A Quick and Simple Worklog

(This post does not concern C++. I continue to post about C++ every Friday, but I will sometimes post about other topics related to software development in between. Feel free to ignore these if you are here for C++ only.)

I have a tendency to forget what I did the previous day on the standups, especially the Monday ones. Also, at the end of the month, I need to send a summary of what I did to my manager, which is even harder. I considered looking for some web based logging software, or maybe setting up a wiki, but I ended up with this really simple solution:

$ cat ~/bin/log
DATE=`date +%Y-%m-%d`
egrep "^$DATE$" $LOGFILE
if [ $? != 0 ]; then
    echo $DATE << $LOGFILE
gvim -c ':$' $LOGFILE

Now I can just press Alt+F2 (in Gnome), type log, and the log opens in gvim, with the cursor on the last line. If it is the first time I open the log on a particular day, the current date is automatically appended to the end of the file.

A short explaination of the script:

  • 2: Get todays date on the format YYYY-MM-DD
  • 4-7: Check if the date has already been inserted into the log-file, if not, append it at the end
  • 8: Open gvim. The -c option lists commands that will be executed after the file is opened. :$ places the cursor on the last line in the file.

Finally a simple example of my log:

Implemented foo
Fixed bug #1337
Implemented bar
Went too fizzbuzz architecture meeting

Quick, simple, and no dependencies on external services.