Keeping a worklog

When young, I never understood the point of a journal or diary. I’m now a strong proponent of journals, though occassionally forgetful

I’ve got a personal diary, my physical notebook for daily stuff, and my training diary (via Strava activities).

The physical notebook is a poor medium for keeping a summary of my work. It’s too verbose and difficult to share with people who might be interested in what I’m up to. Since my current job, I’ve kept an achievement doc that I stuffed in anything I thought would be useful for my promotion case. This kind of worked, and I’m glad I did it

Whilst reading the Software Engineer’s Guidebook I came across the section on the worklog. This is similar to my achievement doc, but done weekly. I liked the format so I am giving it a go. My long and medium term priorities stay as recurring bullet points in each weekly section. Work such as design docs and pull requests are added to these. I like journalling, so I’ve also embellished it with some thoughts on the week. As an experiement I’ve put it in a shared directory, so my team can see it.

You can sense the good intentions in the post. It’s January! Knowing I’m full of January enthusiam, I’ve also pondered on how to make it a habit.

My current plan is:

  1. A daily reminder (via slack) to open my worklog. This is simple. I don’t have to add anything, just open it every day. As the habit grows I will raise the difficultly.
  2. A weekly reminder on a Friday afternoon to finish the weekly entry. Add some thoughts on the week, prepare next week’s entry.

Here’s a santised version of this week:


Goal for week: Orientate for the year

Normally I find the post-christmas period quite hard, so I’ve been pleased with this week. Feeling refreshed.