A quick blog post to accompany the video below about my security operatives notebook.
The notebook is one of the most valuable and most under rated piece of equipment a security operative can have. When I teach people about notebooks I always tell them to remember one thing.
YOUR NOTEBOOK IS YOUR PERSONAL RECORD OF EVERYTHING YOU DO AT WORK.
Incident reports, log books and checklists are your employers records of events to support them but your notebook is yours. Treat it with the respect it deserves and fill it in like the professional record of events that it is.
1. Number all the pages sequentially as soon as you get a new notebook. This ensures no pages have been removed at a later stage
2. Enter your name and date of issue on the inside front cover.
3. Start a new page for every working day. Each day should start with DDTP. (Day, date, time and place)
4. Write down details of everything you do during your working day including start time, break times, finish time, incidents, requests from management, complaints etc.
5. If taking details of a conversation make sure you write verbatim (word for word) what is said
6. Don’t tear out pages or jot on pages.
7. Work related stuff only ( no shopping lists or tinder dates details)
8. Make sure you sign and date the end of each working day and cross out and space left at the bottom of the page.
In mine I have a few extra bits:
1. Get a decent cover to stop your notebook getting worn.
2.Aide memoirs for suspect details, descriptions etc. You can download my latest version here
3. A few post-it sheets for giving directions or writing down notes for others (prevents tearing out pages)
4. Few sheets of squared graph paper for sketching out accident scenes etc.
This is just a basic overview. I could write a full book on notebook and reporting ( I probably will) but these are the basics. Your notebook is yours and your notes are your own. Contemporaneous notes (notes taken at the time of an incident) are a very important type of evidence and may one day save your job or your freedom. But if it’s not written down then it didn’t happen.