Another Year, another Life-Newspaper

When the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, they gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, “Hey, good job.”

I have already written one posting about a life-newspaper, but given that during the Silvester party I talked to a few people about it and they liked the idea, I think I post a similar posting again.

The life-newspaper for 2010 is too personal to display it here, but it covers issues like:

  • Editorial (short summary)
  • Science & Work (given that I am a scientist)
  • Education and Courses (skills/knowledge I have learned, partly in courses, partly on my own)
  • Finances (financial overview)
  • Personal Stuff (clothes, identity, photos, etc.)
  • Culture (Literature, i.e., books I have read; Cinema/DVDs)
  • Technology (MacBook, Photography equipment, iPhone 4)
  • Health (issues 2010, overview)
  • Quotations (good ones I stumbled over in the last year)
  • Sports (the kinds I did last year)
  • Inspirational people 2011 (two people I want to remember who do now know me but have influenced me)
  • People 2010: Family (some things that happened in my family)
  • People 2010: Private (persons I know outside of work)
  • People 2010: Dating (always good for a laugh — and cry)
  • People 2010: IWM:KMRC (i.e., work)
  • Travels (visits home,  to conferences, and vacations)
  • Own Art (things I created 2010)
  • Lessons of 2010 (some things I have learned the past year and do not want to forget)
  • Goals for 2011 (looking back at the past year, what do I want to achieve the next year?)

Creating it was fairly easy — you have to sort a lot of material, text and images, and order it. How you do it depends on your computer skills, time and tools. Personally I used Circus Ponies Notebook to create an outline and copied the text into the outline and used simple folders for the images. For getting the content right I did the following steps:

  1. I went through my Aperture photo archive and searched for images taken in 2010
  2. Opened the history/archive page of my private wiki where I keep a list-overview of the projects I did the past year
  3. Opened the archive/history page of my work wiki where I keep a list-overview of the work projects I did the past year
  4. Created a smart list that contained all eMails written after 31.12.2009, I sorted them by sender to get a quick impression of the important topics 2010 (one advantage if your communication with your friends is mostly by eMail)
  5. I looked at my order history in Amazon and iTunes
  6. I asked myself the question what I did not do 2010 but wanted to do — there will be not records of these events so I have to remember them by myself

Then I created the Life-Newspaper with an Newsletter Template from Pages (Modern Newsletter).

I think such a life-newspaper is very useful, not only to remember a year in a condensed form, but also to reflect on a year. I think this is one of the reasons why people do New Years resolutions — between Yule and New Year is the time where they have time to reflect on their life, the end of the year gives them some kind of “let’s take stock” feeling. But not everyone can do this and, frankly, I reflect about my life on a lot of different occasions. But even then most of the results are written down and end up in the newspaper at the end of the year. Not logical, but very useful — and, at times even fun.

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