Construction Daily Reports and Logs Guide & Templates

Completing daily reports, or daily logs, the traditional way is time-consuming. But with the help of the right construction software, it’s a much quicker process that gives you access to a wealth of data and insights.

These documents serve as a construction journal, recording on-site events and conditions as they occur. If there’s a delay or conflict, the daily construction report is the first thing to be reviewed to find out the catalysts and adjust plans accordingly.

In cases like this $10 million construction lawsuit, daily reports almost certainly play a key role in litigation. Whether your construction log book is completed by the site manager, crew members, or both, it’s important that it be detailed and well-maintained, daily.

The Anatomy of a Daily Report

Clearly, daily logs are too important to skip. Fortunately, they don’t have to be a huge time commitment for your field teams. With the right construction daily report template and management system in place, your teams can breeze through these forms and focus their labor hours on constructing.

Here’s a quick overview of what a Daily Report journal includes:

  • Project details: Information like project name, contractor, and the date ensures that all daily reports from the same project are organized together.
  • Impacts: What helped or hindered progress today? Factors can include weather, the number of employees on-site, visitors, safety issues, incidents, site conditions, and more. Were the other trades where they were supposed to be?
  • Work performed: What progress was made today? What tasks were initiated, and what is their current status? Which milestones were hit?
  • Delays: What is behind schedule? This includes anything still behind schedule that was previously reported. Did you have to redesign anything to avoid field routed systems by other trades?
  • Materials: What materials and equipment were used? How much inventory is left? What is each piece of equipment’s operating status? Were deliveries easy to accept? Are there enough material transportation options provided on site?
  • Safety: What safety protocols were followed and breached today? Were there any safety incidents? Do you foresee any risks for future work? What was covered in the stand-up?
  • Notes: What isn’t included in the daily log that should be noted? This may include potential cost overruns, change orders that impact the timeline, or any other important information.

Need your own copy of a Daily Report journal? Download our free construction daily report template.

Daily Report Templates Have Many Uses

The construction daily report template above may demand a lot of detail, but all of this information is necessary. High-quality recordkeeping is the strongest evidence in cases of litigation or a confused client questioning the final project cost. It is also a very easy way to quickly settle a dispute with other trades, pivot your plan, and keep constructing. 

However, these aren’t the only benefits of keeping a detailed construction daily log book. It’s also great for:

  • Making predictions: Compare construction journals to your contract to determine whether you’re on schedule and budget. If it looks like you’ll need more of either, the construction log makes it easy to explain why and avoid surprises.
  • Review & analysis: After a job is over, look back over the construction journal. Note what didn’t go as expected, or could have gone better. This can help you improve safety and timelines on your future projects.
  • Future estimates: You can also review daily logs for differences in labor and material costs. When making estimates for future jobs, this will help you present more accurate and data-backed information.
  • Onboarding: Have a new worker joining the team? A detailed and well-organized construction daily log can speed up onboarding. Have the worker look it over to get up to speed, then fill them in if they have questions.
Daily report template

Download a free daily report template

Use your free digital daily report template as a standalone template, or in our Forms software.

Tips for Writing a Successful Daily Report

A construction daily progress report template is helpful, but there’s more to completing daily logs than scribbling a few notes. Here are some helpful tips for writing daily reports.

1. Think About Tomorrow

Typically, construction journals are completed at the end of the day and reviewed by the team the next morning. What does everyone need to know tomorrow? They’ll look toward task status, the availability of materials and equipment, as well as inventory and safety. Tell them what they need to know in simple terms.

2. Keep Your Whole Audience in Mind

That being said, don’t go overboard with job site lingo. Remember that stakeholders may not be familiar with industry terms. Keep form descriptions understandable for laypeople, especially since daily logs need to be understandable if a conflict arises.

3. Don’t Wait Until the End of the Day

A recent study showed that time and activity grouping affect our ability to remember events accurately. That means that at the end of a long day, the ‘day’s work’ can feel like one big, tiring experience instead of many small events. To keep detailed construction logs, you really need to be recording events and conditions as they happen throughout the day. Otherwise, memory can fade.

4. Designate an Editor

If constantly recording site conditions and events sounds like a job in itself, that’s because it is. A better approach used by many contractors is to have workers record details around the job site as they complete tasks. Then, a designated editor such as the project manager compiles this information and edits it down into a daily report.

5. Build Time in for Daily Reports

You can’t expect workers or even the site manager to complete detailed reports if they don’t have time for it. Encourage your team to work around a dedicated reporting time that you provide. Even though the daily report doesn’t feel like construction work, in reality, it is. Your team should treat daily logs like any other work task they complete each day, like putting on PPE or locking up equipment.

Benefits of Using Software for Daily Logs & Reports

Construction daily log software is a game-changer when it comes to delivering on detail. With built-in daily report templates, mobile capability, and automation that leaves Excel in the dust, it’s truly hard to beat.

Document management platforms like DADO make it easy to improve record-keeping and review job data. Team members can use a construction daily log app to take photos of on-site conditions and easily attach them to daily reports and other forms like change orders, punchlists, and more.

With a daily construction report app, everyone who needs to check on a job status can do so from anywhere, at anytime, eliminating office bottlenecks with your PEs and PMs. With sleek reporting features and centralized form organization, it’s no wonder that 75% of contractors use software to manage their documents.

Ready to join the future of forms? Learn how DADO can help.

Streamline daily reports with smart forms

Digital daily reports save your team time while also giving you access to valuable data and insights. See how DADO can help.