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The Logbook

A logbook is a tool used in different contexts to keep track of an action while it is happening and at the same time reflect on this action and your opinion and posture on the matter

It is often used in the training of people carrying out activities that have a strong relational component : trainers, activits, organizer, educators... It is also used by researchers in the social sciences during immersion in investigative fields, or in action-research processes.

Le principe

A logbook is a way of recording observations and reflections "on the spot", just after a key moment in the action. It enables you to keep track of what’s going on in an action involving several people.
It can take the form of a notebook or a computer file, depending on what is most practical in terms of material conditions, but in all cases, we will systematically distinguish two or three parts.

"The facts"
We write down, as objectively as possible, what happened that day.
Example : Leo suggested an icebreaker. The whole group participates, except for Victorine who refuses and sits on the side.

"My feelings"
We note how we felt, including in relation to the facts mentioned in the other part.
Example : I felt uncomfortable. I would have liked to go and see Victorine but I didn’t dare, I wasn’t sure she would have taken it well.

"My interpretations"
This section is optional. It is particularly useful for those who plan to analyze the process (capitalization, action research, etc.) at a later date.
In this case, you should note your initial thoughts on what happened.
Example : it seemed to me that the ice-breaker had been introduced too quickly, as the group was not yet accustomed to this type of method, and this caused discomfort for some participants.

An individual objective

This exercise will enable individuals to reflect on and observe over time the evolution of their own posture as trainer / facilitator / coach. In this way, the logbook is itself a tool for individual training.

Support for collective capitalization processes

This tool can also be used with a more collective objective, to prepare or support capitalization or action-research processes. In this case, group members can each keep a logbook, which they can share to facilitate analysis after the event (each person can decide not to share certain passages of their feelings). This tool can be complementary to capitalization interviews, which are often conducted after the event, as the logbook keeps track of the process from the outset, when the participants didn’t yet know exactly what was going to happen during the course of the action, what was going to work well or not. There is therefore no "a posteriori reconstruction".