To the ham radio operators among us: Do you log each and every QSO? I am doing this at the moment but it feels a bit more like a burden than benefitial. I am thinking of switching from an electronic log to a paper log which is not focused on QSOs but on the other OM/YL. An idea would be a ring binder with custom paper sheets where one or more pages are dedicated to one OM/YL. On this page i would take notes on what has been discussed, when and with what reports.

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Default 59-73 QSOs would then not be logged any more. What are your thoughts?

Oh and maybe a set of regular qso log pages (1 line per QSO) for unpersonal but somewhat special contacts, e.g. new DXCC, band etc.

Will I regret not having logged all the mechanical QSOs? Would you be interested in a DIN A5 (or half letter format) template for this?

@DL6MHC I like the idea. More like having a diary of the life on the bands. It will add more value to real QSOs.

@do5dos yes, exactly! I‘ll share it when it’s done and will ask for improvements :)

I think this a good idea - you don' t need every QSO to be logged. Especially no. everyday chat on 2 m etc. I use a computer log for most "DX" to be logged . And I have an additional paper-log for QSO when no computer is running. I use the plain side of my log for additional notes.

@DL6MHC Great idea. For regular ragchews etc, this sounds very good. I might steal this idea.

@vu3rdd @DL6MHC in France, registration of each QSO is mandatory

@DL6MHC To answer your original question. Yes, I log every QSO (I have a lunch box sized second hand computer running windows 10 specifically for ham radio. It runs n1mm logging software).

@vu3rdd Ok, thank you! I think I will introduce the ragchew logbook (which can also be used for repeater QSOs and is OM/YL centric) and will continue the original logging in parallel and then decide. If you are interested, I could share the template the next days after I decided how it will look like. It will be in A5 format for those A5 ring binders with 6 holes.

@DL6MHC @vu3rdd I use MacLogger DX on my Mac and find the search capabilities of a computer based log very valuable. I often add detailed comments in the notes field for a very enjoyable QSO. I have had occasions where I run across a station that I only worked once 20 years ago but it was a enjoyable QSO and the notes immediately jog my memory. I think I’ve only added negative comments once regarding an operator that was a real lid/jerk when I was operating as a special event station. 73

@DL6MHC @vu3rdd I like fountain pens ✒️ and part of me loves the idea of a paper log as you described, but I would miss the ability to immediately see that I had previously worked the station which my logger shows as soon as you enter the callsign. I guess do both! 73

@W8HF @vu3rdd same here! I was fantasising about the following variants:

* writing by hand onto a paper with defined fields and then scan and ocr the written log

* using voice recognition based on your own audio (mic). The system would know date and time, could grab freq and mode via CAT and would have to extract the other callsign, the report and maybe some special keywords.

@W8HF @vu3rdd if anyone has knowledge of open source/ offline voice recognition systems and also dreams of a distraction/effort free QSO logging, I’d be happy to start a Software project (preferably Python) with you :)

@DL6MHC @vu3rdd That would be an awesome project for hams that enjoy operating mobile! I’ve done it for field day when operating mobile by using a VOX operated tape recorder to log but then you have to go back and transcribe everything to submit it to ARRL.

@W8HF @vu3rdd i agree! Also for working SATs. And for lazy hams like me in the home station :)


I don't log every QSO in the same place, but I wish I did.

Some logs are in a paper Rolodex, one card per contract, sorted by call sign which makes lookup quick. I have used this especially for some local nets where I am trying to remember the calls of regulars.

On my phone I run Obsidian and take notes there. Have only been using it for a few weeks but it has already proven to be handy.

I have a paper notebook as well but it is harder to search.

I don't do contests right now.

@DL6MHC I log every manual QSO, mostly on paper but if it is a contest or for Dx also in yfklog so I have an electronic file for submission. I long the times I am operating JS8call and FT8 but any logging there is in the specific software. I also log failed attempts for my PACTOR skeds with DB0NTS because it helps me identify changing propagation.

@g0dub thanks for sharing Greg! It is really easier for me to take notes with a pen during conversations than with a keyboard. On the other hand I want my data enriched and searchable. Still don’t know how to solve this.

@DL6MHC Agreed on the pen and paper, I like my logbook to be neat and tidy ( usually fails ) so take notes from the QSO on a pad, then transfer to the logbook. I could do this into an electronic log instead but they are not as searchable as I would like sometimes.

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