What’s a Work Journal and How Can it Boost Your Productivity, by Janelle Leonard

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Photo compliments of Morguefile.com

Are there days when you feel like you’ve accomplished NOTHING? It’s 5:00 pm and you think, what do I have to show for it? What have I done today?

You’re not alone.

My bestie, bouncing partner, and fellow writer, Janelle Leonard, came up with some great ideas to help boost her self-worth attitude about her productivity. When she followed these steps she realized she was far more productive than she originally thought.

I asked her to share her ideas with you and she agreed. Take it away Janelle:

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(Follow Janelle at her blog, The Writing Life.)

I recently read an article about knowing your own worth in the work place. One of the suggestions they gave was to keep track of your accomplishments by starting a work journal. I loved this idea, so I decided to start my own work “writing” journal.


Here’s how:

1. At the end of each day save time to jot down your writing highlights in a journal. Include all those tasks that were writing-related.

a. Things you accomplished,  completed, tried—WIP’s that you worked on or edited.

b. Books you reviewed (and where you reviewed them).

c. Book you edited.

d. Articles you wrote for magazines or blogs

e. Authors you met that day. I meet so many writers in the social media frenzy that it’s tough to keep track of who’s who, but they matter to me, so I want to keep track of who they are.

f. Who you “bounced” with—who inspired you, gave you an idea, or helped you get past a roadblock—encouragement you received from other writers.

g. Celebrations you participated in for other authors (books released,  awards/contests won).

i. Did you have a writing date away from home or did you do something silly or fun for another writer?

j. Who did you pray for that day?

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Here’s an example of my first 2 days: 

March 10, 2014

  • Worked on ENDICOTT (on Scrivener)
  • Made plans for a writing day at Barnes and Noble—TOMORROW!
  • Chatted/”bounced” with Michelle Weidenbenner
  • Re-blogged Carla Laureano’s “Five Mistakes Beginning Fantasy Writers Make” on my Facebook author page
  • Gave zombie sugar cookies to Laurel (She writes horror scripts! She’s amazing!) 

March 11, 2014

  • Oliver Dahl published/released LIES
  • Did a Review for LIES on Amazon, also shared link on my Facebook author page
  • Writing day at Barnes and Noble with my cousin!
  • Worked on ENDICOTT (on Scrivener)
  • Worked on TAKEN (in Word)
  • Got an idea for a short story

Why bother keeping a journal?

I can look back at the end of each month and see how productive I’ve been. Keeping track of the little things is a great way to help me see the progress I’ve made—most times it isn’t measurable. It’s easy to reflect on last month and think that I’ve accomplished nada. This way I’ll be able to actually see what has happened (the little and big), and make goals to do more next month!

Here’s the link to the full article that set me on this “writing/business journal” path, Career Advice to Know Your Own Worth in the Work Place.

How do you keep track of what you’ve accomplished for the week? 

Like Janelle’s FB page HERE.



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  1. Great post. I’m printing it out so I can read it again and apply the principles. Thanks

  2. Janelle Leonard says:

    Thanks for having me and sharing this! 🙂

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