• Home
  • Blog
  • What Is A Work Journal And How To Create One
02 Mar 2021 Austin Belcak

What Is A Work Journal And How To Create One

What do Leonardo da Vinci, Beethoven, Charles Darwin, and Marie Curie have in common? They all kept journals.

Throughout history, people have used journals to express their feelings, organize their thoughts, and reflect on life, the world, and whatever else happens to be on their minds. And, while most journals remain private, some have gone on to become renowned literary works, such as Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations.

Numerous studies have documented the benefits of journaling. But, when we think about journaling, we typically regard it as a personal activity that’s entirely separate from work. On the contrary, there’s a specific type of journal that can have a profoundly positive impact on your professional life and career: a work journal.

Keeping a work journal can provide clarity, structure, focus, motivation, and other work-related benefits. So, in this article, we’ll be exploring.

  • What a work journal is
  • The benefits of keeping a work journal
  • How to create and maintain a work journal
  • A free work journal template for you to use

Let’s get started!

What Is A Work Journal?

As alluded to above, a work journal differs from a personal journal in that it’s strictly focused on your professional life. In other words, as the name suggests, a work journal is all about your work. So, what exactly does that entail?

Like a personal journal, it's an open-ended space for you to document your thoughts, plans, actions, goals, etc. This can take the form of a classic notebook or a digital file of some sort (more on this below).

To guide the journaling process, it’s common to use question prompts and templates to structure your approach. And, on that note, here are two general categories into which you can divide your work journal entries:

  1. Forward-Looking – relating to plans, goals, inspiration, and motivation. These types of entries are best in the morning (so you can address the upcoming workday).
  2. Reflective – assessing past/present situations to gain insights, perspective, and identify areas you’d like to improve. These types of entries are best in the evening (with the most recent workday freshly behind you).

Now that we’ve established what a work journal entails, let’s discuss the benefits of keeping one…

The Benefits Of Keeping A Work Journal

In addition to the cognitive benefits of journaling — which include mindfulness, memory, comprehension, communication skills, self-discipline, and creativity — a work journal can directly impact your career in the following ways.

Clarity, focus, and perspective. Our busy work lives can feel like a constant balancing act, juggling meetings, memos, reports, deadlines, etc. And, while you probably have a weekly planner already, journaling can help you take a step back and see the bigger picture of it all — which, in turn, facilitates…

Organization and prioritization. Continuing on the above, when you gain clarity at work, chaotic schedules will become more straightforward to manage. You’ll have a better sense of how to prioritize your action items, increasing organization, efficiency, and productivity. Proactive planning to achieve your career goals. A work journal isn’t just a place to think about your current role and responsibilities; you should also be pondering your future and the overarching direction you’re heading. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, but a journal helps keep your long-term career ambitions in focus.

Mitigate stress and other negative emotions. There’s an inherently therapeutic aspect of writing down your thoughts — especially if you’re having a hard time with something. Using a journal to write about the unpleasant thoughts/feelings you’re having at work can help you cope with them.

Now that we've reviewed the benefits, let’s talk about how to keep a work journal!

How To Create And Maintain A Work Journal

To start a work journal, the first question you need to ask yourself is: “Do I want my journal to be digital or good ol’ fashioned pen-and-paper?” The question seems simple enough, but it’s actually a very important consideration.

To some, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes with writing on real paper (as opposed to typing on a computer). The tactile sensation of writing just feels better. Plus, it can be easier to sketch diagrams and simple images on the fly.

However, keeping a digital work journal on your computer allows you to access it more conveniently, add media (e.g. photos, videos, links), and enjoy the editing capabilities of a word processor. You can also use journaling apps for increased organization and additional features. At the end of the day, it’s just a matter of preference.

Next, you’ll want to select some thought-inducing prompt questions to include throughout the journal as a guidance mechanism. Here are some examples:

Forward-Looking Prompt Questions

  • What’s the most important thing I need to get done today?
  • How would I prioritize my to-do list this week?
  • What would a great day at work look like today?
  • What potential challenges should I be prepared for this week/month?
  • What’s my 30-60-90 day plan?
  • What are my 1, 3, and 5-year career goals?

Reflective Prompt Question

  • What did I accomplish at work today/this week?
  • What areas have I been strong in at work lately?
  • What’s an area I’ve been struggling with at work lately?
  • What are some ways I could improve at work?
  • How have I been feeling at work lately and why?
  • What’s something I’m grateful for at work?

Incorporating questions like these into your work journal will provide a consistent framework to help you channel your thoughts in a productive way.

Work Journal Template

If you’d like a quick-and-easy template to structure your journal entries, I’ve got you covered! Here’s a link to a simple work journal template on Google Drive.

After you click through the link, just hit File > Make A Copy > Organize to add it to your own Google Drive!

More Career-Boosting Tips

A work journal can be a highly valuable tool for improving both your performance and satisfaction at work. And, while we’re on the subject, there’s plenty more to be said on the matter! For more tips to help you succeed at work, check out the following resources:

And, finally, to learn my unconventional strategy for landing great jobs without applying online, check out my ultimate guides on Value Validation Projects and How To Get A Job Anywhere Without Applying Online!

