Keeping a professional journal

I’m a big fan of Evernote, as anyone who’s ever asked me for app recommendations can attest. In my quest to never ever use Microsoft Word, Evernote has not only enabled this, but has changed the way I do my work.

Evernote notebooksIt’s marketed as a kind of scrapbook that will stay alive forever. They advocate many uses for it, like a food journal, movie log, vacation planner, research helper, and more. Back in good old 2011-12, I used it to organize and compose grad school assignments; now that I’m employed (hooray) it’s become indispensable for organizing projects — see the image at left for my most frequently used notebooks to get a sense of the organization possible. As a librarian, I compulsively categorize everything in my life.

See that “Done today” notebook? That’s been the best way to keep myself motivated, on track, and productive. It’s my professional journal, where every morning I list out that day’s mini-goals, long-terms goals I’m working on, and tasks I completed. It’s easy to lose track of what, exactly, you do all day, when you don’t have a visualization or documentation.

So for example, here’s how one February day’s entry read:

To do:

  • Enter info for IA books into Wonderfetch 
  • Write draft of essay and send to T and B
  • Form: change teaching overview


  • Change OCLC header (ILL)
  • Breadcrumbs 
    • workshop, blog post, database subject and alpha list 
  • LibGuides styling
  • eRes header again
    • some kind of javascript % popup problem
    • save page and try editing


  • Form modifications 
  • Sync databases
  • Type of info taxonomy on Dev server; waiting for N to populate new empty categories
  • implemented title ABC letter list in Find Articles box
  • changed formalize.css for less padding in drop down lists, new blue for submit buttons
  • fixed superfish menu style – arrows disappeared and gap below top menu items? wtf? 
    • arrows still gone; simplify by changing gif to tiny thing instead of a big gif that has to turn around or something stupid
    • calling jQuery might have done this — and improved Superfish menu speed!!! :D
  • touched up B’s picture
  • further improvements to John Jay wiki article

A lot of user interface modifications were completed that day, while a few others were still in To Do when I left. Some of the backburner tasks, to my shame, remain on the same burner.

I highly recommend keeping a professional journal — really helps to give edges to digital projects you might not otherwise be able to justify, describe, or provide history for. Other places to keep a professional journal: Google Drive, DayOne, iaWriter. (Just not Microsoft Word.)

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