Year’s End: Time for a Life Newspaper

“Once upon a time a Chinese sage was asked by a friend to bless his newly born son. His benediction was, ‘Let’s pray he lives in interesting times.’
Crosse in “Noble House” by James Clavell

Once again a year ends. I hope you did do some nice creative projects this year. But what will you remember when you look back upon this year, in a year, a decade, a lifetime?

Personally, I spend a few days at the end of a year creating a personal Life Newspaper (see the book for more information). While there are many categories in that newspaper, one is for creative projects during that year. If you create such a yearly newspaper regularly, you can later skim through your life, a year in a newspaper, to remind you what you did during that time. In contrast to a diary the effort is much lower, you focus on the essentials, and you don’t spend your life writing about life instead of living it. Or to use the words of Tallulah Bankhead:

It’s the good girls who keep diaries;
the bad girls never have the time.

There are many ways to do a life newspaper and I guess the style you choose for your newspaper a given year also tells much about you. After all, you define your taste and your tastes (which change over time) define you. This year I switched to Apple’s Pages, the “Collector” Newsletter template to be exact.

Apple Pages - New from Template Chooser

Apple Pages - Newsletter Templates

With a few modifications this newsletter template was ideally suited for the creation of the short yearly newspaper (see figure below).

Life Newspaper: Collector Template Example

So, think about creating such a yearly newsletter — I think you might be thankful for it at the end of your life. However, given that this is (hopefully) way in the future, print your newsletter and save digital files as .pdf. I think it is at least somewhat likely that .pdf will survive into the far future, at least, somewhat more likely than .pages.

(And even if it is a very private newsletter, be careful with passwords. The prospective outlook is decades — you will likely forget it since you do not use the file regularly or frequently.

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