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Keeping a Journal

Did you ever find yourself breaking into your sibling’s room and ransacking the place trying to find the journal containing their darkest secrets? No? Well then you are a much nicer sibling than most of my friends. It’s also not a good idea to sneak-read your significant other’s journal, as they tend to not like you spying on them. Something about invasion of privacy and lack of trust.

The trend with most of my entries has been to slightly relate my introductory paragraph with the actual content of the entry. That tradition continues with this one, and yes, this entry is about keeping a journal. So stiffen up that upper lip and straighten up little solider, it’s time we talk about writing stuff down.

I kept a journal in college. However, instead of writing things like feelings down, I used it to keep track of appointments and assignments. You would be surprised at what you forget after a heavy meal and twelve rounds of HALO. Writing down who I was supposed to meet, what I was supposed to bring to the meeting and what we were supposed to talk about was always more beneficial than it was a waste of time. As new and brash adults, we like to think we can remember everything without help, and there are a few of us out there who can. But I like to play it safe and always have a backup.

The notes came in handy for keeping track of assignments as well. Writing down details about what the professor wanted or something specific to the paper to be used later saved my boney butt many times. Call me lame for being organized and detail oriented, but keeping a record saved me from long all nighters re-doing research the night before and caffeine headaches in the morning. When I was president of my fraternity, keeping track of meeting notes and what was covered from my perspective helped sort out discussions later on. It saved us from backtracking and avoiding the proverbial “one step forward, two steps back.”

Even at work I keep a journal of the assignments I need to get done that day. Right now, sitting next to my computer as I’m typing this out is my assignment journal with “write blog entries” scribbled in it. The journal comes in handy when my bosses ask me for daily updates on what I have been doing and when I have to write up a report of all the things I accomplished that week. Employers love details in that situation, so the more you can provide the better off you’ll be. You can make future assignments easier on yourself as well if you receive a similar task. That way you can look back at what you did as well as what you did right or what went wrong. Doing so will show consistency or improvement in your work- all good things that will help you land more responsibility and a greater position.

Here’s an insight my friends: no one is going to make fun of you for writing stuff down. It’s not a sign of weakness to make sure you don’t forget anything. That’s why computers have calendar applications and some of the most popular downloads involve note taking or annotating. A piece of paper and a pen work just a well, but it’s not as “cool.” Regardless of the method, keeping notes keeps your boss happy. A happy boss means you get to keep your job. And with that, I can check off one assignment in my journal.

Questions? Ideas or suggestions? Follow me on twitter @ChrisComella or email me at ccomella@sparkhire.com

IMAGE: Courtesy of Scox Images- Pictures of the Day

Christopher Comella

Christopher earned his BA in Political Science from DePaul University in 2011, and is no stranger to writing and deadlines. One of his greatest assets is to add humor to even the driest of subjects, which is why half of his professors love him and the other half hated his work.