While working in the software field, there could be situations where I offered a solution; sometimes it works and sometimes there could be a better one. It need not be a solution for a collapsing situation, but could range anywhere from using a particular data structure in certain scenarios or using a particular tool feature, or using a specific kind of querying rather than the regular ones etc.

It need not be exclusively software related ones; it could even be how a certain team issue was handled and such non-work related yet professional ones.

After a certain period of time(could be months or years), if a similar situation arises, I try to recollect the then proposed solution. Sometimes, I have a hard time doing it. I can't recollect it easily and tend to spend more amount of time for the same solution, again.

I have started to make notes for it; but a little lost at organizing it.

Question: How to record my work related experiences and observations so that it could be used at a later stage?


4 Answers 4


How to record my work related experiences and observations so that it could be used at a later stage?

I always kept a Word document where I put such items, as well as details about all projects with which I was involved. Each item was dated, and kept in reverse chronological order.

Then, whenever I needed to update my resume (or even just refresh my memory), it was there and handy.


There is no silver-bullet that works for all the people in all the cases. I have tried few thing along the years:

  • Simple analogue notebook often works
  • Blog posts that describe the problem and solution (as long as they're not company IP).
  • Youtube videos in which you record yourself describing the problem and proposing the solution (no need to make them public).
  • Microsoft OneNote notebooks structured around different areas and possible problems and fixes.

I settled on the last one as it seems most elegant and easy to update, and allows for quick sharing of links directly to the page you need to show collegues, allows collaboration and is searchable.

  • OneNote is the key, it is also very easy to search and most of the people are familiar with it. Jul 30, 2018 at 16:52
  • I was coming here to suggest Evernote for exactly the same reasons. Jul 30, 2018 at 17:21

Lazy man's way is to keep a journal in notepad or some other very thin text editor.

It's searchable. Different sections up top can be devoted to phone numbers or passwords or whatever. It's always compatible with all doc readers and platforms, backups can be "diff"ed with simple tools. I work in both Windows and Linux.

How brilliant a solution is changes from week to week as I learn more (often that the first answer was wrong) and my time to edit past notes is very limited. Text is always compatible with everything and will be in the future.

I don't want to spend more than a minimum amount of time for general experience and solutions, but if the answer is VERY detailed and VERY useful I'll make a separate "How To" document.

Keeping a searchable journal is a gift you give to your future self. You'll thank yourself for it.

  • 1
    Yeah, at one job I kept my journal in something like Outlook notes. Then there was an upgrade and I lost all my journal. I've gone back to text for a daily journal, and then use a more robust document when I need pictures to document a specific process. Searchable is the big bonus. The text document can point to the specific documents/wiki pages with more information. Jul 30, 2018 at 17:46
  • notepad works for me as well, I have several documents depending on the topic. The exception is I use word documents if it's a language requiring diacritics. Sometimes it's just quick notes or ideas and using anything except notepad takes too long and disrupts workflow.
    – Kilisi
    Jul 30, 2018 at 21:48

Create wiki pages for them if your repository manager supports that. You can have pages for project specific or general devOps tools/practices, SQL tips etc.

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