in the daily notes.
  • Record spreadsheet reflections in the Obsidian note.
  • Record daily notes and anything else on my mind reflections in the Obsidian note.

My Reflection Questions

  • Did I live my values and 2024 theme word, Service? Where did I miss? How could I dial up this week?
  • What stands out from MyWeeklyReview spreadsheet?
  • What was the highlight of the week? What was my biggest accomplishment? How did I, or will I, celebrate?
  • What was the biggest disappointment of the week? What were the biggest challenges? How could I overcome these in the future?
  • What did I learn this week? How will I leverage this learning?
  • Review ‘My Roles and Arete‘ (in my template, this is a link to my note that summarizes these) and any associated active goals or projects. Where did I make the most progress? Where is the largest gap? What will I double down on this week?

Regarding the last bullet, for 2024, I am using the concepts of roles and arete from the MacSparky Productivity Field Guide.

I organize my roles into three buckets: Self, Relationships, and Career. Under Self, I have Peak Performer (e.g. adherence to my specified routines and self-care practices), Student, House Steward, and Financial Steward. Under Relationships, I have Husband, Father, Son, and Friend and Colleague. Under Career, I have Coach, Employee (which is my job search for now), and Volunteer.

Arete is a concept in ancient Greek thought that, in its most basic sense, refers to “excellence” of any kind—especially a person or thing’s “full realization of potential or inherent function” (Source Wikipedia). In my ‘Roles and Arete’ note, arete is specified with a bullet list under each role—the same as illustrated in the MacSparky Field Guide. The bullets then drive habit formation, goals, and projects. Note: the habits that I am currently working on appear in my daily note template. My tracking of goals and projects is still an area for improvement as I continue to upgrade my systems for 2024.

Learn More

Over To You

Do you do a weekly review? If so, how do your process and reflection questions compare to what I adopted for 2024?

If you would like some help with developing your unique weekly review and other systems and practices that maximize your health and productivity, I would love to be your coach. See my Services webpage to learn more about what I offer. 

2 Responses

  1. I love this, Ray! I also don’t benefit much from monthly reviews. There are only a few things I do that are mmonthly.

    I do daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly. The quarterly one is my most important one because it’s got the 13-week stretch goals. Daily just keeps me on track and weekly helps me dashboard my stats in a digestible way.

    I have my Google calendar schedule whatever I need but populate my working calendar each morning by hand on paper. It’s helped me develop a friendship with my schedule and manage my expectations.

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