recaps of the top 'ask me anything' interviews from reddit and more...
We are the YearCompass team (a free booklet that helps you to close 2019 and plan 2020, available in 39 languages), ask us anything about 1) closing your year and planning your next 2) running a nonprofit with 100+ volunteers and 1.000.000+ booklet downloads

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 39 different languages (translated by volunteers) and had 1.200.000 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

Instagram posts from around the world about us:

- https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/yearcompass/

Today will be here from the core team:

- /u/raszpi

- /u/frkandris

Proof:

- Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/YearCompass/posts/2418194558430845

- Twitter post: https://twitter.com/YearCompass/status/1211316923755094016


17
questions
2,355
score
December 29th 2019
interview date
cieuxrouges

I like this idea. There are a lot of studies suggesting that self reflection and goal setting really helps with overall attitude. How many years have you guys been filling out these booklets? What’s the most profound thing you learned when going over past year’s books?


raszpi

> How many years have you guys been filling out these booklets?

8 years for most of us, we did it every year. Some of us started to create more complex versions for themselves, because of changed life situations.

> What’s the most profound thing you learned when going over past year’s books?

For me it's that it is okay to fail goals and bring them over to your next year. I think I wrote down every year for 8 years to "finish school". I have only 4 exams left and if everything goes well I will finish it next year.

I've had lots of anxiety issues about stuff like that. YearCompass did not solve that, but for me it was part of the solution :)

canquilt

Can you give some examples of prompts that help people close the current year and plan for the next?


raszpi

Some examples about the questions in the booklet:

What were you not able to accomplish?

What are you the most proud of?

Who are the three people you influenced the most?

Also there is a lot of not-so-questions like "Define the most important aspects of next year in the following areas (personal life and family, work / studies / profession, belongings / home / objects, relaxation / hobby / creativity, friends / community, health / fitness, intellectual, emotional / spiritual, finances, bucket list)".

Stuff like that :)

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raszpi

All of us were volunteers in other organisations, we like to help people.

Would be great to make a living out of this? Sure, but not likely and we know it. We don’t even ask for an email address when you download it.

( also for the sweet reddit karma :) )

JackDeath1223

Is this booklet for all ages? This made me really curious and it seems a beutiful work!


raszpi

For a while most of us were volunteer time management trainers and people under 18 didn’t really see the value of setting goals. But everyone is different, I’m sure it works with people under 18 as well :)

Also we started to notice that people created custom year closing / planning booklets for couples, children, seniors...etc. We have some ideas to build on that (customizable questions and modules) if we have the time.

weekdaysexdidgeridoo

If I read your title and description and still have no idea what you’re talking about there may be a branding problem. ???


raszpi

I’m sorry. English is not our first language, but we’re really trying.

So in thee sentence: we made a booklet with questions. The questions help you close your year and plan your next. People seem to like it.

gruenkariert

How exactly can closing one year and planning the next make people more "awesome", in your experience? What qualities do people improve with the practice you suggest in your booklet?


raszpi

What I saw: people get a lot of closure when they start to think about their past year for a few hours. Every year we get emails about traumatic losses (ex. child loss) and how YearCompass helped them a bit.

For me it helps me remember how long a year really is how many things happened. I think I’m more patient, more calm. Planning helps me to really do what I want, because I have my goals for my year, I can make decisions easier.

pgadey

Would this be an interesting way to spend New Year's Eve? How long does it take?


raszpi

If I remember it correctly /u/frkandris did this as a New Year's Eve program exercise for his friends. I'll ask him to write about it here :)

SD_Bolts

Have you made any big changes to the booklet since it was first released? If so, why?


raszpi

We made several in the first two years, not too much after that. The main reason was we asked for and got feedback. Also we consulted with our psychologist friends, they gave us valuable feedback as well.

After that the feedback got out of scope for the booklet ( mainly that we should create a week planner, month planner or things like that )

MarveliteFreak

Is this a way to plan out your New Years resolutions?


raszpi

Yes.

I really don't like New Years resolutions, because I've failed with that mentality lots of times and it made me feel miserable and weak. You can't change everything from one day to another.

Of course, most of the NYRs are more than that, but they kind of reflect that mentality. Start going to the gym, eat healthy, get a promotion...etc. You can't do everything at once. At least I couldn't.

