The Work Diary

Dwayne Phillips
2 min readJun 30, 2022


by Dwayne Phillips

Information is power. It can be good as well.

I keep a steno spiral notebook on my workspace. I jot the date for today and everything I do today. I have done this since sometime in 1986. That is … a bunch of years. I have all the notebooks, so if you want to know what I did in September of 1999, you should talk to someone about that desire. It may not be healthy, but I can tell you what I did that month.

Recently I read a writer call this a “work diary.” I guess that is a good name. I just call it a notebook, and on second thought “work diary” might be better.

Anyways, the writer finished the post with, “this is data and data is power.”

I call it information. I suppose “information is power.” I don’t like the “power” part, but I guess it fits. I find that the notebook on the workspace has saved me many troubles over many years. I could type these notes on the computer, but I’ve used many different computers over the years. I have no idea what kind of computer and software I used in 1987, but I am pretty sure that I would have lost those notes due to something not being compatible with something else.

These steno notebooks are “backwards compatible” and “forwards compatible” with whatever I am doing now. Yes, “you can’t grep trees” is still true (that means you can’t use a computer to search all the notebooks). Still, this all works pretty well.

The little notebook that you use everyday and keep forever is one of the few practices that I recommend to everyone.

Yes, that Sheldon character on the Big Bang Theory uses the black and white Composition Notebooks for everything and keeps them all. Same idea.



Dwayne Phillips

Engineer, computing, consulting, writing, teaching, and a few other things in an effort to make us all better and smarter.