10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Paper Logbooks

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Paper Logbooks

10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Paper Logbooks 1920 1165 j5 International (Part of Hexagon)

With the constant advancement of IT technology over the decades, paper logbooks are becoming more and more obsolescent.  Solutions such as the j5 Operations Logbook allow users to share and find key information quickly, consistently and easily.  Here are 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Paper Logbooks:

  1. Information Is Difficult to Find:  On every industrial site it is very important that real-time information is readily available to all personnel.  Paper logbooks are usually filed away in folders, filing cabinets and archives, making the process of finding specific information a laborious task.
  2. Illegible Handwriting:  We all write in different ways and sometimes the writer is the only person who can recognise the information clearly.  Paper logbooks encourage short-hand and untidy writing, which is often due to the busy schedule of the logger.
  3. Inconsistent Logging and Reporting:  A thesaurus proves that there are often many names for the same thing.  With paper logbooks there is no pre-defined entry structure which can cause confusion.  Consistent data entry leads to efficient reporting.  None of these are possible with paper logs.  An electronic logbook system allows consistent layouts, categorization, hierarchies, reports, data entry and so on.
  4. Poor Weather Resistance:  Industrial sites are often situated in extreme environments, for example blustery North Sea oil rigs.  Paper is not renowned for its wind and rain resistance and it can be extremely frustrating trying to write on a piece of paper that is flapping about in the wind or covered in rain droplets.  Electronic mobile logging devices are much more robust and practical in these situations.
  5. No Workflow Capabilities:  When an event is recorded on a paper logbook, the information trail ends there.  Unless the logger verbally speaks to their colleagues or shows them the actual record they wrote.  Electronic systems such as j5 Inspection Rounds share information, assign tasks and send alerts in real-time.
  6. No Standard Operating Procedures:  Once information is recorded on a paper logbook, there is no further indication of what the logger should do next. Personnel can be taken through a step-by-step check-list of plant procedures with the j5 Mobile application.
  7. Zero Integration with Plant Systems:  Due to their static and offline nature paper logbooks have no interfaces with other plant systems such as Data Historians, Maintenance Systems, Asset Management Systems and so on.  j5 Applications integrate seamlessly with each other and external applications.
  8. High Printing and Storage Costs:  Daily paper logbooks mount up quickly over the months and years.  This leads to high paper, printing and storage costs. Electronic logbooks store all of this information on a computer server, eliminating all of the above costs.
  9. Low Flexibility and Customization:  Changing paper logbook templates can be an arduous and frustrating task.  Within an industrial site there are many variations of data which need to be recorded.  This leads to many different types of logbooks which need to be tailored individually and shared across sites. Systems such as the j5 Operations Logbook allow users to create and modify logbook templates quickly and globally.
  10. Attaching Information is Cumbersome:  Using paper logbooks means that attaching additional information becomes a chore.  Old-school office stationery such as staples, glue, elastic bands and paper clips are the only ways to attach photographs, reports and so on to paper logbooks.  Computer based logbook solutions allow users to attach items with a couple of clicks or directly from a camera. Saving time, money and sore fingers.