The why of weeknotes

Sam Villis
2 min readAug 30, 2017

If you have found your way here, it’s possible that you already write Weeknotes, have an interest starting, or maybe you’re just interested in what other people do for a living.

I asked Debbie to reflect on what us weeknoters have discussed on Twitter and in person; about our motivations for writing and why we think it improves the way we work. Debbie’s blog outlines those principles that all of use weeknoters share, we hope it inspires you to write too!

verb: to weeknote

to work in the open; to share one’s work process, thoughts and reflections to everyone, to aid collaborative working

We weeknote:

  • So that we can work in the open. Collaboration is key. By sharing what we have done and the challenges that we face, we can help others find a way through, or at least appreciate that someone else is having the same experience.
  • To reflect on the week that was. Weeknoting gives the opportunity to reflect on the what, the why and the how it made me feel. Personally I struggle with verbally telling people what I’ve done, and this helps me to see what my achievements were, or that a week which felt like it had been difficult actually had some high points, which helps to keep me motivated.
  • To focus on myself. We spend a lot of time in the civil service working as a team which can sometimes mean that we don’t focus as much on our individual progression and learning. Weeknoting allows you the luxury of thinking about what I did and how I can improve, whilst acknowledging the part that others play. It’s my weeknote, so I’ll focus on myself if I want to!
  • To give a sense of achievement. Did you ever look back and think wow, I did that?
  • To ask for help. If problems are concerning me, someone somewhere can help. You might not know them yet, so weeknotes offers a way to share the pain. A problem shared and all that.
  • To be part of a community. And get stickers. Yeah.
  • Gifs.

Weeknotes aren’t a way to get praise (although claps on Medium are their own reward), nor a way to increase your personal profile, but they are helping us to be better at our jobs and make connections across boundaries which make us better at “seeing the big picture”.

We all think that’s a good thing.



Sam Villis

Now: @socialfinanceuk Prev:@ldgovuk, Head of Digital at National Leadership Centre. GDS. Proud to be @OneTeamGov.