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You might be a pro at writing an annual or monthly report, but a weekly report is a different kind of elephant in your week – one that needs to be put into its cage until it comes out again next week. And the week after that.
You see, weekly reports are tough nuts to crack. And it’s all thanks to the brevity required to write them.
It’s easy to write paragraphs after paragraphs. But compressing your week’s happenings into a single page, or even just a few can make things tricky.
Don’t sweat though. We’ve made this post on writing an epic weekly report to help you navigate through the challenge.
You’ll learn what exactly a weekly report is and why businesses bother with them, how to write an epic weekly report, and mistakes to avoid when working on such a report.
Ready to ace prepping your weekly report and save lots of time? Let’s dig in.
Just as annual reports dive into a yearly review, weekly reports cover a complete review of your week. These look into:
So you’re willing to give a snapshot of your week. The real question is – why bother?
From an employer’s perspective, a weekly status report gives a quick look at what his or her employee is doing.
Is he secretly bingeing on Stranger Things (something I once noticed the receptionist over at a physiotherapy department doing while I waited for my receipt), or is he actually getting some work done?
The report also shows how the employee handled challenges that surfaced. And how far along a project has come under him. All this gives the manager an idea of employees’ strengths and weaknesses.
He then assigns other responsibilities based on these observations. Put another way, weekly reports help the management make informed decisions regarding assignments, employee training and development.
You, the employee, on the flip side, can get an idea of the role you’re playing in the progress of an ongoing project.
A weekly report also gives you a better sense of how you’re pacing things. Additionally, you can learn how to get better at your job.
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A weekly report is an internal glimpse into your week, and it serves a good purpose. All you need to do is take your manager by the hand and walk him through your week.
It involves writing, rewriting, crying over having done that one last bit to have something good to put on your weekly report and the designing part.
Too much work.
Did you just rub your temple there? Because I just did.
Fortunately, you can slash half your work with Visme. Wondering how? By using a weekly report template.
For instance, by using the template below you can speed things up by only having to add details for each day of the week.
With this, the design work involved in preparing a weekly report is no longer on your plate. Cheers!
As for the writing part, let’s chop the process into 5 steps for you:
First things first – outline your report’s objectives before you set to work.
Here’s the part where you decide what’ll go into your weekly status report. What exactly does your management want to see?
Pro Tip: You might want to check in with your supervisor if you’re not clear about what goes here.
Their CMO, Olga Mykhoparkina shared, “For us in the marketing team, we share our organic traffic, new links, new blogs and publications and anything else that came up during the week.
These are all outlined in advance and every team member knows exactly what they need to present.
So the general objectives are to:
Other purposes might include a weekly KPI report, a project status report or a profit statement.
Another thing to do before you put pen to paper is making sure you’re crystal clear about your responsibilities.
Are you responsible for working on project A? Or are you supposed to contribute to project B’s phase II as well?
If you think your role relates to contributing to various tasks, you’re wrong. That’s too wide a scope to cover and present in a weekly report.
So you need to make sure you’re clear about the project you’re handling and what the definition of success is for the project. Don’t have an answer? Talk to your boss.
Knowing your role is essential to putting together the perfect weekly project status report, like the one below.
It’s easy to assume that slapping a few paragraphs on a paper makes a befitting report.
This is why you need a layout for your weekly status report to ensure your report is short, to the point and visually stunning.
Since we’re covering weekly reports here, you’ll need a layout with separate sections dedicated to each day of the week. A weekly report template can give you a pre-baked layout.
You can get creative with your format too. For instance, you can turn it into a visual infographic. Customize a report infographic like the one below to create a weekly report infographic your supervisors will love.
Or you can create an interactive infographic weekly report. We created an annual interactive infographic annual report for Visme. Take a page from our book and prepare your own interactive infographic weekly report.
Other than this, if you’re working on a large project, you can divide the weekly status report into sections.
Let’s say you’re working on starting a blog for your company. You could divide your weekly report into 3 sections: ideation, competitor analysis and keyword research.
Present your weekly status report divided by 5 working days that each address the 3 goals and what you did to further them on each day.
Alternatively, divide your weekly report by the 3 areas you’re working on. Under each, share what you did during the week.
Now that you’ve your objectives and role clear and your layout ready, you can start writing.
Just keep these three writing tips in mind:
Want to ensure your weekly status report doesn’t miss any important details?
Include the following:
The top management can’t remember everything all the time so it’s best to always give a summary of your project’s objectives.
The aim here is record keeping. By dating your reports, you’re making it easy for your manager to thumb through reports in chronological order should an issue poke its head.
