3 Ways Your Site Diary Is Failing You

April 19, 2019
Three main ways that your traditional reporting method is failing you.

Daily reports in the construction industry have been written the same way for thousands of years.

Whatever the weather, location, or project type, you put a pen to paper and scribble some notes. Your mind is on other things but somehow you cobble together a report and stick it into a filing cabinet, never to see the light of day again.

Just because something isn’t necessarily broken, doesn’t mean you can’t still fix it.

Handwriting daily site diaries may be the way things have always been done, however, at this point, practically every industry in the world has gone digital. It's logical and it’s necessary that construction also adapts to modern times.

You don't use archaic, rudimentary construction tools, so why would you stick with an outdated daily reporting procedure?

In case you still have any doubts, we’ve pulled together the three main ways that your traditional reporting method is failing you.

  1. It Adds Unwanted Time To The End Of Your Day
  2. It Lacks Detail
  3. You Have To Dig Through Piles Of Paperwork To Resolve A Dispute

1. It Adds Unwanted Time To The End Of Your Day

At the end of a long day on-site your team get to go home. But as the supervisor, you still have work to do. You return to your office for an hour, or more, to review your notes and fill out the paper site diary template.

Let’s assume you spend an hour each day filling that out (though, let’s face it, it’s probably longer at times). That means that in the average 4.5 week month, working 5 days a week, you do an additional 23 hours of admin outside of your shifts. Minimum.

2. It Lacks Detail

Not everyone carries a notebook with them all day, and things on a construction site can happen too quickly to get it all down on paper. As a result, your daily report is often reliant on memory or hastily written notes that may not be clear to read.

The final result? A daily report that lacks the level of detail needed by the project manager. It might cover the key events of the day but does it delve into why certain things happened the way they did? What the solution was? Is there any photographic evidence to back it up?

Poor quality of information in your site diary can lead to soured relationships and underpayment from clients. It’s an important report, but currently it’s being treated like an afterthought.

3. You Have To Dig Through Piles Of Paperwork To Resolve A Dispute

Paper reports slow the whole process down if there is a claim or a dispute during the work. The project head office can’t access the information they need straight away, so you have to dig back through your files, find the right report and send it to them. And once they have it, who can guarantee that it’s detailed enough to substantiate a claim?

So What's The Solution?

No matter which way you swing it, handwritten construction reports prevent them from being the best they can be. But supervisors are often hesitant to let go of the pen and paper template because they don't want to get stuck with something that takes even longer than the original process.
This is a valid concern, because the early versions of construction management software didn't prove very successful in the field. They were clunky and confusing, causing extra and unnecessary stress.

Raildiary’s goal is to be as simple as possible, so you can produce professional quality daily reports, stay organized, and keep your PM happy while avoiding any tech-related headaches.

You'll never have to keep track of messy documents again: the app works as a digital toolbox that keeps all information and data in one place. Plus, you can complete all of your daily administrative tasks within the Raildiary app in an instant.

Say Goodbye To Pen & Paper Construction Daily Report Templates.

If you're still filling out your daily site reports with pen and paper in a daily report template, you're certainly not alone, but the rail construction industry is shifting to adopt new technology for both the office and the field. We're here to help you make the shift, while keeping your sanity intact. We want you to save time, not waste it learning some fancy tech program, so we designed Raildiary to be the simplest, most user-friendly rail construction app for the field.

Don't get us wrong, we love the classics just as much as anyone else, but as far as daily reporting goes, it's time for an update.

3 Ways Your Site Diary Is Failing You

Will Doyle


I am an experienced RICS chartered Quantity Surveyor​ with first-hand experience of how the consistent capture and analysis of data can transform global project delivery.

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