Refer To Your Annual Review Regularly To Make The Next One Easier

We just finished our annual review process here at Lifehacker. While the questions were pretty painless, I found myself almost banging my head on the desk trying to remember what I did best and what I did worst from the beginning of the year. Next time, I'll use a copy of the review form and fill it out throughout next year.

Photo by alexskopje (Shutterstock)

This is similar to keeping a work accomplishments file (useful when interviewing for a new job or negotiating a raise), but more specifically to make the inevitable annual review process easier. Instead of trying to think back 12 months, you'll have a record of your performance and issues as they happened.

Looking at the questions often throughout the year could also be motivating -- a reminder of your professional goals.


    If one works in an office where weekly/bi-weekly/monthly status reports are the rule, this is much easier. I did my annual review in about 90 minutes a few weeks ago by bringing up a folder of status reports, and going through them to categorize completed items appropriately. I also added in a quick perusal of source control check-ins and support records to verify that I didn't leave out any random tweaks. Worst case is The Email Trawl, which I have also done at prior employers.

    It's still not as painful as the days before one's work life was recorded in fairly good detail electronically.

    FYI - Our status reporting is bi-weekly, and to ensure that it's not too difficult to do the first of the two weeks the day before status meeting day, at the end of every week, I spend 15 minutes looking over what I've done during the past week and summarizing it in an email to myself.

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