Observing Log refresh
Session name: 20081004.0900
I begin my sixth year of observing from the Great Lawn, first at TPO, now at TotL, with a fresh logbook - a black 3.5" x 5.5" Moleskine plain 192 page notebook that fits easily in my pocket. This is number 11 since adopting this notebook as my standard. I've used others like the larger 5.25" x 8.25" Moleskine journal with 240 blank pages and a landscape format called the Reporter and quadrille-ruled in both large and pocket sizes. I prefer the blank page. They're not filled entirely with field notes but include other offline notes. The first notebook that I began to collect notes in was a Barnes & Noble quadrille ruled notebook, There are some random observation notes as early as 2002.
I'm in agreement with many others that a log is book is important to help shape your observing program, improve your observing skill, and crutch the memory. Usually I review, analyze and evaluate recent notes to develop a game plan for the next session. I look back on older notes & sketches with the same enjoyment as I do looking at developed snapshots.
One project I have never got fully underway was to database my observations. Dave p. & Jeff Burton have very impressive databases that integrate well with the websites. I've compiled some lists in Excel spreadsheets but never got all the data into a database. Seems like a daunting task that I won't do in the near future.