New Book and New Project: 8/06/2021

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This is a bit of a longer issue, but there are lots of exciting things happening this week! 

As I hinted at in last week’s newsletter, I have finally finished Firewall: A Brief Guide to Building a Resilient Life. It’s nice to have the project over the finish line and out into the wild. 

Rather than go through the normal process of uploading and selling the book on Amazon or other online stores, I decided to publish this book for free on my website. I just compiled the manuscript down to PDF, .epub, and .mobi files and posted them for anyone to download. You can read the official announcement, here.

So, why offer the book for free?

Well, if I’m being honest, it was the quickest way to get the project out the door so I could move on to the next thing. If you remember back a few issues ago, I talked about the idea of building a Small, Boring Product. As I was working on the Firewall project, I had an idea for an SBP rolling around in my head for the last few weeks. Finally, the muse pulled hard enough and I got enamored with the concept and started writing down all my thoughts about the project. The momentum and excitement of getting to work on building the product motivated me to just get the book written and done so I could start putting my ideas into action. 

So, here we are. The book is done and I’ve already started the process of road mapping the next gig, which brings me to…

If Firewall is a book about helping you construct a framework and establish processes to help you build a resilient life, then Review Cadence gives you the tools to help you put the theory into practice. 

In the book, I talk about the power of personal reviews. I’m a big believer in the ritual of reflection and assessment and have seen hundreds of other people going through similar processes. Generally, I conduct these reviews on an annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis. It’s a steady cadence of self-assessment throughout the year that helps me reflect on where I’ve been and establish goals for where I want to go. Honestly, it’s the heart of just about every personal development system.

Most people will do these reviews with pen and paper, or they might open up a Word document on their computer and use a template or something similar. The problem with this approach is that with as many reviews as you will be doing throughout the year(s), papers and documents can quickly become disorganized and overwhelming. Additionally, there are a few administrative hassles that come with the process such as asking the right questions, finding a template to work with, backing up all the different files in case of disaster, remembering to schedule and conduct the reviews, and others.

This is where Review Cadence comes in. 

The idea for this project is to build a centralized, web-based application that focuses on one thing - giving you simple, well-designed tools that help you harness the power of personal reviews. 

I’ve got a rough landing page setup, but I’m still in the beginning stages of planning features and figuring out what functionality will be rolled out in the initial release. My goal is to have some basic functionality rolled out and getting feedback within a month or so (hopefully sooner). The plan is to build and iterate in very small steps along the way. Here’s a screenshot of the quick and dirty page that I put together:

So, who will Review Cadence be for? 

Anyone who embraces the examined life. There are people all over the world who, like me, find value in the process of conducting personal reviews on an annual, quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis. If you’re one of those people, or you are someone who is looking to institute some sort of routine review process in your life, then I hope that Review Cadence will give you the tools to get started.  

I don’t plan to write too much about the process of building the product here in this newsletter as I want to keep The Polymath’s Almanac focused on its original goal of providing interesting articles, links, videos, podcasts, people, etc. from around the web. But, I may occasionally mention updates about how the project is going. 

If Review Cadence sounds like something you might be interested in and would like to stay updated on the development process, early beta access, and latest news, just hop over to and subscribe! 

At some point, I’ll probably add a project page to my website to track the development, but until then, you can also get updates, ask questions, and find out much more by contacting me on Twitter.

Believe it or not, with all of the things going on, I still came across some pretty interesting things in my Internet travels this week. Below are the field notes.

Field Notes for the week: