Every builder knows that the construction site diary is an essential document. It’s one of the main methods of recording all the stages of the range of activities taking place on-site. It shows the deadlines, personnel involved, scope and quality of work, production conditions, and the materials and methods of construction and installation used.

By regularly recording all activities in a site diary, you can better monitor your project. In a well-maintained site diary, you can see all work completed and the people responsible for it, you can analyse the current situation and, in case of conflicts, provide evidence or take measures to resolve claims based on the records in the site diary.

So, a site diary is a detailed diary containing maximum details of what happens from day 1 of construction until the project is handed over.

Traditionally, a construction site diary is kept by a site manager, a project manager or a responsible engineer – that is, one person who is present on the site daily. Their duties include recording in writing a lot of essential information in a certain format.

For example, the title page of a construction site diary may look like this:

traditional Paper form daily log of construction

Keeping this kind of documentation is often a conservative process that involves a lot of templates and forms that need to be filled out daily after inspecting, accepting and recording work on-site. The person responsible for the site diary often has to go back to the office at the end of the day and complete this time-consuming paperwork after work has finished at the site.

Here’s why.

  1. The construction site diary software itself already provides a structured electronic diary for many different forms of reporting, including logging daily tasks and performance for each individual.
    Dashboard
    *click on image to enlarge
  2. The navigation bar contains the main areas where you can find the general information you need to fill in a site diary. If necessary, you can use filters to narrow the search quickly.
  3. You can create tasks and identify responsible persons not only when you’re in the office but also while at the construction site, on-the-go, or at a meeting on the road. The app is available for any mobile device and is compatible with all modern operating systems. PlanRadar is also a cloud solution, so all data is available to users at any time. The app’s interface is user-friendly, the navigation is intuitive, and users don’t need any special knowledge or training to start working with PlanRadar.
    create new ticket
    task view on the drawing
  4. You can attach different types of content to a ticket form, including voice notes, text comments, photos and videos. You can also add stickers or draw on photos or plans to make the snag or necessary task even easier to see and understand. You can then pin the task itself to the precise location in a technical drawing, plan or BIM model. Additionally, you can add any necessary documents in PDF, Word, Excel or other formats to each ticket. Changes to tickets take place in real time, and the system automatically notifies all users who are involved in the task.
    different types of content to a ticket form
  5. The platform solves the longstanding problem of communication between different members of a construction team. Once you have added an assignee to a particular ticket, you can see if they have opened and seen the task. If they take any action or add extra information, you’ll be able to see it immediately.
  6. If the work is completed, the responsible team member can mark it as completed and this will be immediately displayed in the system. Moreover, the ticket functionality includes a chat area where you can exchange additional information and clarify any details. This means that each ticket contains a tamperproof timeline kept in electronic form.
  7. Instead of routinely filling out a lot of paper forms, you can use ready-made report templates that can be customized to your specific tasks and goals. These forms can be used to generate regular reports instead of creating and filling in new ones manually each time.

    Report templates are generally very practical and a great time saver for this part of the documentation work. The report is generated in seconds, and you can email it from your mobile device while you are on site.

Read more: Gantt Charts for Construction Projects – all you need to know

In addition to customisable fields that you choose to include or not, the report can be personalized with your company’s logo or specific project information. As a result, construction site diary software PlanRadar enables you create a complete document that is ready for sharing. Instead of spending hours on a generic report, you can have it ready in seconds. You can then download it in PDF or Excel format for sharing with other project stakeholders.

Here is a simple description of how you can use the app to create a site diary:

In the Forms and Lists section of the app, you can select “Forms”. There is a ready-made template for the Site Diary:

You can see that this template contains all the necessary fields — you just need to select what you need and delete the fields you don’t need. For example, among the basic fixed fields, you can fill in:

  • title;
  • priority;
  • progress (add status information to the ticket);
  • assignee (the person responsible for the task);
  • recipients (other people who will receive notification about this ticket);

You can also add additional important fields for data entry. You can format the data field as follows:

  • date;
  • time;
  • list (you can add an individual list, for example, of material used);
  • check-box (the possibility to tick a marker);
  • long description / short description;
  • adding a numeric field.

After you create the necessary form for the future task, navigate to the Tickets tab and select your project. Inside the project you can create a ticket, either linked to a location on the plan or without a location for a general task. If you want to place the ticket at a plan location, you should first open a drawing/plan. Next, click on “Create a ticket.” A pin will appear on the drawing. Once you have it in the correct position, click on the green check mark and the form will open:

 

Read more: Five tips to become a more effective site manager

In the first field, “Form”, you can select from the forms that have already been created for this project.

Note: one of the first steps when setting up a new project is to add the forms that you will need. Once you have added a form to the project, you can use it to create an unlimited number of tickets.

It is often convenient to use the “Lists” function. This allows you to create dropdown menus in your form so that your team is choosing from a preselected set of choices. This format allows you to create simple checklists.

With this kind of custom checklists, you can save time onsite inspections and work more efficiently. For example, you can pre-set a list of potential weather conditions that should be indicated in a site diary, or you can set a fixed list for the categories of work that you want to include in a snagging list.

You can make or edit these lists in the Lists section of the app. You can also use lists from one project in new projects, so that you don’t have to rebuild these each time. By creating and storing all of your reports digitally, you can make your work easier.

All information is collected in a structured way and securely stored in the cloud. You can view any changes in real-time, to make sure that your project is on track. You can also use PlanRadar’s functionality as a log of all construction work where the tickets attached to the drawing will contain all types of work, the status and date of completion and the responsible person or group. The tickets also store additional information that was communicated during the task: comments, photo documentation, video recordings, voice recordings, correspondence with the subcontractor and any additional documents.

The simplicity with which you can fill in site diary templates means that you can easily monitor the situation on-site, reducing the amount of time you have to spend on routine work and providing accurate data and important reports.

All entries of your construction site diary will be safely stored after project completion, so you can access all the information you need to resolve any future disputes or claims.

Digitizing your workflow can be easier than you think. It isn’t difficult to get started with PlanRadar — it takes just 10 minutes to configure your project (adding basic forms and templates, uploading a drawing).

There’s no need for any in-depth training — just sign up for a 30-day free trial with PlanRadar and start using the application now!