Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives

What is a Logbook?

A logbook is a systematic record of activities and events.

Who uses a Logbook?

A logbook is usually used in the workplace, especially by truck drivers and pilots. This is to record hours and distances covered. The readings of the log have been noted in equal times to give the distance traveled with consideration to the starting point.

Why people use Logbooks

Logbooks were initially made for the purpose of ships to have a record of the distances they covered. As time passed by, most ships have begun using computerized systems and no longer utilize a log book to do their purpose. Now, logbooks are used to document events and help navigate if the radio or radar fails.

Nuclear power plants and energy producing businesses also utilize logbooks, as these play a crucial role in the field of manufacturing. Logbooks help the worker in monitoring and evaluating the manufacturing process.

Pilots also utilize logbooks to record time and trainings, which can also serve as references in the future. In addition, pilots use logbooks to abide with their rules and regulations. Truck drivers also utilize logbooks to comply with the transportation laws. They are instructed to document their location and the time of their duty. This is done because they are not allowed to drive for a specific number of hours consecutively.

Logbooks are also used by corporate staffs to capture data related to business. They enter information about the things that are happening in the team, usually on a daily or a weekly basis. Also, team members can record their progress in a logbook. The data entered in the logbook can also be used in the future to make crucial decisions, orient new office staffs, and tell the story of the business.

How to use a Logbook

There is no specific format for the information to be entered in a logbook. However, a logbook contains valuable information that will help the whole team grow.

Information taken from research can be documented in the logbook as future reference. The data can be in the form of links or images. Some ideas, such as inspirational quotes, can also be put in the logbook so that members have something to see in times of challenges or difficulties. Also, creative ideas that may contribute to the team’s success can be included in the logbook.

Sharing the best times in the logbook is a good idea. These include the accomplishments and achievements of the team, which can ignite courage, motivation, and productivity of the team members.

Part of business success is setting plans and goals. Writing them down is the first step so that they can be clearly seen. Plans should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Also, plans can be prioritized once they are written down. Moreover, they can also serve as reference for the future.

Struggles experienced by the team can also be written down in the logbook, as the worst thing to face it is to keep it to yourself. Writing down the problems and conflicts that are encountered enables the team to work through them. In addition, the members can help you resolve them.

Advantages of using Logbooks

In business, using logbooks has a number of benefits.

Keeping a logbook makes it sure that the members of the team are completely engaged in their delegated tasks. Also, the log book can be a reference for identifying the top performers among the staffs based from the accomplishments and achievements that are documented. This will allow team superiors to spot those who did very well for the company and give them some rewards.

The team can refer to the logbook for actual and potential problems noted by the team members. They can develop a strategy to resolve actual problems and to prevent a foreseen conflict. Plans and goals that are written in the logbook can also be the team’s bases for the actions to be implemented.

Overall, a logbook helps in promoting the team’s efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness.

Disadvantages of using logbooks

While logbooks help keep information about the team’s status and progress, it also has its disadvantage.

One problem that can be foreseen in keeping logbooks is that tendency of the staffs to forget writing on it. Some workers are very busy or have hectic schedule that they lose time or forget writing down in the logbook the things that happened.

Another conflict that can be perceived about using a logbook is the possibility of becoming lost or destroyed if paper-based, and the possibility of becoming corrupted if computerized. Also, using non-privileged records against clients is a disadvantage of keeping logbooks.

Best practices for keeping Logbooks

Aside from inspirational ideas, research facts, achievements, challenges, and goals, logbooks may also contain the lessons that the team has learned from the problems or conflicts in the past. These lessons will be instilled onto them as well as to those who will have the chance to read the logbook’s content.

Updates are also written down in the logbook so as to keep in touch with other team members. It can be a brief summary of how the things are going. The updates from all team members will form the big picture of the team’s progress.

Experience is the best teacher. The past experiences allow team members to identify what works and what does not. The best practices of the team should be written down in the logbook so that they can be reviewed and can be used in the future. A list of best practices also helps form the best team.

How Teamreporter helps at keeping Logbooks

Teamreporter is an application designed to reduce status meetings by means of scheduled report mails. It usually asks team members three things – the accomplishments for the day, the plans for tomorrow, and the obstacles that hinder the work progress.

The application can be the team’s digital logbook, since team members can report information through it. Achievements can serve as motivating factors to the team members while problems and conflicts can be discussed by the team for possible solutions.

Free for up to four people, Teamreporter has a simple and automated way, which makes it easy to use. Similar to a logbook, the application allow team members to know what is going on in the team, which can lead team members to the right path. Also, the team gains the opportunity to facilitate effective communication to become a more efficient team as their share issues, progress, and achievements with Teamreporter.

Alternatives to keeping Logbooks

Logbooks are efficient tools in business as it reflects the progress of the entire team. It stores information written by the team members, which can serve as reference in the future.

Alternatives to using logbooks are reports, which can be submitted individually or by group. In addition, meetings can be held to discuss important matters, such as accomplishments, problems, and plans within the group.

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