100 consecutive weeks of notes

The 48th week of 2023, and the notes that I wrote for that week have provided a landmark moment. I've now written notes about what I've done each week for 100 consecutive weeks. I thought I'd write a bit about why I started them, what I've learnt, and what I'd do differently.

Why week notes?

Before I wrote notes every week, the journal section of this site was pretty much empty. I wanted the journal to be a place of value, but part of my problem was that I wasn't sure who I wanted the journal to be of value to. I didn't have a drafts folder of ideas that I wanted to write about either. Ultimately, I didn't want the journal section of my website to feel like the social media I grew up with where thumbs up, stars, and hearts determined how I felt about what I shared.

I used to write everything I did in a bullet journal. What started as a way of holding myself accountable during my final year of university, resulted in a detailed hand-written account of what I was doing each day for at least two years. Not everything could go in the bullet journal though. If I took a photo that I wanted to write about, or wanted to write about a website that I had come across, I was always referencing something outside of the journal. I could have gone down the arts and crafts route by making QR codes and sticking them in the journal, but why do that when I have a website.

Initially, I sought to complement the bullet journal by writing and publishing a weekly summary on my website. 100 weeks later and these notes are very much their own posts and I no longer use a bullet journal. Writing 52 posts a year also makes the journal section of my website look a little less empty too.

What have I learned?

  • Its okay to have nothing to write about. Some weeks I would really struggle to articulate what I had done, because for whatever reason I felt like I hadn't done anything that I wanted to share.
  • There's a whole community of people who are also sharing notes about their weeks! I've got #WeekNotes added to the list of hashtags that I follow on Mastodon and I enjoy reading what others have written.
  • Other people read my notes! I wasn't expecting this when I first started writing them, but it's been a welcome surprise.
  • Having a template for my notes means I spend less time on the structure and more time writing.
  • Notes doesn't mean writing an essay, I can use bullet points if I want to.
  • A year in review post is a summary of the 52 posts that I've already published throughout the year.

What would I do differently?

Something I would differently that I want to try to do more of in the future, is to write more expansive posts on some of the topics that I cover in my week notes. While I don't think the basketball games that I've played in require a more lengthy write up, writing about making a Mastodon bot with IFTT, or how I'm building my own content management system would definitely be worthwhile.

Another thing I would like to do is to diversify the topics that I talk about each week. My weekly routine is quite repetitive and while I know I won't have something different every week, I don't want to be writing a post that is a copy-paste of the previous week.