So I started to plan it out and scretch it out. Focus on one thing, build habits, move on to another. Still not a superhuman, but two weeks ago I ran my first 5k in the gym. Works for me.

_ihavemanynames_

I’ve done this last year after you posted on Reddit and found it amazingly helpful. Thank you so much for the time and energy you put into this project.

I wonder what your organisation does on a day-to-day basis. Where are the volunteers located and what do they do?


raszpi

We are only active between september-january, and only part-time. In the autumn we prepare everything for the release, check up on the feedback, communicate with the translators (big shoutout for them), create the booklets, update the webpage, make a few things better, try new ideas. Not too much, but very much when you have a job :)

Our volunteers are around the world, they mainly help us in the translations, the pdf layout (if the language does not use the latin alphabet) and giving us feedback. Some of them also tries to promote the YearCompass in their country by creating events or writing about us.

FromTorono

I LOVE year compass and have recc'ed to many friends.

What's something you would like people to know about year compass?

Also, would you ever change the questions to year compass, or would you keep them the same?

Lastly, why is the forgiveness section so large? I personally love that, but I did wonder at why the huge emphasis on it.


raszpi

> What's something you would like people to know about year compass?

Three things:

  1. It is a lot of work :)
  2. We don't want to sell you a product, we want to share the idea. We believe in this, there is no hidden agenda or scheme.
  3. It's not obvious but we are working a lot on developing the whole thing. In the past years we automated a lot of stuff and there are a lot of work-in-progress projects. For example: to recreate the home page, create a day/week/month compass and a lot of other stuff. We want to keep building on this :)

> Also, would you ever change the questions to year compass, or would you keep them the same?

For now, we want to keep the questions. We have ideas to add modules and / or to have a booklet creator based on your current life situation.

> Lastly, why is the forgiveness section so large? I personally love that, but I did wonder at why the huge emphasis on it.

If you had a rough year you could have a lot to forgive :).

priya90r

After filling up the Year Compass booklet, what would you recommend to achieve the goals outlined for the year?

What method/plan/resources do you personally use to achieve your focus for the year?


raszpi

> After filling up the Year Compass booklet, what would you recommend to achieve the goals outlined for the year?

That really depends. There is a lot of time-management stuff out there and you need to create your own system for that (but we have a work-in-progress project to create day / week / month compasses, to help people in that). When I was a time management trainer my favorite tool was week planning. Every sunday evening, check your todo list, your goals for the year and plan your next week. Don't forget to have relax time, or you'll burn out in a few days and everything goes to shit :)

> What method/plan/resources do you personally use to achieve your focus for the year?

Currently I use a trello board with 4 columns: To do, Selected to do, Doing / Waiting, Done and week planning. Most of the guys in the team have more complex systems for week planning with habbit trackers, rules about failed todos. Slowly create your own system, try out things and see what works for you.

universe-atom

Is there a story how your project affected someone's life you heard of? Btw: I love your work and have done it the third year in a row.


raszpi

Yes. Lots :) People like to reach out in a message or in email if they really-really like it and they got something out of it. Most often we get stories about how it helped them to start new things. New job, relationships, traveling somewhere.

And then there are the tearjerkers. Stories about addiction, death, stillbirth, rape. From people who gone through a lot and we somehow helped them a bit and they shared this with us. I'm really grateful and humbled to be a small part in that process.

Pilot-Panda

Who are you selling the email list to? And why is it required that I subscribe in order to even see a preview of the book?


raszpi

No one, also it’s not required.

After download the web page scrolls to the subscription but it’s not mandatory.

Maybe your browser blocks the pdf somehow?

cityofklompton

So.... How do I actually download the booklet? I've tried several times. Every time I make my selection and click to download, your website scrolls down to 'subscribe.' I have even subscribed.

I still have no booklet.


raszpi

Is it possible your browser blocks it? Does an icon appear in your browsers address bar?

GetRiceCrispy

What upvote bots do you use? Because I don't even understand what you are selling, but this screams AD AD AD. It's peculiar to me you have 2k upvotes at 85% with no negative top comments, while selling a confusing product.


raszpi

We don’t use upvote bots and we are not selling anything. It’s completely free.

People just like it.

BuildTheWalls

Sounds like some dianetics bullshit. Are you Scientology?


raszpi

No and we are not affiliated to any religious or political organization.

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