person writing on a notebook beside macbook

In the ever-evolving world of business, effective communication between leaders and their executive assistants (EAs) is paramount. Amid the flurry of tasks, priorities, and responsibilities, ensuring a seamless flow of information is 🔑 to success.

Let me introduce you to the Daily Journal Approach, a twist on the Daily Standup that you may already be familiar with. 

There are two major differences between the Daily Standup and the Daily Journal.

  1. The Daily Journal is built for asynchronous communication, while the Daily Standup is not.
  2. The Daily Journal adds fuel to the fire and keeps the productivity engine moving ahead by the power of Gratitude and Acknowledgment.

⚡ The Power of Daily Reflection ⚡

💡 Imagine this: At the end of each workday, leaders and their EAs set aside just 15 minutes to engage in an asynchronous daily journaling exercise. This practice serves as a moment of reflection, information exchange, and alignment.

There are many different tools that can be used to house this exchange, like Slack, a shared Google Doc, an email, or project management tool. Just make sure you can write and I also recommend an audio recording within the tool. It may be easier for the leader to record audio, like a stream of consciousness and the EA to provide written bullet points. 

What to include…

1. Task Updates (To Do) 🗒️

First and foremost, leaders provide a brief update on the tasks and projects they’ve been working on. They can outline progress, challenges encountered, and any roadblocks they anticipate. This is not only a summary of the day’s activities but also an opportunity to share insights and thoughts.

For EAs, this insight into the leader’s day is invaluable. It allows them to understand the bigger picture and align their efforts with the leader’s goals. It’s also an excellent time to ask clarifying questions, seek additional information and provide an update of their own.

2. Prioritization (Doing) ✔️

Creating this quick update, ensures that the most critical goals are top of mind for their assistants. EAs, armed with this knowledge, can structure their workflow accordingly.

This step not only streamlines the workflow but also helps by avoiding misunderstandings or missed priorities. It’s about keeping everyone on the same page, even when the to-do lists are extensive.

3. Feedback and Suggestions (Done) 💬

One of the most valuable aspects of the Daily Journal Approach is the space it provides for feedback and suggestions. Leaders can offer constructive feedback on completed tasks or provide insights into their expectations. EAs can share their observations, recommend process improvements, or propose ways to optimize operations.

This open channel for communication fosters a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration. Leaders and EAs become partners in refining workflows and enhancing productivity.

4. Gratitude and Acknowledgment ✨

Finally, the daily journal should include a moment of gratitude and acknowledgment. Leaders can express appreciation for the support and dedication of their EAs, recognizing the invaluable role they play in the organization’s success.

This gesture of gratitude goes a long way in boosting morale and motivation. It reinforces the idea that leaders and EAs are a team working towards a common goal.

Making It Work 🎯

Implementing the Daily Journal Approach requires commitment from both leaders and EAs. Here are a few tips to make it a seamless part of your work routine:

  • Set a Consistent Time: Choose a consistent time each day for journaling. It needs to be on the calendar, not the to do list.
  • Keep It Concise: The short time block should encourage focused and concise communication. Encourage brevity while conveying essential information.
  • Use Technology: Consider using digital tools or platforms for journaling, making it easy to refer back to previous entries.
  • Flexibility: While consistency is essential, be flexible enough to adapt the approach to specific needs or urgent situations.

The Daily Journal Approach is more than just a communication tool; it’s a catalyst for synergy between leaders and their EAs. By dedicating a mere 5-15 minutes each day to structured reflection, teams can enhance productivity, clarify goals, and build stronger partnerships. It’s a small investment with significant returns in the realm of efficient teamwork and goal achievement.

Micah Foster, Co-Founder