jurn - A Command Line Tool for Keeping Track of Your Work

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How do you keep track of your daily work accomplishments?

If you are like me, you wait until the end of the week and then dread having to think back all the way to Monday to try and remember what you did that week. By that point all I usually remember is what I ate for breakfast that morning and the immediate problem I was working on before doing my weekly writeup.

I wanted to get in the habit of better documenting my work accomplishments, so I built jurn, a command line tool to help tag and log work as you do it. It has made tracking my work easier, making it simple to share progress in stand-up meetings and invaluable for end of the year performance evaluations.

In this post I will show you its most important features and how I use it.


jurn is a command line tool I wrote in Python. To install, you just need to run pip install jurn. You can also modify and build from the source code hosted on GitHub.

jurn stores its data in a local sqlite database, meaning no one else ever sees your data and you can query the data yourself if you have other needs for it that jurn doesn't currently support.


Whenever I want to log an accomplishment throughout the day, I simply use the jurn log command to save it:

jurn log -m 'Wrangled cats via lasso.'

If I want to add some organizational structure to my notes, I can also include tags:

jurn log -m 'Wrangled cats via lasso.' -t 'Physical Fitness'

jurn also comes built in with tab complete functionality for tags, so if you type in:

jurn log -m 'Wrangled cats via lasso.' -t 'Physical <TAB>

jurn will get a distinct list of your previously used tags from the database, helping you pick the right one to autocomplete with:

Physical Fitness
Physical Security

The tagging system also allows for subcategories denoted by the # sign, allowing for even more organization:

jurn log -m 'Wrangled cats via lasso.' -t 'Physical Fitness#Cardio'

NOTE: To enable autocompletion, you must add this to your ~/.bashrc. eval "$(_JURN_COMPLETE=bash_source jurn)" If using other shells, please reference the Click documentation for the specific line you need to add.

Viewing Entries

Once it's time to reflect on what you did for a particular day (or week, month, year, etc..), you use the jurn print command to get a pretty printed version of your log entries:

jurn print -d week
2022-11-01 to 2022-11-07
   Physical Fitness
       Wrangled cats via lasso.
       New PR benching 2 mules.
   Physical Security
     Installed new locks on the doors.
     Added storage to camera recording devices.

Now you can easily share with your self/boss/team what you worked on. Come performance evaluation season, you'll also have a nice reminder of what you did all year that justifies your raise or promotion.


While running the jurn command whenever I finish a note-worthy task is quick and easy, I don't trust myself to always remember to do it.

Instead, I add a line like:

jurn --early-end 60 log -t

to my ~/.bashrc in order to have jurn remind me to log any accomplishments every time I open a new terminal tab/window (which I do all day long).

To prevent it from being too annoying, I pass in the ---early-end option so it knows not to prompt me for my updates if I have already written one in the past 60 minutes.

...And More

I built jurn to fulfill the needs I had with keeping track of my work accomplishments. All of the tool's various options can be found by running jurn --help or viewing jurn's documentation.

If you've read this far, I assume you value keeping track of your daily work progress and I hope you can use jurn to make that process a little bit easier.

10 Questions To Spark Conversation At Your Next SQL Event

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Here's a word for word transcription of a conversation I've had a hundred times over:

"Hi I'm Bert.  What do you do?"

"I'm ____ and I'm a SQL developer."

"That's cool, me too."


*I look down at phone because I don't know what to talk about*

Sound familiar?

In the next few weeks, you might find yourself at a conference like PASS Summit or SQLintersection.  If not a conference, then maybe a local user group, meetup, or SQL Saturday.

Inevitably you will find yourself surrounded by strangers.  Strangers who you know share common interests with you (SQL, duh!).

But if you are like me, starting a meaningful conversation with those strangers can be uncomfortable.  Most people have interesting stories to share, the challenge is to get them to talk about them.

The good news is that I've developed an easy way to get a conversation started with the people you just met:

Come prepared with interesting open-ended questions.

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I keep a memorized list of open-ended questions that I can ask whenever I don't know how to keep the conversation going.  Try asking any of these questions the next time you don't know what to say (and reciprocate by sharing your own fun story); I guarantee these will spark some interesting conversations.

1. "What's your best SQL Server war story?"

We've all been in the trenches and have had to play the hero.

2. "What are your thoughts on EntityFramework/ORMs?"

If you ever want to get a table full of SQL DBAs going, this will do it.

3. "What's the oldest version of SQL Server you are still stuck supporting?"

Although this one elicits a one-word response, the next easy follow-up is "why/how!?"

4. "What was your biggest "oops" moment?"

Backups were corrupt?  Yeahhhhh....

5. "What's the most recent feature you started using in SQL Server 2014/2016/2017? How is it?"

I love hearing people's answers to this because it's a good way to figure out what new features really add value and which ones are over-hyped/limited in functionality.

6. "Are you using ?  How is it?"

Similar to #5, this is a great way to get real-world feedback about certain features.

7. "What's your favorite session from today/this week?  What did you like most about it?"

I love finding out what sessions other people found useful - once again, real world reviews on what I should check out in the future.

8. "Have you been to before? Do you have any recommendations for what I should do/see/eat?"

Great way to get to know the surrounding area without having to read reviews online.

9. "Do you use PowerShell or any other software to automate/do dev ops?"

PowerShell is the future.  Start learning how others are incorporating it into their environments, what struggles they've had implementing automated processes, etc...

10. "Are there any other events going on tonight?"

Especially great if talking to people who have attended the event before.  Find out what's worth going to, if it's better to show up early or late, is there a "best seat" in the house, etc...

I hope this list of questions encourages you to become better acquainted with your fellow conference goers.  And if I see you at PASS Summit...don't be surprised if you hear me ask you one of these questions!