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

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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