Maintaining a proper ship’s log can be challenging. It seems like something you remember to do well after you’ve left the dock and are heading home after a day of boating. However, the need to accurately record fuel consumption and purchasing, maintenance and other important events in a timely manner necessitates some sort of documentation model.
For two years now I’ve been using a combination of a traditional notebook ship’s log and some iPhone apps, such as The Boating Suite. Both have had their advantages, and both have presented challenges.
I’ve decided for our third boating season to begin using Evernote. The app’s simplistic model accents its elegance and utility. With Evernote I can create written and captured (photographic, audio, video) notes and assign them to a specific notebook. I can also tag each post with keywords that can later be used to rapidly locate specific entries.
So far I’ve been adding entries by snapping pictures from my iPhone of my Vessel View display (see below) and fuel receipts so I can record fuel consumption and costs. I’ve also been adding text notes documenting our guests and weather conditions. If there comes a time when I need to share maintenance records with a future buyer or service shop it will be easy to reveal them using Evernote’s search features.
Evernote is free, widely available for desktop and mobile platforms and is fun to use. They’ve also teamed up with physical notebook vendor Moleskine to create smart notebooks which facilitate scanning hand-written notes that can be automatically captured, stored and searched within Evernote.
Also, the best thing about storing all your boat’s vital information in Evernote is that it’s with you all the time – and saved in the “cloud.” That could one day be important in the event of an accident or significant loss of equipment.
Great post, David! I’d like to check out that app. It sounds very user-friendly.
deb- evernote is a writer’s dream. get it asap. Still- I thought that the reason that one is supposed to enter ship’s log consecutively into a bound blank notebook is to avoid the possibility of back-dated records. Something that an electronic record is not great at doing. Or am I wrong on that?
I wasn’t aware that was a requirement or concern, or that people would question someone’s logs. I guess that I might be naive and that people selling boats might lie about engine hours, maintenance, etc.
Evernote is great. I use it all the time and love that you can create notebooks and tag everything. But, it is only free if you use a small amount of MB space. I’m constantly being told that I’ve maxed out for the month and I need to upgrade to the pay version if I want to do more each month.
Very timely! I just this moment downloaded Ever note to my smartphone, am getting a tablet soon. All this will be handy as we begin our very first cruising season!
I have been using Evernote as well and enjoy it for all the reasons you discribe. Love having pictures, text, maintaince logs, to do list, and images of current rigging and electrical layouts. Comes in handy when I’m at the store and can’t remember the ID number of my fuel filter or size of line I use on my main halyard. Even store magazine and website info for sites or stories I want to referance later. I’m a fan.