Who: Every administrative assistant will beneift from keeping a work journal.

What: You can journal in many different ways. Unless you write faster than you type (unlikely), an electronic journal is the best option.Start a journal entry in a draft Outlook email and update it throughout the day.

Where: Keep your journal on your main computer. If you can use a program that syncs across all of your devices so that you can make notes wherever you are.

When: I would reccommend updating the journal with one-sentence summaries as things happen throughout the day. If you finish something on an on-going project, make a project update. If you get a weird phone call or hear something important at the water-cooler that you want to follow up on later, make a note of it right when it happens. Paste the journal into a word document at the end of the day.

Why: I wanted to start a work journal that would help me focus at work, plan for the future, while encouraging personal and professional growth. What I found out is — it drastically reduced my stress levels because there weren’t as many stray thoughts bouncing around my head all day.

How: This is the big question. I wanted something that would blend both work and personal well-being. In other words, I wanted something that logged work projects and also helped me track professional goals and progress. Customize your journal to what works best for you! Here are some questions to consider:

General Notes:

  • This person called
  • This person emailed
  • Remember to do this tomorrow

To-DoList for Tomorrow:

  • To-Do
  • To-Do
  • To-Do

Projects:

Major Work Project #1:

  • Called this person
  • Had this meeting
  • Decided this

Major Work Project #2:

  • Called this person
  • Had this meeting
  • Decided this

 What progress did I make today on this year’s goals?

Yearly Goal #1

  • Learned this
  • Did this

Yearly Goal #2

  • Nothing for today

Envision the future, Goals for Next Year:

Awesome future goal I thought I might want to do someday

 What supported me and motivated my work today? How can I sustain them tomorrow?

Daily Negative (Vent):

  • ______ is frustrating.

Daily Positive (Collect Compliments):

  • ______was nice.

Good luck on your starting your own work journal! Stick with it and you won’t be disappointed.