IT Forms: Machine Log

Hello, eric again, here at the intersection of paper and Systems Administration. While the Machine Profile is a very useful form, it's not the most useful part of my "Machines" binder. That's the Machine Log form, which is quite similar to the Contact Log, and is used in two basic ways: things to do, and things you've done.

Things to do

The first way is basically treating machines like contacts. With the Contact Log, you'll put topics that you wish to discuss with each person on their form. I use the Machine Log the same way. Each time there's something I need to do to each machine (and I can't do it remotely), the task gets an entry on the form. Usually, I'll either toss the form then into my Inbox, or make a Next Action of it. When I make my rounds, onto the clipboard it goes.

Things you've done

The most common way I use this form is as the result of a support call or email. Before I leave my office, the form is dug out of the binder and put on my clipboard. While on site, I'll log the problem, the steps I took to correct it, and mark any followups that need to be done. Upon returning, any more actions that are necessary will get put on the appropriate forms, and the Machine Log returned to the Machines binder.

At the end of all of this, what I'll have is an excellent log of every support call I've made for each machine, and their resolutions. Treating Machines like Contacts has been very helpful since my conversion to paper.

I use these forms on the back of the Machine Profile forms, and then use double-sided Log forms as necessary. My Machines binder contains at least one sheet of paper for each computer in the Lab that I administer, seperated in tabbed sections by general physical location. This binder gives me a piece of mind similar to that which GTD can bring, knowing that you've got one trusted system where this stuff gets recorded.

machine-log-letter.pdf26.31 KB
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