Since you’re giving a weekly outlook here, make sure you talk about what you did each day of the week.
Be sure to title your report with your [role] + [the report’s status]. Let’s say you’re a Communications Manager so you’d title your report as Communications Manager Weekly Status Report.
Outline what you had on your plate. If you don’t give the management an idea of what you had in the pipeline, they wouldn’t know how to measure your progress.
You can also categorize your tasks under, ‘in progress,’ ‘done’ and ‘delayed.’
Don’t forget to highlight progress and the goals achieved.
In this regard, it’s best you discuss metrics with the person you report to beforehand. That way, you’d know how to explain your progress.
For instance, you’ve covered 75% of your task. Your manager can only understand this if you’ve discussed previously that you’ll notify your status by noting the percentage.
Note issues you encountered in your week while also providing suggestions for any steps that the management can take to ensure smooth workflow.
Lastly, tell what is planned for the coming week. This gives your manager an idea of what you’d be covering so he can map your future steps based on your deliverables.
Again, you can adopt all these pointers as a layout to follow on your report.
With this, you know how you can write an awesome weekly status report. Now onto the next section for ensuring your report is beyond awesome.
Follow these best practices to outshine your report.
A single page document is enough for summing your week while respecting your readers’ time. Add a report cover page to spice up your weekly report design.
Although you may not find the space to add visuals, you can always strategically use them in your report. Perhaps show a chart demonstrating how much of your project is completed.
Whatever you do though, make sure you don’t use complex graph types here because they aren’t very readable and you won’t have the space to explain the data.
Graphs such as pie charts are, however, easy to understand so you can experiment with those in your weekly status reports.
Here’s a great example of a couple of data visualizations being used to showcase information in a weekly report.
It’s a task that shows up every week so investing hours is futile. Ideally, use a weekly report template to give your report a permanent structure and speed up your writing process.
If you’re using a weekly report template, you can fill it in before the end of each day when the day’s details are still fresh.
Visme offers several weekly report templates that you can edit and customize to fit your job and what your supervisors want to see from you, just like the example below.
Once you’ve tailored the content to fit your role, all you have to do is pop in edits each week.
Lastly, before we wrap this up, let’s leave you with report writing mistakes you need to avoid so your report is ready to shine.
Structure shows clarity of thought. And it works both ways. You make writing weekly status reports less cumbersome and time consuming for yourself. Because you already have a layout in place, you don’t need to start from scratch.
On the flip side, a base structure makes your weekly report easily consumable for your reader. It also sets expectations clear from the outset.
Readability relates to making your weekly report easy to read for your target audience, whether that’s your manager or someone else.
Think of it like this, a block of words can be tough to read:
But short paragraphs and bullet points with subheadings or icons make your content snackable.
For instance, this weekly report template page from Visme makes sure your content is easy to read by providing a highlight section alongside the major accomplishments that were completed throughout the week.
Alright, so you get how important readability is. The question now is – what can you do to make sure your weekly status report is easy to read?
Design also plays a crucial role in making your weekly status report readable.
Wondering how? With the right colors and whitespace.
You’d be surprised to know that colors can actually encourage or discourage people from reading your content. That’s how powerful their impact is. Red, for example, is known for drawing people in and making them excited.
Meanwhile, pastel colors are trending, so you can use them to make an epic weekly report page design.
These also leave a minimal effect, a creative way to design your report to wow your reader.
Here are more ideas you can grab from this guide on creative presentation ideas.
This also goes with the name of negative space and is the space between your paragraphs, graphs and other visuals in your report. Too much or too little of it can disturb reading experience. So you’ve got to be careful.
Look at this weekly report template by Visme, for example, you can see the strategic use of color and white space.
Can’t play with color because you’ve got to stick with office colors? Perhaps you’re sending in a weekly status report to your client and can’t deviate from your branding?
Either way, no worries. Just tweak the color with Visme as each template is customizable so you’re free to tweak not only the color but also the font and other design elements.
Plus, you can easily upload your brand colors and fonts to your Visme Brand Kit to make branding simple.
Without giving a gist or executive summary that includes your next steps, you run the risk of breaking the momentum.
So elements like data, a summary of the week, a quick recap of the past and what’s in next week’s to-do board are good for keeping things on track.
Needless to say but the problem with these errors is that they ruin impressions in seconds. But you can always prevent these by:
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There you go. We’ve talked about writing a weekly report in a lot of detail here. Hopefully it should be enough to help you write an awesome weekly report.
As for your visual content and design, Visme is only a free subscription away from adding life to your weekly status reports.
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