Austin Belcak

Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture where he helps people land jobs without connections, without traditional experience, and without applying online. His strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, & Fast Company and has helped people just like you land jobs at Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, & more.

LEAVE A REPLY

YOU’VE SEEN AUSTIN IN

Fast Company Logo
Business Insider Logo
Inc. Logo
The Muse logo
Cultivated Culture
SIGN UP
LOG IN
Cultivated Culture ResyBullet ResyBuild Mailscoop

Welcome Back To Cultivated Culture!

Log into your Cultivated Culture account using one of the options below:

Log In With LinkedIn
Log In With Google
Log In With Email
LOG IN

Forgot your password? Click here to reset.

Need a free acount? Click Here To Sign Up

By logging in, you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and agree to receive email updates.

One Free Account, Four Job-Winning Tools

Sign up for a free Cultivated Culture account and get access to all of our job search tools:

Your Bullet Score is:

Sign up for a free Cultivated Culture account to get the full breakdown of your bullet along with suggestions for improving it:

Sign Up To Save & Export Your Resume

Sign up to create, save, and export your resume and get access to our suite of job search tools!

Sign Up To Get More Free Email Searches

Create a free account to unlock more email searches and get access to all four of our job-winning tools:

Sign Up With LinkedIn
Sign Up With Google
Sign Up With Email
Sign Up

Already have an acount? Click Here To Log In

By logging in, you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and agree to receive email updates.

SIGN UP
LOG IN
Cultivated Culture

We Just Need You To Verify Your Email.

We just emailed you a 6-digit code. Please check your email and enter it below.

Note: Your progress will not be saved until your email is verified. Closing this pop up or window might cause you to lose your progress.

Invalid Code

Verify

Choose one of the options below to get the verification code we sent you!

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free scans.

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free templates, saves, and exports.

We'll need you to verify your email address before you're able to unlock free email searches.

We sent a verification code to your email, all you have to do is paste that code here and submit to get full access!

Resend Verification Email
Verify Your Account Now

Need a free acount? Click Here To Sign Up

By logging in, you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and agree to receive email updates.

Cultivated Culture

Looks Like You Still Need To Verify Your Email Address!

Whoops! Looks like you still haven't verified your email address. We'll need you to do that before granting free, unlimited access to our tools.

If you can't find the original verification email, click the link below and we'll send a new one:

Sent! Please check your email.

Resend Verification Email

Need a free acount? Click Here To Sign Up

By logging in, you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and agree to receive email updates.

Cultivated Culture

Oops! You've Hit Your Credit Limit.

Looks like you've used all 10 of your free credits for the month. Your credit limit will refresh in days. You can learn more about your credit limit here.

Want to stop worrying about credits?

Sign up for our Unlimited plan to get instance unlimited access to all of our jon search tools for one low price. Click below to learn more:

LEARN ABOUT UNLIMITED
Cultivated Culture

Go Unlimited!

Upgrade to get unlimited access to our resume tools and 200 email searches / week:

Go Unlimited
(& Save 10%)!

Upgrade to get unlimited access to our resume tools, 200 email searches / week, and 10% off our regular pricing thanks to your friend :

$9.97 $9.97 $8.97 billed monthly

Monthly

Quarterly

(Save 10%)

Six Months

(Save 15%)

Your Unlimited plan comes with...

Unlimited access to all 3 of our resume tools

200 Mailscoop searches per week

No obligations - cancel any time

UPGRADE MY PLAN

By clicking "Upgrade My Plan," you agree to Cultivated Culture's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Cultivated Culture

Unlimited Plan Upgrade

Change Payment Method

APPLY

Promo code has been applied to your purchase!

Note: This is a monthly subscription, your card will be automatically charged every month until you cancel your plan.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

(C) 2022 Cultivated Culture

Note: You will not be charged for updating your credit card using this form. After your new card is added, you will be billed on the date of your next billing cycle.

Cultivated Culture

Upgrade Complete!

You are officially a

Unlimited Member

Invoice Details

Invoice:

Paid Today:

Plan:

Start Date:

Subscription:

Next Bill Date (Est.):

Note: This receipt and future invoices will be available in the Billing Tab of your Account Dashboard.

VIEW RECEIPT
RETURN TO TOOLS

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

(C) 2022 Cultivated Culture

Cultivated Culture

Cancel Your Subscription

We appreciate you being a part of the Cultivated Culture community! If you'd like to end your subscription, just fill out the form below to cancel:

Why are you ending your subscription?

Please share more details about your selection.

Confirm Cancellation

Your Subscription Has Been Canceled

Your Cultivated Culture Unlimited subscription has officialy been canceled.

You will still have access to all of our tools through the date that you paid for (). You can renew your subscription at any time.

We're wishing you a ton of success with your job search!

- The Cultivated Culture Team

Cultivated Culture
Job Toolkit
Coaching Call
Resume Course
Ahh So Close!
Job Toolkit
Coaching Call
Resume Course
Ahh So Close!
Want A GUARANTEED WAY TO WIN MORE JOB OFFERS?
I'm giving away some of my premium content for FREE. This is stuff you won't find anywhere on the site. Stuff that's helped people just like you land jobs at places like Google with no "traditional" experience and without applying online. If you're tired of job searching and want to land a job you love, spin for a chance to win strategies most people pay for: