A note from Rach Smith's digital garden

Making my daily notes in the public workspace

Added: October 21, 2021

Tags: work productivity

I’ve been working remotely for over 5 years now. Something that you need to stay on top of as a remote worker is communicating about what you’re working up to on the day-to-day. Especially in a team like CodePen. It is small. Members have their own zones of genius, and management is very light-handed. If you don’t put in the effort in to keep people informed, you could go a long time “under the radar” with people not knowing what you’ve been doing. Last year I started up the habit of keeping “daily notes” for myself, where I would write things like my objectives/to-dos for the day, things I learnt, anything I needed to remember for later, etc. One day when I was thinking about how I could improve my communication with the team, it occurred to me I could move these notes from my private section in Notion to our public workspace.

So now I have a table in Notion that contains a document for each week, and notes for each day I’m working. This has been a positive challenge for me because I struggle with sharing in-progress work or half-baked thoughts. My perfectionism wants everything to be “done” and wrapped in a bow before it sees the light of day. So the public daily notes have been a practice in sharing thoughts as they happen.

A screenshot of some of my notes from a recent Friday

I haven’t been perfect at keeping the notes up to date every day. I love my job, but now and then I have a super low-motivation day. Maybe the kids haven’t slept, or it’s just hormonal/cycle related, but I have 0 fucks to give about work or much of anything else. Those days, I find it hard to make a note that makes it obvious I got very little done. It’s probably important that I do though: share the lows and highs to illustrate the fact I am a human being and not a perfectly productive machine.

Most of the time, no one else even looks at these notes (they read the weekly summary of my week instead, a practice we all do at CodePen). But because they are there, I know if one of my bosses wonders what I got up to yesterday, they can check the notes and wonder no longer. It is also just useful as a motivator for me to get down to work and get things done.


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