Some have asked me why I still log to paper when I have a means to do it electronically in the field and that’s a valid question. There are a few reasons, actually:
- I don’t like the idea of my tablet or phone having issues mid-activation and losing all of the contacts that I’ve logged.
- I simply enjoy keeping paper logs. They’re easier to manage in the field, are easier to correct if I miss a letter in a call and paper gives me a space to scratch notes and extra callsigns I hear in a pileup.
- Plus, again, my paper logs can’t crash or freeze up.
It’s true that my phone and tablet rarely fail in the field, but I’m still a bit paranoid about it. I know it’s way more likely that the electronic logs could fail than my paper logs. That and I’ve been to the field recently and discovered my phone’s battery was very low because it wasn’t charging properly in the car en route to my activation.
If I’m being honest, I really dislike logging both to paper and to my phone simultaneously. It makes for a lot of busywork as I manage contacts rolling in on the bands–especially during pileups–plus I find typing callsigns on a phone with my fat fingers quite frustrating.
So why do I continue logging to an app in the field? The simple answer is that it saves me so much time later. POTA requires that all log entries be uploaded electronically (obviously) and my logging applications are not designed for transcription later; they’re designed for live-logging.
For example, if I transcribe my logs to ACLog the day after my activation, I have to manually correct the date and time of each log entry because ACLog defaults to the current date and time. It’s a bit tedious. Sometimes I try to use find/replace strings in a text editor after creating the log to make that process go a little more quickly, but I still have to correct the time of day manually for each entry.
I can set up ACLog to be more POTA-friendly, with only a minimum of fields, but I have to keep that customized ACLog installation separate from the main one I use in the shack.
Now, however, there’s a much better option should I choose to only log on paper in the field…
New Manual Log Entry on the POTA Website (Public BETA)
Only a couple months after introducing self-uploads, the POTA development team have introduced a web-based log entry form (currently as a public Beta) and it works brilliantly.