How I’m collecting testimonials

One idea I picked up recently and started to implement is the systematic collection of testimonials. I’ve seen them all over the place, especially online. I’ve heard before how useful they can be, on websites, the backs of books, and so on. All that, but I never thought to do it personally.

Until I got the idea from Ramit Sethi, the personal finance author.

First, I sifted through some emails. I archive most emails I get if they have anything interesting in them. I looked especially through the emails I’ve received in response to posts on Marshallogue. Among those, I found some encouragement I’d been sent. I tagged them as “testimonials.”

Second, I went back through some of my performance reviews as a teacher in Korea and my evaluations from taking my TESOL course in Thailand. In both cases, I’d received written feedback from my peers and my supervisors and teachers. I collected that into a single document.

Third, reminded of school, I looked back through some notes I had and photocopies of papers professors had returned to me after grading. I remembered one of them in particular included a note about how I should get one of them published in an academic journal. I found some others I’d forgotten as well.

Fourth, I rummaged through a bunch of emails and papers and stuff I had from back when I’d asked friends to tell me what they liked best about me and where I needed to improve the most. I’d asked the questions for this a while back but only recently archived it with the other feedback I’d received.

I also recorded who gave the feedback for each of these.

Finally, I gathered all of this and put it into one mega document. Now, whenever I need or want it, I can whip out a digital piece of paper with lines and lines of encouragement I’ve received from friends and family, co-workers and supervisors, teachers and even students I’ve taught.