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What Is Your System for Documenting Work?

DocsOver the last few years, we’ve spilled a fair amount of digital ink on the importance of keeping good records. We’ve talked about what to keep, since good documentation is important whether you’re writing an annual review or going through the “tenure box” in preparation for a bid for tenure and/or promotion.

We’ve also noted the importance of keeping records up to date.

What I’m learning is that I’m likely to be able to update my records more accurately — and without it feeling like a huge task — if I’m regularly documenting the work I’m doing. And by “regularly” I mean at least weekly.

Such regular documentation isn’t something I’ve been at all good at this past year (though fortunately I have concrete examples of course work I can point to, as well as a transcript). One of my goals for the coming academic year is to document my work regularly.

What I’ve yet to determine is what kind of system I want to set up to capture this information. One thing I know for certain: any system that doesn’t make it really quick and easy to file the information I need isn’t a system I’m likely to use consistently. I’m thinking about setting up some kind of notebook/tagging system in Evernote, since it’s so easy to get materials into it and it can be searched very easily; my plan right now is to experiment with that and see whether it works well for me.

If you’ve found a system for regularly documenting your work that works really well for you, tell us about it in the comments!

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by bohman]

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