Developer Logs/.plan files

One thing that I’ve done, as long as I’ve been working, is keep a personal record of everything I work on while I’m at work.  It’s usually just a text file, and for each day I add a new entry.  A daily entry would look something like:

January 19, 2017:
- (In at 7:56 am)
- Dealt with 5 emails related to project Twinkie.
- Reviewed pull request #1337.  Unit tests failing.  Pass back.
- Had meeting about frobnicating options.  Decided as a team to go with Option B.
- Logged new work tickets for tasks relating to Option B.
- Had brief meeting with Daryl and Larry about Option A.  They say B.
- Run into error with deployment: "System Error: Ran out of printer tape".
    - Resolved by running command: "sudo feed_me_a_cat".
- Review pull request #1338.  Needed small tweaks.  Merged it in.
- (Go home 5:31 pm)

It’s nothing super-detailed, but it at least can be used to refresh my memory of what I did on a given day.  These sorts of little notes have been incredibly helpful in a few situations.  Even in an environment where you don’t have to keep time sheets or specific hours, they can still be really helpful.  For example, if I ever run across a “System Error: Ran out of printer tape”, now I can go back and reference my notes to see what I did to fix it last time.

I even do this for my own personal projects, but in a bit less detail. In my personal projects, I’m not concerned about how much time I spend on something, but I am concerned about writing down little notes that I suspect will help me later on.

Eventually I’d like to make these notes into more of a narrative. Like when you are wandering around in Skyrim or Oblivion, and you come across a note left by a previous adventurer… or like John Carmack’s .plan file notes. They are definitely less technical, but still incredibly useful.

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