8 Ideas You Can Steal from Logbooks

Grand Turk LogbookLogbooks were originally used by ships to record the distance travelled. Since their inception, ship logs have grown to include weather conditions, significant events, crew, as well as a lot of other operational data.

In fact, these days, logbooks are used in many industries to record important information over time.

At teamspir.it we use our team logbook to share thoughts, ideas, motivation, challenges, accomplishments, and experiences.

In doing this, we’ve discovered a number of valuable insights. Here are eight ideas you can steal from logbooks:

1. Learn From The Past

They say that history repeats itself. If this is true, the past is not to be ignored. One thing logbooks are great at is recording what has already happened. Keeping a logbook gives us a chance to look back and see both where we made mistakes and where we got it right. We learn more from our personal experiences than any other medium so it makes sense that we should record them.

2. Habits Are How Things Get Done

People who log their progress are more likely to achieve their goals. This is because, through the daily practice of recording and reflecting on their progress, they are developing important habits related to their goal. Willpower almost always fails us, habits don’t. If you really want to get something done, build a habit that pushes you to consistently move forward.

3. Gratitude Matters

Not all logbooks include gratitude but they should. I firmly believe gratitude is one of the most powerful communication tools we have. Not only does sharing gratitude do wonders for team motivation, but it also improves happiness and productivity—on both ends. The person showing their appreciation will get the same boost as the person receiving it.

4. You Can’t Remember Everything

I know I’m not the only one who needs to be reminded that we can’t remember everything. And why would you want to? Trying to keep too keep many details straight in your head is stressful. Logbooks are valuable because they record the details so you don’t have to remember them. You’ll be able to come back to important information over and over again, without the stress of remembering it all by yourself.

5. Records Are Valuable

Records are important and not just because you can’t remember everything. They serve a variety of valuable purposes including preserving the past, demonstrating progress, and documenting important information. These records can be used internally for growth and development, but they can also be used externally as a storytelling tool.

6. Done Is Better Than Perfect

One of the things that makes logbooks so effective is that the information you include is more important than the way to say it. Writing can be a huge barrier for a lot of people but it’s not important to be eloquent when you’re recording your progress. Logbooks are about information above all else. In fact, they are useless without relevant information. How you portray that information is not as important. Often in life we become so obsessed with doing things perfectly that we become stuck and don’t accomplish anything at all. It’s always better to finish, even it’s not perfect.

7. Focus On The Good Times

Logbooks record a lot of information including successes, which are a great piece of data. Yes, the struggles are important too, but by highlighting successes you set yourself up for more of the same in the future. Focusing on the good times will remind you what works, and it will kickstart your motivation. In this way logbooks stop us from making the same mistakes over again, and instead encourage us to repeat successes.

8. Details Matter

A logbook is just a collection of data. The value lies in recording that data and having access to it in the future. But without enough detail that data would be useless. If you record the details of an important meeting but you fail to include who you were meeting with, that information will be useless. Details are important—inside logbooks and out.

Image credit: JoJan