The Journal Newsletter
Bernard Beam, IT Consultant, describes how he used The Journal to help with his job hunt in this month’s “How I Use The Journal” feature.
As always, there are new writing exercises and a new tip for using The Journal. So be sure to check those out, as well.
Thank you for supporting DavidRM Software’s The Journal!
Tips & Tricks
TIP: Transporting custom spell checker dictionaries between PCs
Submitted by Pete Hollyer
I primarily do my journaling at work I periodically send the Backup folder home. To include the spell checker dictionary changes, auto-spelling stuff, etc., all you need do is zip the “Dictionaries” folder and mail it home. There, unzip into the same Dictioary folder and all your custom dictionaries are in both places.
Assuming the default settings, the Dictionaries folder is:
C:\Program Files\DavidRM Software\The Journal 3\Dictionaries\
by Susan Michael
Free Writing Exercise – Write for 20 minutes (without editing) in any style using this prompt: “Jerry was a nice guy…”
Poetry Exercise – Write three different impressions of “saturation”. (e.g.: color, sound, aroma, urban-ness, etc.)
Prose Exercise – Write about a reflection in the mirror.
Journaling Exercise – Much Obliged. We often interact with people based on how we feel about them. Relationships require obligation. We are obligated to our spouse, and other household family members. We are obligated to our co-workers. The nature and extent of a relationship can be looked at in terms of obligation. Contemplate your relationships with various people in your life and write about them in terms of obligations to those people. Note that obligation is not necessarily a negative concept. And, admitting that you are “obliged”, does not mean that the other person is trying to be manipulative. Continue the exercise by writing your response to want you have written about that relationship. A simple example: A co-worker picks up the donut order for the the office staff. Response: I need to volunteer to pick the donuts up next week, or need to thank the person for doing so.
About the author: Susan Michael has facilitated several writing groups, and has lead writing & creativity workshops for the Arts & Humanties Council in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
How I Use The Journal
Editor’s Note: The Journal is used by people from all over the world, from many nations, representing a variety of personal, professional, and religious backgrounds. Journaling is by definition an intensely personal undertaking, so it should not be surprising that when someone writes about how or why they keep a journal that they will end up sharing personal information. The Journal Newsletter does not support any particular personal or religious lifestyle, but rather attempts to support anyone who keeps a journal, for whatever reason they do so. Thus, the views and opinions expressed in “How I Use The Journal” are solely those of the submitter and not necessarily the views of DavidRM Software. Whether you agree with the submitter’s views or not, I encourage you to read the article and glean from it the information and techniques that “ring true” for you.
How I Used The Journal in My Job Hunt
by Bernard V. Beam
Like many people in the IT Industry, I was recently “released” from my contract with my former employer. As I began to look for a follow on position I decided to keep track of my search and manage the search information using The Journal. This would allow me to use information management to provide me with an added edge in my search.
I set up several different categories. The first category I established was a daily category to track the activities over the course of the search. This allows me to keep track of whom I talked to and when I talked to them. It also keeps me on-focus in the job search. Too often I find that I can be “doing” a lot of things but not really getting much done. Having to keep a log of what got accomplished each day forces me to be productive rather than just busy all day.
I have also established two additional loose-leaf categories for information on the companies and positions I apply for. Each of the position’s details has been given its own sub-category, and the details of each company were set-up in their own subcategory as well. Each position is cross-linked to the company offering it, allowing me to quickly access the information when I receive a phone call. This helps me to prevent double-submissions.
Within the Company category are all the information I have collected about the company itself, its size, locations, peoples names, its future directions, any news articles about them or their partners, etc. It is amazing how useful this information can be when preparing for an interview.
The next category I set-up was a loose-leaf one for my Resumes. I have several versions of my resume, highlighting different strengths, and used for different purposes. When I forward a copy of my resume to a company, I link to that version from the position information. When the company calls, I can swiftly access the version of my resume they have in front of them. This also makes a handy place to cut-and-paste from when utilizing any Internet job-search sites.
Additionally, when I find a company that has several different positions available it lets me get a feel for the direction the company is moving, so that, if I like where they are headed, I can pitch them ideas I know they will be receptive to, as well as figuring out what other positions they may have coming available.
The next category was a loose-leaf one for contact information from the recruiters I am working with (with separate entries to track the contact details, cross-links to positions and companies submitted for, and other events specific to each recruiter). This helps me to keep track of what has been offered by other recruiters for other positions as well as what the same recruiter offered in the past. This sort of information helps when negotiating with recruiters.
While I was working as an IT consultant for nearly 3 years I used to keep track of all this information in a hand-written notebook, along with my search expenses. Being able to consolidate and cross-link all this information in The Journal has allowed me to leverage its value. Because I still firmly believe in keeping a “written log” of these items every Sunday I cut-and-paste “hot” information into a weekly category, then print this off and put it into a binder to keep with me–after all if someone calls while I’m driving or away from the house, I don’t want to have to boot up a laptop to get at my information. Instead I can have vital basics readily available, make handwritten notes, and update the files when I get home.
Here is a list of the tree structure created:
If you would like to contribute to the “How I Use The Journal”, “Writing Exercises”, or “Tips & Tricks” sections, or would like to submit an article about journaling, writing, or another The Journal-related topic, we would love to hear from you.
Submissions for the newsletter should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are submitting for a particular section, please indicate which one. Try to limit your submissions to 500-1000 words. Submissions may be edited for length and content.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, please state this in the email. Otherwise your name (but not your email) will be used in the article heading.
As always, if you have any suggestions for, or bug reports about, The Journal, please feel free to email them. Both are always welcome.