Kai Oelfke

My 2020 in review

Why do I do this?

I always enjoyed reading yearly reports of other people. This is the first attempt at making my own. And I try it as an alternative to social media updates. So this is for my future self and anyone, who wants to know what I’ve been up to. And in best the transparency inspires someone.

Questions and comments are welcome.

Side Projects

In 2020 I only worked on Amicu. Here are some statistics for 2020:

Amicu App Store Statistics

Milestones I achieved:

I’m very happy with these results. It’s more than I expected. But not enough revenue to reach minimum wage for the invested time.

In 2021 I want to continue with Amicu. But also work on other side projects. One goal is to build more in public. In 2020 I shared progress on IndieHackers, Makerlog, and ProductHunt. I want to post more on Twitter and try blogging.


My income from my main job for some months was less due to reduced working time within the pandemic.

70% of the costs is apartment related. The remaining 30% splits in:

The low costs are thanks to frugalism and minimalism. I use the passive investment approach with two index ETFs.

My portfolio gained 8657 € with an internal rate of return of 15,9 %. My net worth reached 85.192 € until the 31 December. The max drawdown was 33% from 19 February to 23 March. It’s astonishing how fast the markets recovered even though the pandemic is far from over. But I guess inflation plays a big role here.

Net worth diagram


Before and especially with the pandemic my days had a rigid routine. The only big exceptions were two trips.


A short trip to Kuala Lumpur and Penang. With my mother this time. I’m glad I could meet my Penang friends at least once in 2020.

Meetup with Couchsurfing Penang Friends View from Penang hill hike Coconuts in Penang National Park

Czech Republic

I went to Brno for a friend’s birthday. The cases were very low in Germany and Czech Republic. Lot’s of nature and cycling.

Cycling in the mud More cycling somewhere in Moravia Sunset at a tiny lake


2020 I tracked some things. Here’s how it went and what I’ll change in 2021.


I reached a 600-day streak. Duolingo helps me keep my meta-habit-discipline strong. But I did only one exercise per day. Compared to 2019 I studied 17% fewer words, but also spend 70% less time. Which means Duolingo or I got more efficient?

I’d like to make French and Spanish tree golden again. But not this year. So I keep it simple with one exercise per day.

Duolingo 2020 year in review screenshot

Cold showers

Cold showers aren’t fun, but very refreshing. I kept it up until November. It’s important to keep the body warm enough. And I didn’t always manage this. Which resulted in small colds. But with the pandemic, I prefer to not have any symptoms. So this became an excuse.

I will start again after COVID.

Intermittent Fasting

I did three longer fasts of around 40 hours. On average I fasted 19,5 hours per day. My streak is at 500+ days. And I usually did sports in a fasted state. Besides the health benefits, it’s nice to be less hungry and more focused.

In 2021 I’m aiming for an 18h average.

Fasting 2020 year in review screenshot


I managed to meditate daily for around 100 days and then lost track. From then on it was only at random times. It makes a big difference though in my sleep quality, positivity and calmness.

I started again in 2021 and I’m at 30 days.


2020 was way more active. I was running, cycling, and doing high-intensity interval training. I set many records like running my first half-marathon. And a quarter iron man distance. It’s cool to experience what kind of improvement is possible with consistent training. In 2019, when I started running I could not run for 30 mins without a break.

The most interesting thing I learned about sports is that it’s possible to do a lot in little time. High-intensity is the key. I do Tabata with running and cycling besides the HIIT bodyweight workouts.

It’s also clear that this boosts my mental performance when e.g. programming.

But I won’t continue the Sundays, where I did 15-21 km running and 45-90 km cycling. Instead, I’ll do one run of 5 km or longer and one Tabata cycling session.

Running 2020 year in review screenshot


I’m checking in daily and reading two quotes. I didn’t manage to journal so far.

2021 I focus on only reading stoic quotes.


Good sleep is not easy for me. It can take time to fall asleep. Too much and too little sleep affects me negatively. So having a consistent sleep time helps. It also eliminates to need for an alarm. But it’s hard to keep it consistent.

Sleeping and waking up early is great for productivity, but bad for socializing. I still need to experiment here for the right schedule. I also like spontaneity and it’s a conflict.


I had the plan to read more books but didn’t manage. There was no time left after my projects and sports. I need to reprioritize here to change this.

But I read:

It doesn’t have to be crazy at work:

Good insights on a calmer way of working.

Shape up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters

Another Basecamp book and also interesting. I’ve already experienced many ways to do software development. The process described here is quite different.

The Manual by Epictetus

It’s still one of my favorite books to read.

Glücklich ohne Geld!

It’s interesting to read how one can survive on the excess of society. At the end of 2020, a friend joined a food sharing organization in Berlin. Since then I’m experiencing it also in person. The food rescued by my friend is enough to feed him and some friends including me. It’s shocking how much is wasted.


An incomplete list of things I learned in 2020


I switched from Chattyco to CarOnSale to work on their car inspection app in Flutter.

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