Comments: 100 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

WaffleFoxes88 karma

I skipped hosting my traditional YearCompass party last year and feel that the shit show that is 2020 is all my fault accordingly.

My question for you:. Can this karmic cluster be ended by doing the 2020-2021 book? Do you have any tips for easing my tremendous guilt?

raszpi43 karma

I think it can help.

In my personal experience, when I do the booklet it always helps me to remember the good stuff (not _everything_ was bad) and think about the future, plan and imagine an "ideal" year. Kind of like daydreaming.

It also helped me to face my guilt about being lazy, not doing what I wanted. Last year I quit my job, and this summer I've started a business. It worked out and I hope it will work out for you as well.

LorimIronheart48 karma

Okay, never participated in an AMA, but I like this one. So here it goes:

For the past three years I've had some form of life altering event happening every year. Two of which nearly killed me and the third is Covid. During these times all plans go overboard and life changes dramatically.

So why would it be worth it to plan a year? Especially given the fact that so much is changing so fast. Covid numbers on the rise, Brexit for Europe and an almost civil war in the States to name two examples. What is the benefit of planning if you know that the world is changing so fast that it's not going to be of much use soon. At least that's what my rambling thoughts were.

Thanks for doing this and props to you for getting this booklet running and helping so many people!

raszpi78 karma

Thank you and that is a very good question.

Let me ramble a little bit also: more than 8 years ago I went and participated in a time-management course held by volunteers (hi /u/frkandris :)).

There I heard a quote from Seneca:

"There is no favorable wind for the sailor who doesn’t know where to go".

This quote stayed with me over the years.

And you are absolutely right that "plans go overboard and life changes dramatically", but I think it is better to have some plan, a dream, something to achieve for in the next year and to think about those plans for an hour, about how can they become a reality. Not sure if this is an answer, so let me know what did you think.

Vaginitits18 karma

I love that quote. It was just what I needed to hear. I’m definitely going to checkout your booklet, and put it into use too. Thanks!

raszpi5 karma

Awesome, thank you!

LorimIronheart12 karma

Hmmm, it does make more sense when you look at it from that perspective. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You've given me some good food for thought and I'll think it over a bit more. Thanks 😊

raszpi3 karma

Awesome, thank you!

josefjohann30 karma

I had never heard of YearCompass prior to this AMA. What goes into the decision making process to have the questions and structure that the YearCompass booklet has? Is it drawn from a set of principles or discussions, or a core set of concepts that emerged from somewhere in particular?

Is there something that makes certain types of self-assessment questions the "good" kind and something that makes others not so good?

raszpi14 karma

The first iteration was made by "heart", from questions that made sense for us (and in our life situation). Until the 3rd-4th year we interviewed "users" about the questions, collected ideas, and reached out to some psychologist friends. So a little bit of this, little bit of that, until it reached this "completed" form. Interestingly as our life changed, we started to think about how to change questions and we have some plans for that in the future (The Pandemic supplement is kind of a Proof of Concept of that). Also if I remember correctly we used some Positive Psychology concepts.

> Is there something that makes certain types of self-assessment questions the "good" kind and something that makes others not so good?

I think it not only depends on the question but on the reader as well. Differrent people will feel differently about the questions. But basically, I think it should make you think, should be worded positively and move you forward somehow.

Writer1021 karma

I love you guys! Been doing YearCompass for a few years and always shocked when I look back to see how much I’ve accomplished.

My question is...do users ever report back in, and if so, what’s your favorite story about a goal (or goals) they’ve accomplished?

raszpi18 karma

Thank you, we love you too!

Yes they do (more and more), but hard to choose a favourite story, because most of those who reach out to us and share their story are through a lot: cancer, losing children and even worse.

But I think last year, in Hungary we've participated in an event, and after the event the photographer came to speak with us privately. She quit her job and became a photographer because YearCompass helped her realize that's what she wants to do. So that's one favourite.

ekg6417 karma

What's the demographic breakdown of your users?

raszpi21 karma

2/3 females, 1/3 males, mostly young adults.

komyee10 karma

Hi u/raszpi, I think my cat woke me up so that I can catch up to this AMA. First of all, thanks for doing this! It always brings up a lot of emotions reading back my past YearCompass entries.

