Jessica Holbrook Hernandez recently wrote an article about how you should consistently keep your resume up to date. If not, you may forget important wins or projects you managed over the course of your career. I think that we can take this idea one step further and think about tracking our performance on a quarterly basis.

Several years back, I read the book Take Back Your Life: Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized at the recommendation of a friend. I can’t tell you enough how much this book changed the way that I organize my workday. Today, I still employ the techniques I learned, but I have added one more category than what they recommended. Let me explain…

Each quarter I track what my big contributions to my team are in the task section of Outlook. While I did set up my tasks with categories that were aligned with my performance goals as suggested in the book above, I also added one more category to help keep me focused. This category is simply called, “Accomplishments”.  Each year, I create an individual task to represent the current year and categorize it under “Accomplishments”.

Because I’m a Virgo and cursed with an extreme need to organize, I chose to split up my accomplishments by business quarter, however that’s not necessary.  You can keep it simple with an annual list.  Now whenever I accomplish something that I am proud of, or that my supervisor has commented on, I add it to the list. Then when it comes time for my annual review, I am not scrambling for data. I have it all right there in a list format that I can reference.

Keep Calm and Make a List

To do this for yourself, you will need to add “Accomplishments” as a category under the Master Category List. To get there, click: Edit, Categories, and then Master Category List. Type in Accomplishments and then click Add. Now, go to your Tasks in Outlook. From there you can create a task and name it for the current year.  Next, you will want to categorize it under the general category “Accomplishments” (bottom right corner of the task). You can now easily keep track of any major successes or accomplishments in an organized manner so you can be prepared for an annual review.

Try it this year and let me know if it works for you.