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Design a Custom Logbook in 7 Easy Steps

This guide is designed to help you with our custom logbooks quoting system. Each step is explained with screenshots of the actual web pages. Though this guide refers to our particular process, it is helpful for anyone looking to design a custom logbook.

 

1. Hardcover or Wirebound?

In my previous article I covered the differences between wire bound and hardcover books, and in what situation each is appropriate. The short of it is that hardcover books are usually more durable and provide more reliable evidence in court. In some cases there may be legislation that makes the use of hardcover logbooks mandatory. Wirebound books are generally more affordable and can be easier to write in as they lay flat when open, or bend all the way back. If you keep notes for internal purposes only, or there is no legal reason to go for hardcover, wirebound could be a more economical choice. To learn more please refer to our logbook buying guide.

 

    The first page in our automated quoting system asks you to select the binding type:

     

    choose a hardcover or wire bound format 

    Once you have selected the binding type that corresponds with your needs, click “next” to proceed.

     

    2. Book Size and Orientation

    The size of the logbook depends on its intended use. If you need a book to be frequently carried around then you may want to go with a smaller size log book. It is generally advised to fit the inspection procedures and details of at least one full day or shift on one page to keep things organized; which sometimes requires a book as large as 12” x 18”.

    Choose the size and orientation of your book 

    The orientation of your book depends on the page layout. By now you have probably noticed that some options depend on the design of your page - it is best to finish that first. If you haven’t designed it yet, then select your best guess and once the quote is processed we will advise you further. If you need help with your logbook page design, please follow this guide.

     

    3. Title and Stamping

    When ordering a hardcover book you can choose to have the title on the Cover, on the Spine, or Both. When books are stored on a shelf, only the spine may be visible - in this case you may opt for a title on the spine. Consider the use and storage of your book when choosing the position of the title. Extra stamping will increase the cost of your books; however, when ordering large quantities the additional cost is minimal.

    hardcover book title 

    If you are ordering wirebound books, both plastic and light card cover, then the title can only be printed on the front cover of the book.

    wirebound book title 

     

    4. Cover Colour

    Your choices for colour differ based on the binding type you select at the very beginning. The colour of a hardcover book comes from the material in which the cover is wrapped, and therefore the choices are limited to the materials available. The title of a hardcover book is foil stamped in one of four colours: white, black, silver, or gold. Should you require a design outside of these parameters please submit the closest matching configuration and indicate your requirements in the comments, one of our representatives will contact you.

    hardcover books colour selection

    Wirebound books with a plastic cover can be printed in most light colours - the range is predefined for you on the automated quoting system (if you require the full colour range, please submit the closest matching configuration and indicate your needs in the comments, and one of our representatives will contact you directly) . However, unlike the hardcover books, the title is printed and not foil stamped - so it can be full colour, text only, or text with a logo. The logo can be sent to samples@logbooks.com.

    plastic cover colour selections 

    Wirebound books with a white card stock cover can have any combination of colour printed on the outside for their cover and title, and therefore have a colour picker available for each - as with the plastic cover, the logo file can be sent to samples@logbooks.com.

    light card colour selection

    You can type the colour name in the text field under the colour picker and it will be automatically selected - like the words “red” and “gold” in the above example. Typing “lightgreen” will select a colour, while “light green” (with a space) won’t.

     

    5. Inner Pages

    If you haven’t yet a rough idea of the layout of your logbook, follow this link for a quick guide. Based on your needs you may require one page per day for a year, for a number of months, or just a round number of pages such as 100, 200, or 250, purely for convenience.

    You will need to decide on printing on two sides of the sheet, or just one. A page is one side of a sheet of paper, so if you select one sided printing then there will always be a blank page on the other side of the sheet of paper. This could be useful if you need to write with heavy inks or markers, or any other special consideration. However, in most cases it is not needed as we print on 70lb paper that won’t bleed through. Chances are that you will need to select double sided pages (printing on both sides of the sheet).

    number of pages in the logbook

    Now you simply need to enter the number of pages in your book and we will calculate the sheets. For example, if you print on each side of the sheet and need 200 pages, then that comes out to 100 sheets of paper with a page on each of the two sides.

     

    6. Misc Details

    Do you need your pages numbered or dated? Will each page be the same or will there be different pages? If you require the first 10 pages to be variant A, another 5 to be variant B, and the rest to be variant C (click for an example) then you can explain it in the comments.


    As long as your pages are black and white it won’t matter what you put on the pages themselves. The exact design and layout that you have selected will be confirmed at a later stage; it doesn’t impact the cost. If you require colour pages then please indicate this in the comments and we will provide you with an accurate estimate adjustment.

    logbooks quantity selection

    When you enter book quantities we suggest that you enter 3 different ones to see the price changes as the number of books increases. There is usually a significant price drop between making 1 and 2 books.


