New spectroscopic surveys now allow to measure the detailed abundance and ages of stars throughout the Galactic disk. Having this information star‐by‐star, including ages, allows a qualitatively exploration of the evolution of the Milky Way's stellar body: which processes set the overall radial profile of the disk, which the present-day orbital of any star? To which extent is the disks' thickness a birth property, as opposed to a consequence of subsequent heating or flaring. How much formation memory does the Milky Way's disk retain? I will aim at providing (current) answers to these questions, and sketch out briefly my view of what is yet to come in the age of Gaia data.