Practice Record Thoughts
Should you use a practice record?
I have found that practice logs can be very useful depending on how they’re used. I use mine (currently the iPhone app GoalKeep) to see patterns and how im doing keeping up with practicing.
I have tried many different types of logs including standard weekly grids, excel spreadsheets, and plain composition notebooks. It doesn’t matter what tool you use, just that it works for you and is meaningful. It must contribute to your playing somehow, otherwise, why bother?
Being a techie kind of person, I’m always looking to try use my computer or handheld organizer for tasks such as this. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. There’s nothing better than pencil and paper for brainstorming and jotting down ideas. My excel template took too much time to enter in the data and then wasn’t helpful afterwards. My paper notebook was better but difficult to quickly see trends. However, I did find a teacher’s plan book useful. It has 15 boxes arranged 3 across and 5 down.
On my iPhone I use GoalKeep. It has a monthly calendar view where you can place a check on each day that you practice. You can add some notes – I record my time.
Much of this depends where you are in your musical journey. If you are still planning what to practice each day, I recommend a notebook or practice journal where you can record more information quickly and easily. If you are more experienced perhaps something simpler is in order.