tl;dr: We are here to convince you to review your year and to plan your next and to talk to you about building a movement for the betterment of humanity :)

It was 2012 and we wanted to have a worthwhile New Year's Eve with our friends, so we've put together a few questions that would help us focus. The event was an absolute success, our idea resonated really well with others. We thought that this could be something useful and decided to make a booklet. Next year we made it public on the internet. We thought maybe we would have a couple hundred downloads and make a few people happy. Next thing we know – it went viral. Today the YearCompass booklet is available in 35 different languages (translated by volunteers) and had 700.000 downloads last year.

We believe in self-awareness. Self-recognition is one of the key things to become a better human – and we need a lot of awesome humans on this planet. The path is not easy and we enjoy helping anyone who needs help, this is why we created the booklet and the YearCompass movement.

Webpage here:

- https://yearcompass.com

Today will be here from the core team:

- /u/raszpi
- /u/frkandris

Proof:

- https://www.facebook.com/YearCompass/posts/2169863913263912
- https://twitter.com/YearCompass/status/1079407084058349570

Comments: 265 • Responses: 34  • Date: 

SnoobaDiver191 karma

I was trying to find this but couldn't remember what it was called or what to search for, so thank you! Filling this out was my new year's goal for 2018 but I never got around to it. I might have been too intimidated by having to plan out my future. Do you have any tips on getting started and not feeling overwhelmed?

raszpi212 karma

Start out with broad strokes :)

Try this: Get a piece of paper, fold it in half, fold it half again and again. You'll have 8 small squares. Give every square an area. What are your 8 most important areas in your life? Family? Work? School? Relaxing? (we did choose the areas for the booklet, you can use those too)

After that, answer this question: where do you see yourself in those areas in five years? And just broad strokes :) "I want a nice car" "I want children". Anything you want. 5 years is a long time and if you know where you want to be in 5 years, it'll be much more easy to plan 2019.

Good luck, I'll DM you in a month if you did the booklet :)

Coldwater_Cigs29 karma

I’m in no way trying to be disrespectful, but that advice is what every high school guidance counselor has said forever.

And from the description the calendar is the same basic advice presented in a different format.

What makes your calendar unique?

raszpi40 karma

You are not disrespectful, you are right, but somehow people still don't do this.

I think YearCompass is unique because of two reasons: * it focuses on closing the year also, not just planning * there are other year planners, but almost none of them are free, and no one wanted to build a movement around it

jeremykitchen1 karma

Can you dm me in a month too? :) I am going to go to a coffee shop tomorrow and get a real nice cup of tea and work through this. Thanks for doing it!

raszpi1 karma

Sure, will do it :)

cis4smack128 karma

How do you monetize the site? And who has invested in this?

raszpi387 karma

> How do you monetize the site?

We don't monetize the site, but we do have a patreon and an elegant edition. Those cover _some_ of our costs. Of course it would be awesome to have money from this but we would reinvest it to grow the movement.

> And who has invested in this?

No one and we don't want it. This is a project from a few hungarian guys, girls and the awesome volunteers who help us translate the booklet. We do this in our free time, because we want more awesome people.

And when I say free time, I really mean free time: I'm currently with my friends and started to answer your questions :) https://imgur.com/yDN3ePj

badonkathink80 karma

That beautiful photo quality though.

Imma get you a nice phone next year. Put that in my compass.

P. S. You guys look like a fun bunch!

raszpi35 karma

Yeah, I know :) in a few weeks I'll buy a new one.

Hobophobic_Hipster6 karma

Is this what you wanted to be doing five years ago?

raszpi10 karma

Yes. After my career, volunteering was my second most important area of life. Hopefully in another five years I will be still doing something like this.

Not sure if this was your question, if you clarify it for me, I can write a better answer :)

chasetheplatypus1 karma

Do you live anywhere near Rakoczi ter? Friends of mine lived in an apartment near there with a nearly identical kitchen.

raszpi1 karma

No, living near Boraros ter. But the picture was taken in Austria, we are currently skiing :)

Great to see another Budapest resident here :)

nineran94 karma

Where do you get your questions?

I’ve been recommending your booklet in all the journaling subs so that folks who are too attached to their books to fill it still use the questions. I found it so useful — thank you for making this product!

Will it ever be not-free?

raszpi105 karma

It will be always free.

collectingthings92 karma

Do you plan to create an app (maybe some goal tracking / habit tracking / reviews during the year)?

raszpi55 karma

We tried this a few years ago (webapp with the same questions), it wasn't a great success.

Of course people still wanted a digital version, this is why we created the digitally fillable pdf version.

We have some plans for reviews during the year, but with some social media posts.

frkandris46 karma

It is not on the roadmap yet, but some mid-year activity definitely would be nice to have.

TrineonX55 karma

I'm a web developer. I just sent a message to raszpi about doing this.

