This note is part of the series of notes about My Workflows.
I conduct a weekly review every Sunday night before I go to bed. The review takes anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. I picked Sunday night because I usually don’t have anything else going on, and then I can hit the ground running with my Monday morning writing group.
I focused first on building the habit of the weekly review by starting with only a few items (like emptying my personal inbox and reviewing my tasks). As I’ve gotten more comfortable doing the review I’ve added items to it. The weekly review has become a place where I schedule recurring tasks; I find that many recurring tasks are best scheduled either weekly or daily. I also sometimes skip items if I’m particularly tired or feeling a lot of resistance, but I do most items every week. If I really don’t feel like doing something I explicitly mark it as optional or just remove it from my list.
Here’s the current list of tasks I complete for the weekly review:
- Process personal e-mail inbox
- Process work e-mail inbox (optional)
- Process Obsidian inbox 1
- Process and tag all of my Raindrop links
- Process items with the
#[[Quick Capture]]tag in Roam Research
- Clean out my computer Desktop and Downloads folders 2
- Review and update my budget on You Need A Budget
- Process Readwise items imported into Roam Research (optional)
- Review and update my goals on Beeminder
- Reflect on the previous week:
- Did I accomplish my top three priorities from last week? (Yes/No)
- Complete Plus, Minus, Next exercise
- Plan for the upcoming week:
- Check my Semester Plan and note important upcoming deadlines
- Clean out iOS reminders and OmniFocus inbox
- Complete project review on OmniFocus and choose items to focus on for the coming week
- Choose my top three priorities for the upcoming week
- Update daily plan Roam42 SmartBlock with top three priorities and upcoming deadlines 3
- Assign tasks to specific days
I have written out the tasks listed above as a set of to dos in Roam Research. I then copied and pasted the tasks into a Keyboard Maestro shortcut that I can trigger by typing
rmwk.4 I nest each Weekly Review under the current date on the Weekly Review page so I can easily go back and look at past reviews. I also block reference the Plus, Minus, Next exercise prompts so I can see the responses to the prompts over time.
In an ideal world I think I would spend a bit more time on the reflection questions each week. However, I have historically had a lot of resistance to answering them, and the Plus, Minus, Next is short enough that I just do it. Some future way to evaluate the right balance might be nice, like more detailed monthly or semester reviews.
Tiago Forte has a lot of great writing about weekly reviews. Here’s one post to get started.
This is incredibly helpful, as it forces me to either delete random screenshots and documents forever, or move them to a better location on my hard drive. I mostly follow the PARA Method for organizing my hard drive. ↩
Keyboard Maestro is not needed for this; templates or SmartBlocks work just as well. I just have had it set up this way since before templates were an option and I like not having to hit enter for it to trigger. ↩