We are YearCompass, an international movement which creates a free booklet that helps you to close 2021 and plan 2022, available in 52 languages. Ask us anything about 1) closing your year and planning your next 2) running a nonprofit with 100+ vo...
tl;dr: We are here to convince you to review your year and to plan your next, because New year's resolutions don't work.
YearCompass is a free booklet that helps you reflect on the year and plan the next one. With a set of carefully selected questions and exercises, YearCompass helps you uncover your own patterns and design the ideal year for yourself.
Learn from your mistakes, celebrate your victories, and set out a path you want to walk on. All you need is a quiet few hours and our booklet.
Feel free to ask us anything about closing your year and planning your next, running a nonprofit with 100+ volunteers and 1.5M+ booklet downloads and also about time management and self-development.
Our webpage here:
Instagram posts from around the world about us:
Yes, we have a lot of ideas.
We are testing a daily, weekly and monthly planner, but we are not that happy with results yet, so we are back with drawing board with that.
We are also testing the idea to create modules for the YearCompass planner: more specific questions and exercises about relationships, children, career...etc.
And more :)
YearCompass is a free booklet … running a nonprofit with 100+ volunteers
What does your revenue stream look like? Since you aren’t charging for a product, I would assume you sell advertising data based on user responses?
First of all: we don't sell any data and won't, also we don't store the user responses, the digital version is a fillable pdf so the answers are only on the user's computer.
Also this is a "hobby" project for us, so we don't expect to get anything out of it, we really just want more self-aware people in the world :)
We got our own companies, most of the core team is working in their IT education startup and I have an IT development company. Of course it would be nice to work on this full time, and we are testing ideas every year, but the year planning booklet will be always free.
You didn’t answer my question at all. Even with a volunteer workforce, this company has expenses and thus must have revenue. Are you, personally, paying for all costs like hosting servers, software, legal costs, etc? Do you have wealthy benefactors? Do “employees” actually all pay into this project?
Nothing is free. Websites cost money to host.
What is the revenue stream for this company?
In the first few years we payed for it from our own pockets and with time. As time passed we set up a shop where you can order a printed booklet, but it is only available in Hungary. Also we have a patreon.
Also there isn't too much cost for hosting, the site is a static site hosted on AWS if I remember it correctly. Almost all of us are developers, so the development needed for the booklet management and generating the booklets was done by us.
I've been doing this since 2014-2015 and love offering it as a Christmas present to my loved ones.
This year I also happened to want to branch out and gift it to a 10 year old and realized (and I meant to contact you all for this question but ended up lazing out, ha):
Will we get to have a YearCompass Kids, some day? I think it would be amazing to be able to do it with 5-12 year olds, a simplified and age-appealing version.
I think you will, hopefully next year :) Also we think about creating supplements / modules for relationships, career...etc.
Why do you need a team of 100+ people, to support hosting a 10 page PDF?
to translate it into 52 language :)
I've not heard of this before. I went to the website and downloaded it to have a look, as I tend to appreciate introspective things. I read the questions on the first 4 pages then began to wonder "How long is this thing?", so I looked at the side bar. It's 20 pages long. 😳
Nope, I can't do it. I cannot maintain focus or interest for that long and have far too many other things to get done today (and everyday). This would take an entire day for me to complete and I still have no understanding of what the purpose is. The first question of Go through last year's calendar week by week - was I supposed to be keeping a diary of events? I can't recall what I had for dinner two days ago, how am I supposed to remember every week over an entire year??
Is there a condensed, ADD appropriate version?
Yep, it's long. We are currently thinking about how to solve this user experience, but for now we can only suggest to do it in 1-2 hour blocks.
This would take an entire day for me to complete and I still have no understanding of what the purpose is.
Lot of people feel that the previous year flew by, so this exercise helps to realize how much stuff has happened. Also to prepare you for the next pages, to get you in the mindset.
The first question of Go through last year's calendar week by week - was I supposed to be keeping a diary of events? I can't recall what I had for dinner two days ago, how am I supposed to remember every week over an entire year??
Calendar, photos in your phone, instagram, anything that helps you remember what happened the past year.
Is there a condensed, ADD appropriate version?
Not yet, but you can read through it and only do the questions that make the most sense for you.
When did you start developing this? Did you create this with a team or is this your own refined strategy?
The first iteration was in 2011 for a New Year's Eve with friends, and the first downloadable booklet in 2012.
The core team is around 6-8 people, depending on the year and depending on the core team's life situation (family, work...etc.).
About the strategy: for the growth part the main strategy is word-of-mouth, so far it works.
Did you think about doing one for the pandemic year? It’s been a tough one.
Last year we've had one, not sure why it wasn't included this year.
Wonderful job on the booklet, congratulations to the whole team! I have been using it for couple of years and I always am amazed how useful the process turns out to be.
- What is the biggest challenge in managing such a big team of volunteers?
- Does your job focus only on the booklet activities? If not, what else are you focusing on as a non-profit?
