An Activity Log is a report that includes all the work or actions that have been done in a given time frame.
It is best used in a business set up as it helps to show how each employee spent their time clearly. An activity log provides a record of how the employee spent their time.
An organization can have detailed information on how their employees allocated their time during the day or week with an activity log.
An activity log is also known as;
- A job activity log
- A time log
- An activity diary
What is an Activity Log Template
An activity log template is essential in an organization. Recording of the time and activities can be made easier by using an activity log template. An activity log template is different from an application and cannot be obtained from an application. However, an employer can download the template as a PDF or Microsoft word document from online sources.
The employer can use the activity log template to create activity log sheets for the employees, making the whole process easier. Also, the template ensures that there is an effective recording of time spent by the employees.
Following are some free downloadable templates for you:
Activity log template vs. timesheet template
An activity log template is different from a timesheet template. While an activity log or diary reports how an employee spends their time, a timesheet template records how an employee spent their time and how long they spent completing a particular task or job.
How to Record an Activity Log
To keep an activity log, an organization should first provide its employees with a template of it or instruct them to open a new spreadsheet. With either one of them in place, the following headers should be present for each column: Date/Time, Activity Description, How I feel, Duration, and Value.
Note: For the value columns, the response can be high, medium, low, or none. For the “How I feel” column, the response can include alert, tired, flat, energetic, etc.
Importance of Activity Log
An organization needs to instruct its employees to use an activity log as it is beneficial in different ways. With these logs, organizations are assured of active employees who can tackle strenuous and challenging activities before slowing down to handle easier and less challenging tasks. This means that proper energy levels are channeled to appropriate tasks hence better work quality.
Organizations have different goals every day that leads to the realization of their objectives. With an activity log, an organization is guaranteed reduced time between switching from one task to another. This means that their employees can complete tasks in batches.
An employee can have a specific time for reviewing all reports and preparing all the needed emails, instead of mixing these two different activities.
Uses of Activity Log Template
Here is how an organization can use activity log templates in their day-to-day operations
Increase in productivity
Communication is an important tool in increasing productivity in an organization.
An activity log template can be used as a means of communication since the organization will gather information about how its employees spend their time and make any necessary changes regarding better productivity.
Activity log templates can also be used by businesses to identify and correct any areas of weaknesses. This may include identifying periods when the business made low sales, and hence the business can find ways of improving this and attracting its customers in the end.
Details of activities
This is also the best tool for determining employee incentives. This is because it provides details of activities, apart from tracking time spent, that are used to determine the performance of employees; hence an organization can measure the type of incentive fit for each of their employees.
Reduce low-value tasks
Since an activity log template records all activities done alongside the time spent, organizations can reduce the low-value tasks among their employees; hence reduce and even prevent time wastage. Organizations can save valuable time by having their employees use it to prevent low-value gossiping with colleagues and friends or sorting through emails.
Improve time management
Activity log templates can also help improve time management. Employees in the organization can assign more time to crucial and urgent activities; hence they can complete their goals and activities. Improving time management will lead to effective and better business operations.
Eliminate or delegate
An employer can assign tasks based on the reports they gather from their employees’ activity log templates. With this template, an employer can identify which tasks are fit for which employees; hence, saving more time to accomplish different tasks faster and effectively.
Track progress towards goals and metrics
Since an activity log template helps to record the employees’ progress, an organization can use an activity log template to track if their progress is in line with the company’s goals and culture. This way, the organization is guaranteed success by being aware of its employees’ work routines.
Ensuring maximum efficiency
An activity log template helps organizations track how their employees use any available tools or features designed to improve customer service. This way, any mishaps can be identified, and the employees can be taught how to use them to ensure maximum efficiency.
Employees can be taught how to input customer information automatically instead of manually, which will help increase work efficiency.
Frameworks for Tracking Time
To properly use and benefit from an activity log, an organization must also understand the two most important frameworks for tracking time in one of these.
These two essential frameworks are as follows;
By the time of day
For this framework, an organization can advise its employees to create a period, usually 15 minutes, when they accomplish a particular activity. Employees can use a timer to keep track of their time. Their rest period can be achieved by the employees recording what they were doing for the past 15 minutes.