I’m wondering if there’s any help your team need currently? And what are some future plans you have for YearCompass?

raszpi7 karma

We are looking for translators for almost every language ( we’re still creating the page for the language translation statuses on the new site.

Also talk about YearCompass to your friends / family :)

Future plans: we are testing a weekly / monthly planner, hopefully it will also be released next. And finnish the new website, but that’s on us.

meyerp92 karma

If you need someone for German, how would one get in touch to become a translator for this?

raszpi5 karma


drop us an email to [email protected]

Later we will have a separate page about the language statuses on our site, but it's not finished yet.

SuperPandaGem2 karma

Do you have any prerequisites for translators, or is it already helpful if a fluent local works on one? Would you ever need a Croatian one?

raszpi2 karma

Yes, it's helpful and we need you. Can you drop us an email to [email protected] ?

ptothandras10 karma

Hey, I'm also a member of the YearCompass team, however I'm a bit less active this year, as our baby has just arrived! To start the ball rolling let me ask u/raszpi what is your experience, has COVID changed the way people handle the whole "let's reflect on this year and plan the next" thing?

raszpi9 karma

Hey Andras,

(I've added you to the post, so others know).

To answer your question: I think the shitstorm that's been this year makes reflecting a bit harder. No one wants to review the bad stuff, but you should. For example because I almost never saw my friends this year, I've made it a point to organize an evening with them every month (as soon as this Covid stuff ends).

strappingyounglass8 karma

Hi/sziasztok! This year’s going to be only the 3rd time I’ll be using The Year Compass to reflect upon my year, but I’m enjoying it a lot, it’s proven to be helpful. I always loved journaling, so completing the Compass is just like that, but structured :).

What I find a bit off putting is that my friends on social media never really seem relate to it - maybe it’s considered cringy or time-wasting to reflect on your year, in written form, at least, in certain parts of Europe, or they just don’t want to admit that they’re doing it, too, I have no idea (why would they, we’re adults, almost all hitting 30). Anyway, where do you get your most downloads from, or in what language? Did you have people contacting you directly, giving thanks?

P.S I’m really excited for the Pandemic Supplement book.

raszpi16 karma

Oh forgot half of it.

Most downloads this year:

  1. Russia
  2. USA
  3. Hungary
  4. Germany
  5. UK

> Did you have people contacting you directly, giving thanks?

Yes, it's almost daily now (in december and january). Every few weeks there is one, that makes me cry.

raszpi14 karma

> What I find a bit off putting is that my friends on social media never really seem relate to it

I can relate, I even got laughed at because me and my girlfriend every few months do a "relationship review" (what is good / what can be improved). I mean, really? :)

I think it is just not part of the culture yet. We are working on it :)

Technology and ideas evolve, it just takes time. Maybe in a few hundred years not reflecting on your year will be the unusual.

duckduckloose5 karma

Can you tell us more about the relationship review? I like the concept like rather than reactive problem-based therapy, to a preventative and proactive check in.

raszpi11 karma

Sure. First of all, talk to your special one about it and agree to do it. It will be very weird if you start one evening with this, because you had time to think about it and the other party didn't.

Maybe it sounds more complicated than it is, we do it like this: - around every half a year we sit down in the evening with a glass of wine - each of us answers 2 questions honestly about our relationship: what went well? what could be improved? (yes, like a SCRUM retrospective) - we talk it through, reach decisions, agree to commitmens if needed, finish the wine

On our first one we agreed to move in together :)

duckduckloose3 karma

Thanks very much! Really appreciate it

raszpi1 karma

You’re welcome :)

ekg647 karma

Do you track what people transition from to YearCompass and why they leave?

raszpi10 karma

We'd like, but we as of yet we only reached out to the hungarian community, their answers were interesting:

Most of the answers were about changing the basic idea and customizing it for themselves: instead of filling out the booklet alone, talking it through with their girlfriend / boyfriend. Creating their own personalized booklets with "harder" questions or making the booklet smaller, taking the just a few questions from the booklet. (and that is just awesome)

We're thinking about how to adapt to this, but from a software development perspective it's a lot of work. Maybe in a few years we'll be there.

