A smile file is not only the time capsule of a future pick-me-up, it keeps track of whom you should work with in the future.
My mom called it “the good guy” file. I call it “the smile file.” Whatever you call it, keep one. Even if you are a “piler, not a filer,” this should be the one exception: a place where you put the notes, the emails, the letters that you get, from people who are sincerely thanking you, or letting you know how your work affected them, or commiserating with you, or laughing with you.
Work life is tough. There are going to be times where you wonder why it is you’re doing it.
Check the smile file, and presto! You have one or several or dozens of reasons.
But there’s another reason. Bob Sutton famously coined the “no asshole rule,” that mandates the exclusion of people from your work life, specifically those who target others who are less powerful, or who make others feel humiliated or oppressed. Right on, Professor-of-Management-Science-at-Stanford-guy!
That converse of that rule means that you want to actively SEEK people who lift you up, who appreciate you, who are human at work.
Thus the smile file. It is (to use a geeky phrase) a database view of your contacts that specifically indicates those folks. They’re the people you want to keep in touch with. And, they’re the people whom you want to seek to do more with.