DM me for more!

raszpi29 karma

Thank you, let's talk, I'll reply in a few days :)

Greg0592 karma

Hi! Do you guys need any help in terms of translating? I know this may be kind of an off-topic question but I would gladly help you as I am actually bilingual with Polish being my mother tongue. I know the site is nonprofit and so would be my work but I would love to contribute regardless.

raszpi57 karma

Sure, translators are always welcome :)

Actually we have an internal site which we built for it: https://translate.yearcompass.com/ ( not sure if the facebook login is fixed we've had issues with it a few weeks ago )

Some history if we are here: in the beginning we translated it into english and german, but pretty soon we've had people who wanted to translate it. So those volunteers got an invite to a google spreadsheet, but it was very work intensive from us, after that we built the translation site.

Luti_6 karma

I would also like to contribute by translating it into my native language, unfortunately it's not on the list. So what do I do now, can I message you here, or?

raszpi1 karma

That's great! You can message me here, but we may need a few days for a proper answer. I'll try to be as quick as possible :)

PettyLikeTom59 karma

Honestly what's the biggest thing most people try and change for the new year?

raszpi107 karma

Well, we don't see what they write down, but from personal experience the bigger issue is that they all want to change everything at the same time. Don't do that, it won't work.

raszpi42 karma

All questions will be answered, but there are some where I don't have a short answer, just a detailed one and for that I need some time. So still here, ask away, will get to you in a few hours :)

PartsofParcel40 karma

Thanks for your work, guys. I filled one out for the first time last year and I'm eager to review it and fill out the 2018/19 next weekend! I made it into a little home spa and reflection session last year - worked wonders :))

My questions are: how did you decide which questions were important to add? Is there anything you wanted to incorporate but felt it didn't fit the format? What do you have the most discussions about within the team?

Cheers!

raszpi26 karma

Most of the questions were in the first iteration of the booklet, but within the first years we had feedback forms / also reached out to some of our psychologist friends :)

In the past iterations we had 30 day challenges / habit building, that one didn't fit but we really like the topic :)

Another one, my new personal favorite would be about your core values. Ok these are your goals, but why are these your goals? I don't think this will be in the booklet, but I like to think about it.

PartsofParcel6 karma

Awesome, thanks for your reply! :) Definitely feel you on the values bit - would be cool to see it become its own thing!

I would love to help translating into Lithuanian for next year, too - I may have missed it, but some people were saying the translation site login didn't work?

raszpi5 karma

Not sure what's happening on the translations site, we'll look into it in the morning. If I remember correctly login with google should work.

Awesome and thank you, we'll enable Lithuanian on the translations site, I'll write / answer you but we may need a few days, New Year and everything :)

txmsh3r37 karma

Hi guys!! I filled out this booklet at the end of 2016 and also did it in 2017. 2017 happened to be one of my best years! I'm doing it again this year. :)

Here's my question: what are your own, respective end-of-the-year rituals? (if any)

raszpi14 karma

Well for us the main end-of-the-year ritual is working on YearCompass :)

For me, it's thinking a lot about the past year, then filling out the booklet in first / second week of January. Usually I'm organizing a group session too, I'll do one this year too in my work place for my colleagues.

Have a great year closing and planning for this year too! :)

360noscoperino34 karma

Just passing by and wanted to say thank you for this amazing work you guys are doing!

Bonus Question: whats the criteria around question picking? Why those particular questions instead of others?

raszpi17 karma

Thank you.

I talked about the booklet question history here a bit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/aawwsd/we_are_the_yearcompass_team_a_free_booklet_that/ecw1g5b

If you have more questions go ahead and I'll answer it.

BEEF_SUPREEEEEEME17 karma

Was checking out the PDF and noticed that it mentions a group version, is there a separate download for that? Or would you just fill out the same one but in a group?

Cool project, definitely going to give it a whirl, I've got a party coming up on new years with a bunch of close friends that would love to do something like this as a group :)

raszpi23 karma

Same thing, just with a group. When I did it a group we usually stopped every half hour or every page / bigger block to talk about it.

We really should work with wording there, you are not the first who gets the impression that there is a separate group version. Thanks for the feedback :)

VintageJane16 karma

It’s an easy switch. Change “Individual Version” and “Group Version” to “If you are completing this booklet alone you will need:” and “If you are completing this booklet in a group you will need:”

raszpi15 karma

Thanks for the suggestion, I moved this into our Ideas / Topic list.

warbird2k11 karma

The booklet isn't available in my language. Can I contribute somehow?

raszpi8 karma

We have a site for translators: https://translate.yearcompass.com

If your language isn't there DM me or write us an email. In a few days we'll enable your language.

Digirama9 karma

Are there any organization or planning tools or methods that you have seen to be particularly effective in helping people achieve the goals they outlined in your booklet in past years?

raszpi14 karma

Well, we did not research that yet, but we definitely should, thanks for the idea.