    You may wish to add a page with guidelines or instructions at the beginning of the book - please provide any accompanying explanations in the comments section. 

     

    7. Contact Information and Quote Estimate

    The contact information page requires the standard contact details - those are important for our quoting process. All of the details stay confidential and no financial information is required at this stage.

    contact form

    On your final page you will get an outline of all of the details that you have entered and the prices for your quote. The costs are estimated and when submitted will be confirmed by an estimator in house. While the vast majority of requirements can be accounted for in this automated quote, perforation, colour pages, tabs, envelopes or inside pockets, and custom logos on hardcover books will be incorporated by our estimator once you have submitted your quote request.

    automatic quote estimate

    The final page displays a summary of your quote details on the left side and the prices on the right side. The savings per book on larger quantities are displayed as a percentage in the “You Save (per book)” column. If you’re interested in a different quantity there is no need to redo the whole quote - simply type a new number in the “other quantity” box and click on the “Update Quote” button to see pricing.

     

    If you need to change any of the quote details simply press on the “Previous” button to go back to any stage and make modifications. Once the quote is complete, please click on “Submit Quote” to send it over to us for verification - we will provide you with a final quote within one business day. In the vast majority of cases the price will be virtually identical - exceptions include extras such as perforation, coloured pages, tabs, envelopes or inside pockets, custom logos on hardcover books, and other special requests.

    October 05, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    How to Design a Logbook Page?

     

    The page layout of a logbook can involve a fairly complex design process. You may be lucky and already have a template at hand - but if you need to make one from scratch, or redesign an existing layout, then this guide will help.

     

    Where to start?

    The most important first step is to outline the activities and measurements that need to be recorded. Once you define the scope of the information you need to record you can proceed to the layout. Consider the following questions:

    • Is there an existing logbook that you are replacing (if yes, it can help with establishing the general scope and order of recording the information)?
    • Is there a repeating structure/format to the information?
    • Are all details recorded at the same intervals - is there anything that needs recording more frequently or less frequently?
    • How long will one logbook last?
    • Is there a specific order in which the information is recorded or that the procedures are performed?

     

    Once you’ve answered these questions and outlined a basis for your requirements, you will need to decide how detailed the information will have to be. This will determine how much space to allocate to your entries. If there is an existing logbook or notebook that is currently in use, it can serve as a blueprint to identify necessary parameters and words that repeat frequently and can be incorporated into your eventual logbook design to save time.

     

    Categories and sections are the starting point of your page layout

    It’s useful to break up the information into sections by category. If you always record things in a certain order - especially if the logbook will be used by people other than just yourself - designing the layout to effectively facilitate that order of information entry will help make the process more consistent.

     

    It may be easier to start with a sheet of paper rather than a file, as the paper allows for greater flexibility when initially laying everything out on the page. A digital file is restricted through formatting and can be distracting with the amount of detail and adjustments it allows, while a physical sheet of paper will let you easily outline sections and adjust them without concerns for formatting. Section off the main parts of your page layout allocating appropriate amounts of space for each based on the amount of detail required.

     

    Use existing records and practices to inform the details of each section

    Once the rough layout of the page is complete you will need to specify the details of each section. The best source for that information is a collection of existing records - however, if this is the first logbook to be made then simply recording everything that will go in the logbook for a few days will work well. When there are 5-6 days worth of data it will be possible to see the range of records to be accommodated by the final logbook. Consider extreme situations when extra detail may be required so that the final logbook can be used in all cases - rather than just the default scenarios.

     

    One of the biggest time savers lies in converting fully written out notes into “yes/no” or “check” tables. The user simply marks “yes” or “no” instead of writing everything out each time they perform a check or inspection. The same principle works with tables that list ingredients or actions allowing for the user to simply enter a number (such as “water level XX mm” where one would enter just the number of millimetres instead of writing out the entire section)

     

    When your page layout is complete, or far along enough to give you an idea of book orientation(landscape or portrait) and number of pages; please follow this link to complete our automated custom logbook estimating tool. You don't have to submit a quote request to see prices - this tool is great for estimating costs quickly and easily. If you're not sure what to put in the steps of the logbooks estimating tool then this guide will make it a breeze, and explain exactly what goes in each step.

    If you have question regarding the final logbook page design, please include them with your quote application if you chose to submit one. Otherwise you can contact our team at quote@logbooks.com and one of our designers will help you.

     

    If you’re still not sure if it's worth it to customize your log book, please use our time saving calculator to estimate how much you will save by customizing your book.

