Why I think logging on paper rocks

I love logging with pen and paper. It’s true. Pen and paper are the most accessible tools to record all things D – meter readings, insulin & medications, food, exercise, random notes. There is nothing else that is more convenient and flexible. While I believe that pen and paper are fantastic tools, I am not so generous with the standard issue logbook you may find bundled with your new meter.

As a matter of early full-disclosure, I’m giddy about paper because I designed a piece of paper that I think tackles some of the shortcomings of the traditional logbook. There are two Type 1 diabetics in our household and we’ve found that this little creation to be a gem in maintaining good logs. Since it’s been helpful to us, I am excited to introduce the SugarDash Pocket Log and make it freely available to all.

The Pocket Log was inspired by a number of factors. Chief among these reasons were a long history with bulky, clumsy logbooks, designs that were too rigid and unreliable access to a consistent logbook format. When our son was diagnosed a year ago with T1, we had a new necessity of being able to distinguish between logbooks at a glance. After poking around for a good logbook design, it was clear that pen and paper were not getting the creative attention they deserve. This is where my work began.

The Pocket Log went through countless design changes for nearly a year. It started out with a two-week format and later moved to one-week. This change helped us spot emerging trends quickly and provided more space for notes. There was a lot of tuning of the visual hints on where to log. In the end, the Pocket Log strives to provide just enough structure for recording what you need and quickly get out of the way. There were considerations for when you wanted to keep the logbook unfolded or convert into a booklet form. Every design change was derived from daily use of the Pocket Log in managing my wife’s and son’s diabetes.

The cool part is that there is no right way to use the Pocket Log. It is easy to locate where an entry should go. What that entry may be is entirely up to you. Each day has clearly labeled time areas and a single rule line for footnotes or your own shorthand. One fourth of the page has ruled lines for more detailed notes. If you need to keep a highly detailed journal for a while, flip it over and use the blank side. If you want to keep it as a single sheet of paper and store it in a folder, that’s fine. If you want to fold it up and take it on the go, that’s also fine. It’s goal is to help you log how you like.

If this sounds appealing to you, please visit the SugarDash site. There is an image gallery, instructions on how to fold it into a booklet form and of course, the Pocket Log itself. It is intended to be printed with any printer on 8.5" x 11" paper. There is also a feedback tab on the site if you have any questions, comments or ideas. Of course, please feel free to ping me here as well with any feedback. I hope you find the Pocket Log a handy tool in your care.

wow, very impressive! thanks very much for sharing. I will try it out.