Last year on Nov. 1st, 2011, I started keeping a research journal. No lengthy writing or anything like that, BUT, I did start writing down what I worked on every day!
Just a line or two, with details where I could. I kept records of the projects I worked on, how they progressed, what I sent away for, when I got a response and what the response was. The journal I kept was a real eye opener for me.
I tracked research trips, day trips, projects, blogs, contacts, webinars I wanted to take, and genealogy club meetings I did not want to miss, and just about anything else you might think I could. I even kept it while I was in Europe working there.
The thrifty comes in with the fact that it saved me time (all notes in one place), paper (there wasn't 500 sticky post it notes all over my desk), and frustration (everything was at my fingertips). Anything having to do with my genealogy research - notes, dates, projects, webinars etc., you name it, all noted and available with the turn of the page. No more looking for slips of paper wondering if it got pitched to the circular file or not.
I found it to be so helpful - I bought a new one to start fresh with on Nov. 1, 2012 for another year!