By task/activity description
For this framework, an organization will have its employees write all the day’s activities and then indicate when they changed from one task to another.
Digital Tools to Make an Activity Log
An activity log is beneficial for an organization, so it is necessary to maintain it appropriately. However, manually updating an activity log can be cumbersome, and at times, employees may forget to keep records. That is why; it is suitable for an organization to use time tracking tools to maintain an activity log.
Here is how an organization can maintain an activity log and some of the tools they can use to succeed;
Weekly plans monitoring
Maintaining an activity log means that an organization’s employees are aware of all the activities they need to accomplish throughout the entire week.
This can be achieved by using the following tools:
This tool is available and can be downloaded for free on Windows and IOS. An organization may choose to buy the tool to get more features like analytics. A week plan offers sections to record activities and the time for each activity for a week. It is beneficial as it also allows for monthly plans, has a section for storing activities to be accomplished later enables the user to make a task as urgent.
This tool is an easier application to operate. It enables the user to break down daily activities and still overview the week’s tasks. With this feature in place, it is easier to drag and drop activities depending on their priority level.
Keeping track of time
Organizations need to keep track of time when dealing with projects to accomplish their objectives, satisfying their client, and attract more stakeholders. This can be achieved using the following tool.
When it comes to tracking time, Toggl has a Timer function used to record the time being spent on a particular task. A user must start the time set for an activity in order to identify how much time was spent on the task.
This tool is different in that it has an automatic time-tracking feature. RescueTime keeps track of all activities, both productive and distractive. A user can decide the days they want their time tracked as they complete these activities.
Using a calendar and an organizer
Another way of maintaining an activity log can be achieved by using a calendar and an organizer. Some of the tools that offer
This tool is an app that can be installed on phones and is free. It has features that allow the user to link it with a calendar to track how a project is being handled and the remaining time frame of its completion. Trello works best for virtual projects and allows interaction between co-workers.
GQueues is almost similar to Gmail and has features that prioritize assignments, comment, and even share these tasks. This application is free, but if paid, an organization will benefit from its Google Calendar Integration.
An organization can also maintain its activity logs based on the priority or urgency of the activity that needs to be handled.
The tools that can be used to achieve this include:
Doris is a basic, free and friendly app that enables its users to prioritize their tasks by dragging and dropping the most urgent task above other tasks. The user of this app can also view the history of the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and choose to restore or delete them based on whether they have been completed.
Todoist tool works more efficiently than the tool mentioned above and is available as a mobile app online. It not only arranges the tasks based on priority, but it also has a color-coded system that helps to identify the most urgent tasks quickly. The app also enables employees to share activities with other workers if they have a more significant workload.
Being able to delegate tasks on a timely basis allows for faster completion of the work, and hence organizations use activity logs for such purposes. To maintain this aspect of an activity log, an organization can use the following tool;
MeisterTask tool is available as both a free app and a paid version, with more features. It helps when it comes to delegating tasks and time tracking the teams to ensure timely completion of the activities assigned. In addition, it allows for projects and sub-projects to be set up while allowing for workflow automation and proper time-tracking.
Gaining Optimum Benefit from Activity Log
Here are some tips that organizations should enforce among their employees to get maximum benefits from using an activity log;
Organizations should emphasize honesty when it comes to activity logs. Employees using activity logs should always be honest about how they spend their time and accomplish their activities. This is because employees prepare their activity logs, and being honest is the only way to ensure success.
For better results using an activity log, an organization should always remind its employees to record their time. Consistency is the only way that an organization can have a proper record of time-tracking. This is because an organization can identify any negative output with consistency and hence find a solution to the problem.
Another way that guarantees proper time-tracking is being meticulous when recording how time was spent and the completed tasks. This can be achieved by giving details of the minutes instead of hours when indicating how time is spent during the day.
- An activity log is a report that is used to track how employees spend their time. Organizations use these to identify any weaknesses, improve productivity, and improve time management. They are the most effective way of eliminating time wastage among employees since they reduce any low-value activities.
- Organizations can access activity log templates online to prepare an activity log and guide their employees to use the tools mentioned above to maintain it.