„Keeping track of how you spend your work day isn’t easy, but it has many benefits. Last week’s article, Map your time, covered how to create your ideal schedule, and then compare it to reality. But how do you keep track of everything you do in one day? You can use a desk diary or paper log, but if you don’t want to stop and write every time you switch tasks, I’ve got a simple script that will log your day’s activities in a keystroke.
Why a work log?
A daily work log:
* Helps you become a better time estimator
* Enables you to get a real picture of your job responsibilities and how they line up with your ideal time map
* Lets you look back at a day or week and have a concrete idea of where your time went.
* Identifies time sinks and helps you make strategic decisions about what you can delegate, take on more, or simply delete from your schedule
* Is a key tool for getting that next promotion, raise or decorating your resume with specific accomplishments
Quick-log your work in a plain text file
Even with all its benefits, keeping a daily work log can seem like a an extra job. You switch between tasks quickly during the day, and breaking your concentration to write in a desk diary or double click a file to update it may disrupt your flow. However, this process can be streamlined using a simple script and a keyboard shortcut.
I’ve put together a Quick Logger script which displays a single input box prompt where you can enter text – like the description of your just-completed task – and appends it to your work log, like this.
When you hit Enter (or Click OK), the text you entered is added to your work log file with the current date and time, like this.
Here’s how to get Quick Logger set up:
1. Save the Quick Logger VB script to your computer as quicklogger.vbs.
2. Open it in your favorite text editor and edit the line that reads:
filename = „d:\data\gina\docs\logs\worklog.txt“
And update it with the full path of your work log file.
3. Right-click on quicklogger.vbs and choose „Send to“ -> „Desktop (create shortcut).“
4. Right-click on the quicklogger.vbs shortcut on your Desktop. In the Properties panel, set the Shortcut Key to Ctrl-Alt-L as shown and hit OK.“