Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

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Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

Post  BnBGobo99 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:42 pm

Hi all! As you know I've been in the military for the past 14 years and have reached the ripe old age of Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.  Over the years I've learned a swelling of tricks and tips that I'd like to start sharing with you all.  These mentorship messages are the same ones I share with my Airmen, but written in a more civilian-style tone and wording.

These mentorship posts will cover topics such as organization, goal planning, project management, personal progression, etc.

The first mentorship post will be about tracking your accomplishments.  During a given day we do many things, from cleaning out the dishwasher to giving a presentation to the CEO to restringing a 100-foot long POTS twisted pair (I have no idea what I'm taking about, but I thought I'd give it the good-'ol-try).

Most of us have no need to track each of the things we need to do.  But a student might want to track if he completed reading up to "Distrust in the Frazilnizer and the start of the Great Mountain Army" in chapter 23.  A busy desk worker might want to track that he did complete his edits to the .xlsx file and turn it over to Finance for budget inputs.  A, ahem, military leader might want to track that he did perform a job interview with a new member and wants to log his impressions quickly before they disappear from memory.

I introduce to you the Quick Logger Gold 2000!

This isn't my creation, it comes from LifeHacker (which the book is worth every penny--buy it now!  First watch Gravity, then buy this book!).  Use of this tool requires Microsoft Excel, but there is a stripped-down notepad.exe-based version here: Link to notepad.exe version.

Here's what it looks like after you summon the Quick Logger Gold 2000 with a simple CTRL+ALT+L keystroke:




And here's a sample of the end product in Excel:





How do I set this amazing tool up?  Follow me, Locutus...

First, create a spreadsheet in your My Documents folder called worklog.xlsx.  Make the below adjustments:


(Don't actually type the "### pixels ^", but make the column width that much by dragging the edge left or right.)


Save the file and close Excel.

Next, open notepad.exe and paste this code into it:

Code:

'----
'Quicklogger
'By Joshua Fitzgerald, July 2005.
'Modified by Gina Trapani, July 2006.
'Ported with modifications by BnBGobo99, BlenderWorld, July 2012.
'Any future modifications must be done in the month of July.
'----

Dim xlApp, xlBook, XlSht
Dim w, filename, CurrentRow, lastVal

filename = "C:\Users\You\Documents\Individual Files\worklog2.xls"

w = InputBox("What task did you just complete?", "Quick Logger Gold 2000")

Set xlApp = CreateObject("Excel.Application")
Set xlBook = xlApp.WorkBooks.Open(filename)
Set XlSht = xlApp.activesheet

xlApp.DisplayAlerts = False

'write data
currentRow = 2
lastVal = xlSht.Cells(2, 2)
while lastVal <> ""
 currentRow = currentRow + 1
 lastVal = xlSht.Cells(CurrentRow, 2)
wend

xlSht.Cells(currentRow, 1) = Now
xlSht.Cells(currentRow, 2) = w

xlBook.Save
xlBook.Close SaveChanges = True
xlApp.Quit

'deallocate
Set xlSht = Nothing
Set xlBook = Nothing
Set xlApp = Nothing
Change C:\Users\You\Documents\Individual Files\worklog2.xls to your path to the worklog.xlsx file you created earlier.


Then save the file as quicklogger.vbs (be sure to select "Save as: All Files" in the file type drop down menu.)




On the desktop, right click and create a new shortcut.




Navigate the target to the quicklogger.vbs file and name the shortcut "Quick Logger Gold 2000".

In the shortcut's properties, hit the "L" key in the "Shortcut key:" box.  You should see "Ctrl + Alt + L".



Press okay and dismiss the shortcut's properties.


With any luck you can hit CTRL+ALT+L and the Quick Logger Gold 2000 prompt will come up and you can type a quick, Twitter-like statement about what you just accomplished.

Try to get in the habit of logging each time you complete a task.  At the end of the week, month, or year you'll be amazed how much you are able to do and where most of your time was spent.

Edit: I totally forgot! If you click "Change Icon..." in the shortcut's properties, you can select your own icon from a large list of default options. I chose this one:
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BnBGobo99

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Re: Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

Post  Xraygunner on Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:55 pm

So, has this been helpful to you?
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Re: Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

Post  BnBGobo99 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:03 am

Yes, absolutely. I do so much during the day that I can't keep track of everything I do though memory or handwritten notes alone. Plus it helps gather inputs for my year-end evaluations.
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Re: Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

Post  Yodaman921 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:42 pm

Thanks for posting this Mike! It seems like a pretty useful tool. I'll give it a go since it'd be nice to keep track of how much time I'm spending on various things and it might help to keep me on track and not distracted.

EDIT: Does the 'Category' category have to be filled in manually in the excel sheet?
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Re: Bunny's Thread of Mentorship

Post  BnBGobo99 on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:14 pm

Unfortunately, the category section does have to be manually entered. I know there is a fairly straightforward way to add radial buttons to the script and then add rules to the spreadsheet making the categories work properly, but I never implemented it.
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