Overview: Daily Journals in Evernote

Daily journals are a running record of what happened in each excavation area during the course of each day. They are meant to record the area supervisor’s first impressions and interpretations; as such, edits in which text is deleted are discouraged (this does not include fixing minor typos). If the area supervisor feels that they must edit part of their journal, they should do so using annotations or by adding clarifying text with a date to indicate when the text was added and by whom.

Daily journals are recorded in Evernote, which is available on project tablets as well as through a browser interface. Each excavation area is assigned an Evernote “Notebook” for the year, and each daily journal is recorded in a new “Note” labeled with the excavation area ID (e.g., 109.523), the date (e.g., 20180623), and the day of excavation (e.g., Day 7).

Evernote allows for taking and annotating photographs, as well as writing text, so journal notes should include frequent illustrations (referred to as “progress photos”) to clarify the area supervisor’s thoughts and interpretations. Annotations of photos are invaluable for other participants with less familiarity with the excavation area. Annotations are particularly useful, also, for sketching over the previous workday’s day plan, which must be included at the top of each day’s note.

NOTE: You should always use Evernote through one of the project’s accounts: a primary account with premium subscription and a secondary account with a lesser subscription. Each excavation area’s notebook must be created in the primary account first and then shared with the secondary account. The purpose of using these two accounts is to minimize the amount of data that must be synced between devices and to maintain archival control over these important records.

Remember that while one use of daily journals is to help area supervisors keep track of their thoughts and assist in later writing of descriptions, the journal entries are also used by other project members during the season and subsequently to understand why and how contexts were excavated. As such, journal entries should be clear and detailed, and should use standard names for excavation areas and objects (e.g., “similar to what we saw in 99.526”) rather than colloquial names that might be hard to understand in later years (e.g., “similar to what we saw in Alice’s trench”).

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