    September 28, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Custom Logbooks Save Time and Money

    What's the difference between a custom and a standard log book? It turns out that it could be hundreds of dollars per book in savings - when going with custom. Surprising? Yes. How is it possible?


    Consider the following logbook layout:

    Custom logbooks for the pharmaceutics industry with detailed instructions

    How long will it take you to write all of this on the page?

     

    Assuming that for logging such events you develop shorthand, it still could take upwards of 3-4 minutes. Perhaps your logbook needs are much simpler and it only takes 1 minute to write out all sections that repeat daily. If you write quickly (and sometimes illegibly) it could come down to only 25 seconds per page.

     

    A standard (Engineers) year long logbook will have 365 entries, which multiplied by 25 seconds comes out to a little over 2.5 hours per book. Keep this in mind as you go over the following table:

     

    1 book

    2 books

    10 books

    Standard wire bound

    $12

    $24

    $120

    Custom wire bound

    $64
    Hours saved: 2.5
    Extra cost: $52
    Time value: $125
    Net savings: $73

    $73
    Hours saved: 5
    Extra cost: $49
    Time value: $250
    Net savings: $201

    $168
    Hours saved: 25
    Extra cost: $48
    Time value: $1250
    Net savings: $1202

    Standard hardcover

    $40

    $80

    $400

    Custom hardcover

    $157
    Hours saved: 2.5
    Extra cost: $117
    Time value: $125
    Net savings: $8

    $201
    Hours saved: 5
    Extra cost: $121
    Time value: $250
    Net savings: $129

    $643
    Hours saved: 25
    Extra cost: $243
    Time value: $1250
    Net savings: $1007

     

    Compared directly, a custom logbook seems more expensive than a standard one. However, this conclusion only works before factoring-in the time savings. 2.5+ hours of operations(per book) will cost significantly more than $100 in most situations, which means that ordering customized books is often worth it.

     

    As the table shows, even ordering one custom log book can be more cost effective than a standard book in the long run. As the quantities increase the choice becomes pretty clear - keep in mind, this table illustrates only 25 seconds of writing redundant input per page.

     

    What will a custom logbook mean for you?

     

    Instead of general examples, why not look at your own particular needs and estimate the savings you stand to gain. Below is a calculator that will help you estimate the time and money you can save with custom logbooks. The first step is to identify (roughly) what you could print instead of writing every time. The easiest way to do that is to go through 5-10 of your daily logs and look for similarities. A more indepth guide on this can be found at our article about logbook page design.

    Step 1: Enter number of words you will print instead of writing by hand

    Step 2: Enter number of pages you will have in each book

    Step 3: Enter the approximate value of 1 hour of work to the company (not just the employee’s salary, but the total cost of one hour)

     

    You can now see the hourly and monetary savings for your order. This is on a per-book basis. Head over to our custom logbooks quote system and get an instant price estimate for your custom order.

     

    September 27, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    7 Heroic Children Who Saved People From Fire

    What can children do in a fire emergency? This isn't your average light conversation topic. When was the last time you spoke about it to anyone, or even given it any thought? We don’t want children to be in a fire emergency in the first place. The plan is that if it happens, their parents will guide them.  
    June 07, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Do You Know Enough About Fire Safety?

    Fire safety is one of the most significant safety concerns in our society. Fire has been a great driving force of human development and at the same time brought a lot of risks and dangers. We can’t give up all things that cause fire - especially since some come from nature (lightning), all we can do is educate and spread the knowledge of fire safety.
    May 11, 2016 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Guest Article: Refrigeration Equipment Maintenance

    The good news is that through proper maintenance your system should provide you with 30 years of reliable operation. The first step to being able to provide safe and useful maintenance on an ice rink refrigeration system is to fully understand the system. This essential knowledge is gained through proper education. A professionally facilitated refrigeration operator's training program will pay for itself many times over in lower energy costs, reduced downtime, and increased equipment longevity.
    December 14, 2015 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    What Is A Log Book and Do You Need It?

    Join us for a Q&A session with Jim Barratt, the President of Log Books Unlimited. Continue reading if you have any questions about logbooks; from ‘Do I even need a logbook at all?’, to ‘How to ensure that you are using the right one?’. What you find out may surprise you!
    November 26, 2015 Written by Eugene Matoussov 0 comments

    Don't Buy Another Log Book Until You Read This!

    When you focus on your job it is easy to lose focus on the importance of keeping records. Records and logs are not kept because it is a fun thing to do. Well, alright, some people might find it enjoyable - but not too many! When you’re absorbed in repairing or inspecting a piece of machinery, property, or a construction site; the thought of “hey, I really want to write this all down” is not usually at the top of your mind.

    November 04, 2015 Written by Eugene Matoussov 1 comment