Keep track of EVERYTHING

I received advice early on to keep a spreadsheet of all my activities. This was excellent advice — as academics we are often called upon to list our service work, grant applications, publications, training, etc. for things, such as: annual reviews, mid-tenure reviews, training grant documents, updates for a center (if you belong to one), applications for membership affiliations, etc. It is difficult to anticipate when and what information you will need someday, so the best thing to do is to keep track of absolutely everything. For example:

  • Workshops you attend for career development (such as teaching, advising, or writing)
  • Students advised, including: high school, undergraduate, masters, and graduate
  • Staff and postdoctoral researchers: including how you funded them
  • Outreach activities run (and the number of students impacted)
  • Grant applications (and the review results)
  • Reviewing services for journals and grant agencies
  • Rotation students
  • Seminars given (where, when and what)
  • Thesis supervision (not your own students, but qualifying exam or thesis committee work). This list is how I suddenly realized I overcommitted to too many thesis committees.
  • Service for national organizations: like conference session chairing or organization
  • Conference abstracts (your own or students’)
  • Teaching: including courses organized and taught, special lectures, etc.
  • Publications