Keeping a Journal

This is a free resource from my online course, From Idea To Launch, where I teach you how to build a full Laravel web application, step by step, at beginner's speed. Learn more →

One of the best ways to learn more about yourself — and find ways to improve — is by reflecting back on what’ve you’ve done. To take note of:

  • what things worked;
  • what things didn’t;
  • how you were feeling at different points in time;
  • and why.

Writing (short) journal entries after each programming session

The best way to do this is to keep a journal where you reflect on each one of your programming sessions. Here’s the exercise — it’s short and sweet:

After each session:

  1. Take out your Self-Taught Coders Field Notes, or a notebook, and open to a new page.
  2. Write the date and time of day at the top of the page.

And then answer the following three questions:

  1. How do you feel, emotionally, about the programming session you just had? (e.g. motivated; frustrated; encouraged; pissed off)
  2. Why are you feeling this way?
  3. If it’s a positive emotion, what can you do to make sure you experience it in future sessions? If negative, what can you do to help prevent it?

That’s it.

And note that this is just a starting point — your journaling will naturally evolve over time to fit you, personally. Feel free to answer different questions, or write about different things. The only important thing is to reflect back on your experiences.