Why should I be keeping records? 

Have you been advised, by a lawyer, the police or by family or friends to keep a record of what has been happening to you?  If so, do you do it? Or do you ask why you should be keeping records and gathering the evidence yourself?

If you’ve got an ongoing problem and have asked for help, perhaps from a lawyer, or a doctor or maybe from a counsellor or an adviser, you will probably have been advised to keep a record.  Do you actually do it?  Or are you like so many people – inclined to put it off, not do it all or not do it properly? 

The reasons people give for not keeping records

You may have said to yourself that, after all, you have another appointment and you’ll be able to tell them then if anything has happened – so I don’t need to write it down.  You may also think that, in any case, you’ve already told them about the problem so it’s just going to be making records of more of the same – so, again, I don’t need to write it own.  Also, let’s be honest, it’s boring making notes and keeping records, especially about something unpleasant that you would rather not think about – so let’s not.  You’ve already experienced the event once which was bad enough so you don’t want to wallow in it.  The last thing you probably want is to spend even more time writing about it and reliving it.

And even if you did start to try to write records, are you thinking you wouldn’t know what to write, what’s important, how to write it without sounding stupid?  Perhaps you think it’s best to leave it to the professionals who know how to do this kind of thing.

Or maybe you’re afraid that if you start to put things down in writing, it will be provocative and you will only make the situation worse?

Worst of all, has your situation been going on for so long already without you keeping a record, that you’ve already forgotten the details of what has happened so you may now feel that the situation is hopeless and you can’t even start making records.

So what’s the point of keeping records and gathering evidence?

All professionals know it is crucial

Keeping records is what every professional does and there are plenty of good reasons why.  You’ve probably noticed that doctors keep medical records of everything you tell them, everything they tell you and everything they do to you.  In exactly the same way, lawyers write a detailed note of every meeting they have with you. The police have their notebooks and keep a contemporaneous note of everything they do.  And all of these professionals are writing their notes as soon as possible after every event so that they can prove the events were fresh in their minds.  

It protects you against unreasonable claims and allegations

In other walks of life too!  Even delivery drivers make a record and take a photo showing they delivered a parcel to your house. Even the man who fixes your car takes photos before and after and makes a note of what he’s done. The same goes for plumbers and electricians. Everyone keeps a record and they do it because it’s the evidence they may need to protect them if someone makes a claim against them. They don’t just do it when things go wrong – they do it all the time, as a routine.  It is a basic discipline.  And you should do it too if you take your problem seriously. 

How to go about keeping records

Records need to be sufficiently detailed to be useful

In essence, keeping a record and saving the evidence is what you must do to protect yourself and make sure you can prove what’s happened. Whenever a professional is under investigation because there’s been a complaint or allegations, their records are the key evidence to either prove or disprove the case. Every doctor is taught that the medical records they write are crucial if they are to prove and defend their actions. The same goes for every lawyer and every policeman. They record in detail when, where, who, what happened and with what result.  Without their notes they cannot defend their actions and if their notes are not detailed enough, they will not be able to defend themselves properly when the time comes.  

They must be written as soon as possible during or after the event

A record should be made as soon as possible either during or after every event because the longer you leave it, the poorer your memory and the less other people will trust your account. Yes, it’s a chore, but the record you write will be the crucial evidence of what happened. A doctor or a policeman can’t turn up at a tribunal or court and just say what happened based on memory, without any written record to prove it.  Nor can they write a full detailed statement based on recalling events weeks, months or sometimes even years after the event. They can’t just assert that they wouldn’t have done what’s been alleged or would have done what they should have.  Without a written record, made at the time, assertions like that are no good as evidence. Without a written record, it just becomes their word against the other person’s and just complete guesswork for a judge to decide who is to be believed.  Worse, the fact that they didn’t keep records will make them look suspect and unreliable.  Records, made at the time, aren’t just best practice or a luxury, they’re essential. 

Learn more about good record keeping here.

Support your records with other evidence

Records are relied on even more by a court or tribunal if there is some other supporting evidence to go with them too.  That means, finding some other evidence that can help to prove that what you say is true.  This can be a document, such as an email or a letter, a photo of the event or its aftermath, a screenshot of texts or images, or a video or audio recording.  Put together, your written account of an event, made at the time, along with supporting evidence to prove what you say is true, is the powerful combination courts need to decide in your favour. 

Use ONRECORD for your record keeping

ONRECORD is designed for gathering evidence that will be relied upon in court.  This is what it does for you:

  • It helps you to record the key information;
  • Links your records to supporting evidence;
  • Automatically proves where you were and when you uploaded your record;
  • Protects your evidence against being tampered with;
  • Organises it into a timeline that the court will find useful;
  • Allows you to securely share your records online with professionals;
  • Allows you to securely share your progress with friends and family;
  • Allows downloads of all or a selection of your records in a format that can be used in court

It’s the only software in existence which does all of this.  Learn more about it here.  It’s simple to use and it can be adapted to any ongoing problem with a simple process for organising your records under as many headings or ‘cases’ as you choose. 

So when you are advised to keep a record, do it with ONRECORD, do it well and make your case. 


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