Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a daily report?

A daily report is a kind of report documenting the procedures that transpired within the day. It usually includes the things that have been accomplished, the plans or goals for the succeeding days, as well as existing or potential problems. Untoward incidents can also be documented. It serves as a diary of the person of made it that helps keep track of the things that happen daily. Doing a daily report helps monitor progress of an individual or a corporation.

Who does daily reports?

Daily reports are usually done by office workers. They have to prepare a summary of everything that they have done within the day, including their plan for the next day or the coming days and the issues that they have encountered or might encounter.

Why do people do daily reports?

Preparing a daily report helps a person monitor the events that take place within the day. Since it is done on a daily basis, activities, strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats documented can be compared. It can also serve as members’ basic reference if they are required to make a weekly, monthly, or annual report. In addition, daily reports are done to monitor the progress of a certain project of an individual or a company.

How to do a daily report

A daily report usually makes use of a form that can be filled up by a team member. If a pre-made form is not available, members are provided a specific structure that they will follow.

Typically, a daily report contains the organization and company logo. The date, department, and member’s name are also noted down for easy identification. There are times that reports are stamped by including the time so as to be well-documented for future reference.

Members also include the announcements made within the day, schedule within the day or within the week, any special instructions that a member receives from a client or a supervisor, as well as inventory of items received as well as their condition. Endorsements from a co-worker can also be taken account of in a daily report.

In a daily report, the tasks that are being done should also be specific. Team members can categorize the task into general and specific. This allows the activities to be distinct and diverse from the other activities. In order to help team members provide specificity to their report, details such as who, what, when, or where can also be integrated.

A daily report also makes use of the KISS principle. KISS stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” This involves the usage of a simple format as well as decent vocabulary. Words used should be at par with the general readers’ comprehension level. Team members usually should refrain from showing off the words that they know. Also, opinions or speculations are usually not included since the report has to be factual. In addition, team members should try to refrain from using abbreviations, unless the company has a general rule for it.

Information can also be entered in a “Data-Action-Response” (DAR) format as this makes the report simpler and more comprehensive at the same time. “Data” includes the observations by a team member. Usually potential or existing issues are included here. “Action” involves the plan, activities, or procedures done to prevent or resolve an issue. Then, “Response” contains an evaluation whether the activities done met the goal or not.

Some daily reports may contain photos as a picture is worth a thousand words. Photos and images exemplify a good documentation practice. Reference or timestamp can also be indicated in the report.

Since a daily report is also a kind of documentation, team members sign at the end part of the report including the date when the report was made.

Advantages of doing daily reports

Preparing daily reports allows team members to understand the activities and procedures that take place within the day. In addition, actual and potential threats or limitations can also be identified and prevented.

Businesses make use of daily reports in order to evaluate and plan for their performance on a short-term or long-term basis. Daily reports also serve as the foundation to larger types of reports, which provide regulators, creditors, and investors with data about the performance and strategies of the business.

Disadvantages of doing daily reports

Daily reports are extremely beneficial to a small business or large corporations; however, they also have their limitations.

Preparing daily reports add consideration time and money expenditure, considering that such reports are done every day. As a result, time consumption may lead to a compromise to the business’ financial and logistic capabilities to put funds in its operations or expansion.

Some reports are insufficient to present an accurate overview of the whole business or the financial status in why they run. The quality of data as well as the competence of those who are preparing them is also key factors. If data is incomplete or unspecific, reports may not appear as comparable as they should be. This reduces its credibility in monitoring work progress.

Best practices for doing daily reports

As daily reports serve as a summary of events that took place within the day, proper documentation should be done. Daily reports can be handwritten or electronically produced.

The report must be free from errors. Errors such as misspelled works or illegible entries are also corrected. For handwritten report entries, it is a good practice two use an indelible ink. Critical entries should also be check for the report to remain factual and accurate. Spaces for handwritten entries are usually crossed out. In some cases, “N/A” or a similar text should be entered. In addition, a stamp as replacement for a handwritten signature is not acceptable.

For some types of information, it is suggested that reports should be done in a format that allows trend evaluation. The usage of “DAR” format as well as KISS principle is also helpful.

How Teamreporter helps at doing daily reports

Teamreporter is a web based e-mail application that utilizes structure by replacing status meetings with schedule report mails.

The application notifies team members thru e-mail and requests them for the progress, problems, and significant events that took place within the day. They can reply to Teamreporter, allowing the sender to see an overview of the team’s status the following day. As daily reports are entered in the app, the team will also get data on its progress and will be able to identify potential issues.

Teamreporter also has an easy and automated method of providing status updates to team members. By allowing the members to share their work progress as well as the actual and potential issues, the app facilitates the team’s communication, thus, making its members more efficient.

Daily reports are filed in an archive using Teamreporter, as it allows automatic creation of timeline for the reports submitted. This also helps keep a track record of the activities of the team or company. As it also displays the team’s actions and progress, Teamreporter serves as a powerful tool to motivate companies and its teams.

Alternatives to doing daily reports

Preparation and submission of daily reports depend on the internal operating procedures of a company. Some corporations prefer weekly reports while others prefer monthly reports. However, most companies utilize all reports, from daily to annual, in order to efficiently monitor the work progress as well as it identify factors such as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Learn more about Teamreporter

Teamreporter is free for small teams (up to 4 members)