What is a daily log?
A daily log is a way for project managers to maintain a record of their projects. It is used in industries like construction, transportation, or anything else where work is measured in projects. Daily logs improve task management by helping you keep track of developments, and updating a task tracker every day makes it easy to understand what still needs doing. In addition to task management, having everything noted down via daily logs is valuable in case of legal disputes.
Table of contents
2.1. Track project health
2.2. Save time
2.3. Clarify next steps
What should a daily log include?
The information recorded in your daily logs is sometimes subject to external regulations. For example, commercial motor vehicle drivers in the U.S. are required to maintain a daily log in which they record their record of duty for the day, together with supporting documents. It’s a good idea for you to check if your industry has similar regulations.
Beyond such requirements, your daily log should include>
- The date and time
- General project information
- Section titles
- Event descriptions
- Related past events
- A daily checklist for tracking completed tasks
- Any incidents or accidents
- A manager’s signature, for accountability
Including all of these things in your project reporting will make it much easier to track progress and identify anything that might impede your project.
How do daily logs help with task management?
Writing comprehensive daily logs, and especially including daily checklists, improves productivity significantly. Keeping track of what tasks are supposed to be completed, which took longer than expected, and maintaining a realistic timeline for project completion are crucial to making sure there are no surprises.
Track project health
Regular and detailed project reporting gives everyone involved an overview of project status and enables project managers to make adjustments where needed. If a project is lagging behind schedule, it’s important to flag this as quickly as possible. Then, you can start identifying reasons why your task management is not proceeding as planned.
Regular project updates don’t just benefit you internally. Detailed data collection and task tracking is useful for stakeholders as well. Keeping your stakeholders informed is a sign of a working professional relationship.
Daily logs and daily checklists save everyone a lot of time. For one thing, they collect all the relevant information in one place, which frees you from spending hours on data collection. And when you provide a daily checklist of tasks completed and work to be done, that’s time you don’t have to spend in meetings. A digital daily log gets all your workers on the same page and allows them to spend their time getting things done.
Clarify next steps
Having a detailed overview of all project developments is an excellent progress tracker, and the more information you have, the easier it is to plan your way forward. If there is anything blocking your progress, regular project reporting helps you practice proactive task management and resolve the issue faster.
Task management best practices
Your goal when writing a daily log is to improve your task management and optimize the way projects are completed. In order to make sure you are getting the most out of your efforts:
- Be timely. Daily project reporting is at its best when reports are written as soon after the day’s events as possible. Not only does this help identify any needed changes faster, but the longer you wait, the more likely it is that details are forgotten.
- Go into detail. Describe as comprehensively as possible the progress that was made, and especially make sure you’re specific about anything that prevented progress.
- Write concisely. As important as details are, they need to be communicated in an understandable way. Use short sentences and avoid too much jargon.
- Talk to your workers. When trying to design a task management plan, you may not always know everything going on in the field. Getting other peoples’ accounts of events will improve your progress tracking.
- Be transparent. Your daily logs are seen by everyone, workers and stakeholders alike. So it’s important to be as forthright as possible about incidents that occur, expectations going forward, and timelines for the future.
Distributing and completing daily logs is much faster when you use a digital inspection tool such as Lumiform. By customizing a ready-made template to fit your industry or project, you can make sure all the information you need gets recorded. Use the fully mobile software as a task tracker and a way to improve your workflow.