- When it comes to the booklet, are you planning on upgrading it or giving it a refinement? Do you have anything left to do with it, apart from managing translators, as the structure of the review is pretty much standardized?
- Where does your funding come from? Is there any way I can support you? Maybe with a donation?
- Why the 2020 Pandemic Supplements (I'm one of the translators BTW) are no longer available to download on the website?
Keep up the good work, cheers!
Why the 2020 Pandemic Supplements (I'm one of the translators BTW) are no longer available to download on the website?
Forgot to answer this one, sorry. I am not sure, I think we didn't have the time to do it this year. (why I am not sure: I've just had a daughter a few weeks ago, so I've missed some team meetings this year)
Congrats for having new family member! Have an easy comeback to work duties!
Thank you :)
What is the biggest challenge in managing such a big team of volunteers?
I think since the pandemic a lot of people can relate to the problems of managing groups of people remotely :) But to be more specific, the biggest challenge is to reach the translators and reach them in time if change something in the booklet, staying in touch with them and share news about what happened in each season.
Does your job focus only on the booklet activities? If not, what else are you focusing on as a non-profit?
Our mission is to bring self-knowledge to as many people as possible around the world. The booklet is the best solution for this and for now, but we are trying out new ideas.
When it comes to the booklet, are you planning on upgrading it or giving it a refinement? Do you have anything left to do with it, apart from managing translators, as the structure of the review is pretty much standardized?
We think the booklet is mostly done, but we are starting to experiment with creating and adding optional modules for the booklet about relationships, children, career...etc.
Where does your funding come from? Is there any way I can support you? Maybe with a donation?
In the beginning we funded the project, but because almost all of us are developers it was mainly a time investment. If you want to support us, we have a patreon: https://www.patreon.com/yearcompass
Thanks for the questions, have a nice year planning! :)
I love this! I've done it last 2 years and intend to start mine tomorrow too.
First question for someone who tries and fails to keep a proper calendar every year; do you have any other suggestions for trying to create short-cuts to different memories each year? I always struggle to remember what I've done when I look back. I use OneDrive and it throws up 'on this day in x year' with old photos, so I was thinking I could take a photo every day or something as a way of making 2022 a more memorable year for a start.
Second question would be: do you change the content year on year, for instance in relation to developments in positive psychology etc., or does your format tend to stay the same?
do you have any other suggestions for trying to create short-cuts to different memories each year?
Like you've said photos. I try to take photos every time I meet with friends or go the a restaurant, stuff like that. In the first few months I forgot a lot of times, but since it become a habit.
do you change the content year on year, for instance in relation to developments in positive psychology etc., or does your format tend to stay the same?
the format mostly stays, but we have some psychologists friends who reviewed it and tell us if some good research comes out on the topic.
Does this method actually work? I know it depends on each person and how determined they are, but do you have any data on how many individuals who filled out and worked through the booklet ended up achieving some of their goals?
Our first big review of the booklet around 2013 was to review the questions and exercises based on the principles of positive psychology research. So it should work :)
Do you have opinions on setting goals vs intentions?
For me a goal is a more specific thing and it can be based on intentions :) ( check out SMART goals )
Intentions can be lost quite easily. For example this year I wanted to start working out, but didn't set it as a proper goal, so I didn't and I also gained around 10 pounds / 5kg :)
So this year I definitely will set it as a proper SMART goal.
What is different in this year's compass pdf booklet compared to last year's compass pdf booklet? If there are no changes, please tell us the last change made previously. Please be as specific as possible. Thank you.
Checked the git repository and new layout and some revisioned texts is what I see as changed. I can get a more specific answer tomorrow if you need it.
Basically there are some small changes every year, after reading the feedback from the previous year. Mainly text revisions, so everything is more clear, because english is not our main language.
Also these changes need some time until the translators translate it, we regenerate the pdfs and then you can download them.
So that's our cycle: we get feedback, make updates, wait for the translations, regenerate, release :)
What in your opinion makes YearCompass ‘different’? What’s your ‘secret sauce’? (Said as someone who literally just heard of you via this AMA.)
What in your opinion makes YearCompass ‘different’?
Absolutely free, minimalist, focus on closing the previous year as well not just planning your next, translated to a lot of languages.
I wish I know this YearCompas earlier (a few years earlier).
Is there a plan to make it online format? Then users can choose to be reminded every 3-months or in December. And it will not be lost.
Is there a plan to make it online format?
We made an online version around 2014, but it wasn't used. Maybe we will try it again in a few years. Would you be comfortable with an online version? I mean some of our questions can have deeply personal answers and afaik last time this was a common issue and feedback for the online version.
Gordon Freeman? Is that you?
Yes and this AMA is Half-life 3 :)
Nagyon király meg minden de mi történt /u/frkandrissal? Elengedte teljesen az /r/hungary - t?
Elküldtem Andrisnak az üzeneted :)
I'm defo gonna do it again this year. Third year I'm going for it. Also did translation for y'all. You do good work!
Do you have any plans for future development?
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