Why You Should Keep a Work Journal

By Annabella Feeny


While the thought of journaling may evoke images of teenage angst and emotional ups and downs, this method has been continuously utilized by some of the world’s most influential and successful people such as Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, and Leonardo da Vinci. Keeping a daily journal can be a powerful, intentional tool for reflecting on your career journey, analyzing areas in need of growth, and showcasing your accomplishments. Done well, it can help you become more organized by giving you a safe space to collect your thoughts and re-envision your future. So, choose a journal and let’s get started!


Track Time

An active practice of timekeeping in your work journal can help you be more conscious and intentional of what your time is actually being dedicated to. This can give you valuable insight on areas that perhaps need more of your attention and ways to minimize disruptions going forward. 


Negotiate that Next Pay Rise or Promotion

One of the most stressful parts of the year is preparing for your annual review meeting and gathering all relevant evidence that exemplifies your past performance throughout the year. However, you can rest easy with your journal and wine glass in hand, having kept detailed records of projects you’ve worked on, people you’ve met and trained, and the times you went above and beyond the scope of your job. If you’ve kept detailed notes, everything you’ll want to discuss with your boss will be enclosed. 


Log Advice from Mentors 

Many affluent people attribute some part of their success to having a mentor that provided invaluable advice and perspective on issues that were important to their career development. However, being a mentee should not be a passive role. It is up to you to write down your mentor’s insight and review it ever so often, so that you are continuously working towards your goals. A journal can be a great way to do this. 


Envision the Future and Look back on the Past

Over time, your journal will likely help you to develop a more well-rounded, realistic sense of self. Patterns may emerge, you’ll see where your blind spots, struggles, and areas for improvement are; but also, where your strengths are and areas for potential. Conversely, your journal will show where you’ve succeeded on a project, had a great meeting with client, or simply felt confident in your skills and ability. Again, writing in a journal helps you to keep track and moreover, learn how to leverage your talents for your future goals. 



As you can see, keeping a work diary has so many benefits. If you’re looking to start a new habit for 2020, consider starting a daily work journal. It’s a great tool for reflection, organization, and goal tracking at work!



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