Of course with those answers we have survirorship bias, so we'd like to investigate this further in the future.

slojonka7 karma

How would one do the questionnaire as a group activity? Talking through every question together or just in the end?

raszpi6 karma

We tried it in 2 ways:

- according to booklet blocks (like first 4 pages and then talk about it)

- in time blocks (45 minutes booklet, 15 minutes talk)

It can work both ways.

EvilLost5 karma


raszpi9 karma

By thinking it through, self-reflecting, thinking about your mistakes and how to not make them again, and celebrating your victories.

Closing it, like a good book. (Not sure if good applies to 2020 :) )

GyaszosZsiradek3 karma


I've never filled out your booklet before, but in the last few weeks I've seen it pop up in many places (friend's facebook, instagram, mentioned in a podcast, etc.), so it has really got my interest, maybe this is the year to do it :D (And I'm happy Hungarians changing the world for the better)

Do you personally prefer to do the lone wolf, or the group version? And do you have any recommendations on how the group version should work?

Also, do you have other habits along these lines, that help you focus or improve your life in some way? Something you do during the year, like keeping a regular journal, tracking habits, etc., that ties in with the year planning.

raszpi3 karma

Personally: lone wolf. Group version: do it in blocks (either based on pages or time), have tea and nice music :)

Other habits: I like to have lists, planning weeks, I have a moleskin with all kind of stuff written down. Every month or so (when I feel like it), I take a pen and paper and write down every todo I can think of, so I don't have to keep them in my mind.

But if we are talking time-management than it's all about trying out things and see what sticks.

Orkenda3 karma

In your mind, what are the key advantages that sets YearCompass apart from other planning tools (bullet journals/kanban boards/Self Authoring Suite/etc.)?

First time hearing about YearCompass, can't wait to tackle this!

raszpi9 karma

(Can't talk about the Self Authoring Suite, but I'll look into it.)

I think the main difference is that YearCompass is more about self-reflection and more about your feelings. We've all come from a time-management trainer background and I think there are amazing tools, habits, systems out there, and they really help to achieve what you want in your life. But none of them asks you to review and think through your year, think about your future, dreams, plans like YearCompass does.

So: time-management stuff: cold and efficient

YearCompass: warm, fuzzy, feel-good :)

Hope, you'll like it!

Orkenda3 karma

Gotcha, sounds like a great compliment to other productivity tools! As a warm, fuzzy, feel-good oriented person, this sounds right up my alley! :D

Thanks so much for introducing me to YearCompass, here's to an even better one! 💚

raszpi3 karma

Thank you, and I hope you'll like it :)

mcbunn3 karma

How do you feel about blatant astroturfing?

raszpi2 karma

You can look us up on facebook, instagram, twitter. No astroturfing here.

mcbunn2 karma

Really. No one is asking what your company does? Every comment is positive and has a weird intrinsic understanding of your product and asks leading questions that your PR team is ready to answer with super corporate sanitation? Almost every commenter is minimally active on reddit until this thread?

Neat you guys sure have a loyal userbase for something I've never heard of.

raszpi7 karma

No company here. I mean, we don't even ask for an email address. But you can check my profile, in the past years we've had more negative comments, I agree. 2020 is weird.

I just checked the top five comments, none of them are minimally active and they are multiple years old.

But I completely understand the skepticism and the world needs it, especially in these times. And it kind of doesn't makes sense to do this for free, but we do and we will.

steleto3 karma

Is it still possible to quickly translate the pandemic version to different languages? I worked on th Esperanto version, and I spread the word about the booklet, would love to add the extra pages as well.

raszpi2 karma

yes, we are releasing the new translations almost daily. Can you drop us an email to [email protected] ? We’ll invite you to the new translation management system.

Fear_mor2 karma

Do you plan to have Irish in your language selection?

raszpi3 karma

Yes, if we have a translator for it. If you are up for it, can you drop us an email about this to [email protected] ?

torashies2 karma

Thank you for the pandemic supplement! I managed to miss it when printing the year compass the first time and felt I was missing something, the pandemic supplement has helped, it was a great idea.

When it comes to planning the next year, I’m findin it hard to counteract the uncertainty of the virus and how government will handle it (and I’m in the U.K. so the unknown of Brexit too) how do I plan to make goals for my year when everything is so up in the air? It feels pointless to write a goal to do something when it could get banned for Covid reasons in a month...

raszpi3 karma

Yeah, I know. Personally I tried to do think about it more like a goal setting exercise without time restrictions (where this was relevant, ex. traveling, going skiing).

Selfaware-potato2 karma

Have you guys got a background in the corporate world? Because this seems a lot like my yearly performance review I do at work.

raszpi1 karma

No, not really.

Selfaware-potato1 karma

I've just read through the booklet and I do get performance review vibes and realized it's definitely not for me. It is good that there are things like this out there for people to use though.

raszpi1 karma


Cakeminator1 karma

Hi YearCompass!

I've previously done one of your booklets, it was really nice, but forgot about it since then. Might pick it up for 2020/2021. Anyways, I see that you guys support 52 languages (as you wrote), and was wondering if Danish was one of them, and if not, do you need/want help translating it into Danish?

Looking forward to years of looking back and planning ahead!

raszpi1 karma

Yes we need you :) (for the website and the Pandemic Supplement translations). Can you drop us an email to [email protected] about helping with the Danish translation?

thatsgreat281 karma

Sziasztok! I learned of YearCompass from last year's AMA and I'm excited to do it again, especially given your mention of a pandemic supplement. Thank you all for your work over the years!

How does the booklet evolve each year? How did you decide to do a pandemic supplement?

raszpi2 karma

We start preparing for the season around september and during those meetings we talk about possible improvements / ideas that we can do on top of releasing the booklets / managing the translations.

This year the Pandemic Supplement and a new website won. And we still work on the website :)

Sheppardino1 karma

This is fascinating! I'm definitely saving this post downloading one later.

My question: Have you guys considered making a new booklet? One that is different to the YearCompass. Maybe a couples' journal? That would be a cool idea.

raszpi2 karma

Yes, we have this on the idea list, I'll add another vote for it. It just takes a lot of time, to prepare stuff, integrate it into our systems. Maybe next year :)

k3v1n1 karma

What is different in the booklet this year compared to last years? What got you to make those changes?

raszpi1 karma

We’ve added the Pandemic Supplement because this year was especielly challenging.

vapocalypse521 karma

What made you release it in this godforsaken year? Also with next year looking like a 2020 2.0, what's the point in planning ahead?

Don't get me wrong, I think the idea is really good and it's the first time I hear about it, but it just seems pointless to try and plan 2021.

raszpi2 karma

Yeah, it's really hard to plan 2021, I agree. But you still can review your year and think a bit about 2021 :)

meyerp91 karma

How does this nonprofit work? Are there random people all over the world helping you with this? How did this start?

raszpi5 karma

How does this nonprofit work? We have a small core team, that does the booklet generation, website maintenance and other administrative kind of work.

We have a larger volunteer base, that handles the translations and trying to make us popular in their countries.

Are there random people all over the world helping you with this?

Yes. When we started we did the hungarian (we are from Hungary) and english translations and put it on the web. After a few days, someone reached out from Brasil about translating the booklet. Lots-of-lots years ago.

SoundandFurySNothing-12 karma

Creativity does not belong in the relaxation and hobby section!

Who are you, my Dad?

Creativity is work god damn it and it’s a legitimate form of productivity that is distinct from a hobby or relaxing. FFS

If you have to put it somewhere, put it in with something, add it too the intellectualism category to avoid pissing off artists and writers like me.

Edit: It’s really simple, lumping in creativity and relaxation is insulting to my craft

raszpi3 karma

Wrong post maybe? I'm not sure what you mean.

SoundandFurySNothing-6 karma

In the year compass there is a category marked

“Relaxation, Hobbies and Creativity”

This offended me on the basis that it implies my work is easy, relaxing and shouldn’t be taken seriously, when that is a common misconception about creatives and creativity.

It is work. It’s my job and all my life I’ve had to deal with people who think it should be a hobby and that I should get a “real job.”

At this point I stopped being excited about the product because I was triggered.

There’s my negative customer feedback.

raszpi5 karma

Oh, I see. Thank you for clarifying for me.

I’ll add this to our product feedback board.