The Weekly Margs by

Season 1 Recap with Stats and Charts

Look back at it


I’ve decided to call my first run of this newsletter, the previous 26 weeks’ worth of A-Z, Season 1. This week is not a typical issue, it’s going to be a recap of those 26 weeks, but with charts! But also, I’m sorry in advance to the 2 colorblind readers that I know have (and the others I don’t know I have), my marker set was not a great tool for providing accessible colors.

Somewhere along the way, I’ve picked up data visualization as a hobby, and love charting my own life, in a bit of a “quantified self” kind of way, like with the pennies that my family and I pick up or my swim routes. So I knew that one of the best way to look back at season 1 would be with visually with charts.

First, let’s look at a few quick stats:

It’s a fairly modest setup so far, but I’m happy with it. I think the distribution is small compared to big newsletters, but for this many people to be subscribed to me rambling about the minutiae of my life, is pretty good!

Now let’s get in to the fun stuff: the charts!

This chart is pretty simple, it’s just the number of photos in each issue. As noted above, I am considering some of the “mosaic” images (like the ones in E is for Every Day or in Y is for Your Pictures) to be a single photo, for simplicity’s sake. I broke out the Instagram embeds in L is for Lighthouse because they were separate photos. I think L also marks the beginning of an interesting trend: I mostly stuck to 4 pictures per issue before, but the average definitely seems to have gone up afterwards.

My initial goal with the newsletter was “about 4 pictures per week” since I figured that would be sustainable, but towards the end I worried less and got better at finding pictures to include, I think.

This is a breakdown by device. I try not to focus on the camera used to take each photo, because a good photo is a good photo, no matter where it came from.

The above distribution is by month the photo was taken. Overall, there’s a lot of a recency bias. For reference, the first issue of the newsletter was in November 2019, so all the photos included after that date were after the newsletter hard started.

A few highlights:

This might be my Pepe Silvia moment. The concept started as an idea for a “link timeline”. It took a few tries to get a somewhat readable layout instead of a jumble of multicolor spaghetti. Each arc represents when I linked from an issue to a past issue. The links are all unidirectional, since past issues can’t really link to future issues that don’t exist yet.

I’d had this idea for a summary with hand-drawn charts for a while, and I had to wait until I finished Z to be able to start this. I had a ton of fun putting these together, it’s my own little take on Michelle Rial’s creative watercolor charts. I hope you enjoyed these too!

Next week will be another recap, but a more qualitative one. It’ll have feelings and stuff and some notes about my creative process and some of the tooling I use. Thanks again for sticking around and we’ll see you next week!