ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Small Business Basics - Keeping a Daily Log

Updated on March 11, 2015

There is no more basic, fundamental, ESSENTIAL, tool for running a business than the daily log. It's not complicated. It's basically nothing but a notebook where you write down notes from phone conversations, meetings, employee discussions, or whatever happens that day. It may be simple, but the impact of having it (or not having it) can be huge.

Taking Notes = Superhuman Memory

Extra brain capacity, waiting to be filled
Extra brain capacity, waiting to be filled

If you have a truly photographic memory, feel free to ignore this. Otherwise, assuming you are a normal human being, you forget things. In everyday life, forgetting things will be an inconvenience. In business, it will be a disaster.

I keep a daily log, but I'll admit that every once in a while, for some reason, I forget to write down something important. Usually it's not too long afterward that I get to become very familiar with the limits of my memory. It can be quite embarrassing to have to call a client and ask them how much you quoted them for their project.

On the other hand, keeping a careful daily log allows me to have a memory better than that of a regular person - to function at a superhuman level. That may seem like an exaggeration, but imagine a scenario where I am calling a client that I haven't spoken to in a long time. I'm trying to re-engage with him to get some more business. I can flip back through my notes and see what I wrote down from our previous conversations. When I call him, I may then be able to bring up a long forgotten fact such as where he went no vacation last year or that his daughter is finishing her first year of college. In reality, I have a notebook and a pen, but from his perspective, I have a superhuman memory.

I'm Not a Lawyer, but...

Source

Another reason for keeping a daily log is protecting yourself in a lawsuit. I'm not a lawyer, therefore don't take this as official legal advise, but if you ever find yourself in trouble, your daily log could save the day.

How many millions of phone conversations and meetings do you think happen each day? In each one, statements are made that could someday play a role in a lawsuit or court case. Careful notes taken as part of a regular daily log can be a helpful resource facing off against an unscrupulous accuser. Every liar has a perfect memory! Protect yourself with a pen and notebook.


Tools for Daily Logging

Source

My daily log of choice is a classic Composition Book, and a pen. I like being able to write out my notes in any format, shape, insane system I want. Mixing print, cursive, all-caps, drawing boxes around things, underlining, pointing arrows at certain words, that's what works for me. I also don't like typing while I'm talking to someone. I feel like I'm not listening as well. There is an exception, sometimes I don't have anything to write with, write on, or I'm just not prepared. My backup plan is emailing to myself. I pretty much always have my phone with me. I do usually apologize to anyone I'm meeting with and let them know that I'm taking notes - not texting or purposefully disrespecting them.

You may be different. I know plenty of business people who keep their daily logs on their computer, tablet, or phone. I have been considering going paperless, but I would definitely have to get a tablet and stylus. I would love to hear in the comments if there are any particularly excellent apps or programs that any of you have used successfully.

Just Do It

The daily log is essential, absolutely essential, as a business tool. If you are a business person, and you are currently not keeping a daily log, grab any old scrap of paper and start right now.

Poll

Do you keep a daily log?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)