New Year Planning in Tana

Renée De Four
4 min readDec 20, 2023

Over the years, I’ve grown to look forward to the annual review and planning process as a time for self and life reflection. While I enjoy it, I’ve realized that my current process has a few flaws. As someone who is no stranger to setting high standards, I’m aware that some of these flaws share a common culprit: perfectionism.

I’ve been noticing that many of the answers to escaping perfectionism lie within observing and learning from nature. From being open to different seasons to embracing the beauty of imperfection, I hope to apply these principles to my own life in the coming year.

Perfectionism often hinders flexibility and resilience while nature demonstrates adaptability through its changing seasons. Just as the natural world evolves and transitions seamlessly, I want to approach life with a more flexible mindset.

For the upcoming year, I want to focus on setting realistic goals and sustainable habits, prioritizing progress over perfection.

To implement these changes, I’ve adapted my annual planning workflow in Tana by first creating a hub node for everything related to annual planning titled “2024 Compass”. This node is separated into 5 areas (see below for a closer look at each) and is pinned to my daily page allowing me to easily access this information for making adjustments and updates.

2024 Compass Node in Tana

The daily page in Tana with my 2024 compass node expanded.

North Star

It’s always important to keep coming back to the why behind what we do — that’s why North Star is the first node in this system. It currently has 3 components:

  • Vision — questions and answers that I refer to frequently to clarify my direction.
  • Values — the core principles that guide my goals and habits.
  • Personal Philosophy — a compilation of ideas that are being distilled under the headings of major life areas.

Goals

Instead of making detailed plans for each month on a quarterly basis, I’ve given myself space for a quarterly and monthly focus which is a less rigid format. There’s nothing fancy here, just a simple table where I can outline key goals that I want to focus on per quarter. My approach to those quarterly goals will be outlined in the monthly focus below.

Habits

There are 2 components to my habit tracking system in Tana. I track daily habits and I also have a monthly habit tracking momentum table that will give me a bird’s eye view of progress over the year.

I like this idea of habit tracking momentum vs streaks. It acknowledges the fact that life happens — it’s okay to slow down but progress can still continue afterwards.

The art of sustainable progress by PJ Milani

Routines

This is where my monthly reviews live. I stopped doing weekly reviews because…well, I never did them consistently and I don’t think they’re sustainable for me. Reviews on a monthly basis feel more natural and give a better scale of time for assessing what’s working and what’s not.

A closer look at my monthly review from November 2023.

Memories

Lastly, my time capsule is included in the 2024 compass node as a reminder to appreciate life’s gifts. Here’s a tutorial on how you can build you own in Tana.

Excited to share that I’m working on my first course! If you’re interested in a beginner friendly course that teaches Tana essentials in one day or less, sign up here: http://reneedefour.com/tanakeys 🎉

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Renée De Four

Trinidadian based creative and organization enthusiast. Interested in digital workspaces and tools. Building my 1st course: reneedefour.com/tanakeys