From my personnal experience the best things you could to:

  • Plan your week: get a piece of paper or a calendar and plan your week. Try bullet journal ( https://bulletjournal.com/ ), GTD or anything you want and when you plan it, include your yearly goals into your plan.
  • Have free time: we are not robots, if you don't relax, you'll be out of willpower in a few days. Recharge.
  • Iterate on what works: lots of tools, methods are available, try them out for 30 day, or try to build a new habbit. If it sticks, great, if not, that's okay, there are others. And then try something new again for the next 30 days.

chiethu7 karma

Do you have any plans to add something else to Self-awareness and Self-recognition?

raszpi5 karma

We don't have plans (currently) to add or remove from the booklet, but I'm really interested what would you like to see added?

Habama105 karma

Never expected to see hungarian writing on this (or any other) sub. Kinda surprised me.

Well good on you guys for doing all of this with zero monetization. Non profit always takes serious dedication.

Do the volunteers from other countries do the translating or the original team of hungarians? Has it helped exposing you to languages you never thought of learning before?

raszpi5 karma

"Do the volunteers from other countries do the translating or the original team of hungarians?" The volunteers from other countries, actually most of our volunteers are the translators. We maintain the hungarian one and the english (with proofread from natives) and the volunteers translate it into their language from the english sentences.

"Has it helped exposing you to languages you never thought of learning before?" Well so to say, there were unexpected consequences :)

We are in IT so we know about internationalization, but here we really needed to do it and to do it well. Font types, right to left languages, and always something small todo for every new language.

Thank you for our translators here as well! :)

LifeisaCatbox4 karma

What if we didn’t keep a detailed calendar for 2018?

raszpi8 karma

Have a cup of tea, some nice music, switch off your tv / laptop, write down every month and slowly try to remember. This is what I do, lots of stuff did not get into my calendar :)

Also for the future: I'm building a habit where I take a picture when I do something, for example go out for a beer with my friends. Still, I forgot to do it a lot.

joeyisnotmyname3 karma

I tried clicking the download link and it keeps scrolling to the email signup. Is there a direct download link i missed?

raszpi5 karma

Did you choose the digitally fillable one? That one just downloads to your computer, sadly the browser can do horrible things with digitally fillable pdf-s, if you open them there.

If this does not solve it, PM me and I'll send it to you somehow and sorry for the inconvenience.

WillingAstronomer2 karma

Thanks for making such an awesome tool available for us! I have a question about "This year I will draw the most energy from".. while this seems like a really nice thing, I cannot think of what I'd want to fill here. Could you give some examples?

raszpi8 karma

What I would answer: - watching netflix and eating pizza - traveling with my awesome girlfriend - talking with my awesome friends

So basically how are you recharging your batteries :)

fwr12142 karma

Can I fill out the booklet without having to print it out?

raszpi4 karma

Yes, we have a digitally fillable version, it's an editable pdf.

sudotrin-3 karma

What the fuck kind of vapid invisible children ass shit is this?

It's like a freshman year design class project to create branding for a non profit but the student forgot that the first part of the assignment was to determine what the goal of their imaginary nonprofit was.

...

raszpi1 karma

Well, thanks for the feedback. We definitely should work on our representation.

bloody_lumps-3 karma

Do you guys know that you share the same logo with Ensō, a PSVITA hack?

raszpi2 karma

I would say that our logo is an Ensō. It was our designers idea :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ens%C5%8D

Fettviktig-10 karma

Why are you advertising on reddit?

raszpi19 karma

We want to reach people with this idea. Lots of IAmAs try to just that.

I'm sorry if you feel this is advertising, we really just want people to be more self-aware. Can I ask what did you read on our site that makes you think this is advertising?

princeaquababy6 karma

I thought this was more sharing than advertising, for what it’s worth :) do you mind if I ask how you got to 700,000 downloads without a marketing budget though?

raszpi5 karma

Almost purely word of mouth, people really resonated with the idea, if you search on instagram for the #yearcompass hashtag you'll see what I mean.

In the past two years we had a minimal advertising budget for some facebook posts. I think our budget is around a 100$ for a year, so not that much.

HowlingPantherWolf-1 karma

Personally, the website looks very commercial. With the big download button and long list of reasons why we really really to fill in the form, it appears to be quite similar to websites of pay-for-use services such as dayoneapp.com and Forest. It's as if you're getting something out of us when we download it.

raszpi4 karma

Thank you, we definitely should revamp the website, we know that and will do that in the coming year.

DojoStarfox-20 karma

What the fuck is "closing a year"? Sounds like another worthless "feel better about yourself" task.

raszpi9 karma

try it, or just read the pdf.

if you did, it's allright, I'm okay with this feedback, we should work on our presentation.

you can't loose anything, you don't even need an email address, just download it :)