Keep a work diary.
Look back and learn from your experience.
- What have you accomplished?
- What have you learned?
- What problems did you run into? How did you solve them?
- What questions will the next person have when they join your project?
Not everyone learns from their experience, but you can force yourself to learn by writing it down.
Find a teammate to share your answers with. A lot of things click once you have to explain it to someone else—once you have to say it out loud.
FAQ: How to Keep a Work Diary
Tanner, I’ve never kept a diary before. How do I do that? What does it even look like?
- Open your text editor.
- Save a new file with today’s date.
- List the things you’re working on.
- Keep your editor open during the day and add notes as they come to you.
Personally, I like to keep one file per week. Then in each week’s file, I’ll add a date heading for each day and list my notes below that. (I’ve found that having fewer files makes them easier to go through later.)
I keep two kinds of work diaries:
- Logs: Literally just a daily list of things I worked on. Useful for looking back at the end of the week/month/year to see what I did.
- Show and Tell: Cool things I’ve found, learned, or want to check out later. If you keep nothing else, keep one of these—and share it!
You can organize yours however you want, but here are some quick screenshots of my own to get you started: