My own reflections on this past year has revealed many voices that inspired me in some way shape or form. I think that far to often we read an insightful blog post, a thought provoking “tweet” on Twitter, or great comment in a forum thread, and don’t give it the proper due or take into account the lessons learned. These little transformations help to shape us.

That being said, here are some of the voices that inspired me in no particular order:

Jared Goralnick – I just love this guy. He is an incredibly giving person who lives life in a way other people only dream of. So many of the things I have read on his blog have made an impression on me. Most recently, his post on information overload helped to relieve me of the guilt of several unfinished books.

Clay Collins – Once again, a young man a really respect and admire. Someone who is living life according to his own rules and trying to inspire others to do the same.

Jane Quigley – I have to admit to a bit of an internet crush on Jane as part of a little mutual admiration society we seem to have fallen into. She has been incredibly supportive to me and my family through small but very meaningful deeds, actions and regular check-in’s. A truly compassionate person. Not to mention, whenever I want to know what is hot in the social networking space, I see what she is up to because she is always ahead of the game.

Merlin Mann – This should come as no surprise to regular readers here. That being said, this year his voice spoke to me even more so than before (and I know I am not alone). Mainly because, as one of the leading voices in the realm of personal productivity, he had the courage to stand up and call out the entire personal productivity movement that had descended into nothing but list posts and click through fodder. Most importantly, he inspired me to try to, especially with my own site, try to be just a little bit better.

John Gruber – Gosh, where do I even begin? First of all, no one writes about the Apple ecosystem with more honesty, depth and skill. You may not always agree with him but you have to respect him. Even when he decides to write about something like the movie E.T. it is like he jumped inside my id and expressed my ideas better than I could ever dream of. Also, I don’t think any of my web work would even exist without Markdown.

Rands – When I dream of what I wish this blog was like, in writing and content and style, my aspiration is Rands in Repose. There is not a single post that has not inspired me in some way or simply caused me to take a moment to think in a new and exciting way I had not done so before.

Brett Kelly – This year, Brett made the brave move of handing over the fairly popular Cranking Widgets blog to Andy Parkinson (see below). Brett has since been posting regularly to his own blog site and some mighty fine writing to be found with lots of other fun random content. Thanks to Brett for your example shows me how to admit when I am no longer giving something my full attention and move on without guilt and gracefully.

Andy Parkinson – Has taken the reigns of the Cranking Widgets blog, admirably filling the shoes of Brett Kelly. Andy, out of the gate, has shown an interest in taking the conversation of personal productivity to a new level. He has also been incredibly warm, open, and generous to me. It has been a pleasure getting to know him and I know he has great things in store for all of us in the coming year.

_I know I am likely missing many I will later regret after I publish this post (this is what updates are for so perhaps you may want to check back again later)_