Journal Reports

How can I get additional help with writing journals?

You can get additional help from viewing previous journals that team members have submitted for services they’ve completed! By being able to view their journals, you can hopefully gain some inspiration for how to write your own!

This option is only available for repeat clients who have worked with us previously. If it’s a new client and you’re the one completing the first service with them, you won’t have the option of viewing a previous journal report (since there was no report sent previously!). To view a previous journal for a service, locate the note within the service box that reads “Previous Visit” and click on the journal icon Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.12.38 PM either next to or below it.

Screen Shot 2022 09 13 at 4.17.03 PM

Can I see an example of a completed journal report?

Sure thing! Please click on the Download button below to view a sample report!

What are journal reports?

Journal reports are a feature of Precise Petcare in which team members can communicate directly with clients about how things went, after they complete scheduled services with their pets. Team members typically send journal reports after each service as a way to keep clients informed. That way, clients can gain peace of mind in learning about how their pets were cared for by us!

All journal reports typically include: a title, checklist, photos, map, and additional notes.

How do I send a journal report?

You can send a journal report for a scheduled service by logging in to your pet sitter account, going to My Schedule, and clicking on the Journal button Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 3.57.54 PM within the specified service box. Please note that the Journal button doesn’t appear on a service box until the day of the scheduled service! Before that, you will only see a Note to Office button Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.01.11 PM.

Once you’ve completed your journal report and are ready to send it, please click on Save and Email Client Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.08.45 PM at the bottom of the report. Then, you’ll be redirected to your My Schedule page where you can see if the journal report was submitted successfully. If so, you’ll see a green confirmation message appear at the top of your screen saying “Pet Care Journal Added” along with a blue journal icon Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.11.06 PM inside the service box. If the icon eventually turns white Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.12.38 PM that means it’s been viewed by the client.

Is it required that I write and send journal reports after each service?

Though not required, we believe sending journal reports (communicating with clients!) after each completed service is an important part of what we do in regards to how it impacts our client experience. Imagine if you hired a dog walker for your fur baby and afterwards, had NO idea how the visit went, where they walked, or even if your dog got along with the assigned dog walker. It would be hard to justify paying for a service where you’re left in the dark about how everything went, right? It is in your best interest to communicate clearly, effectively, and consistently with our clients after you complete services with their pets- and you can do that very easily by constructing and sending journal reports!

Journal Titles

The first section of a journal report is the title. You can find the field for the journal title at the top of a blank journal report once you click on the blue Journal button within a service box. Remember, the service box must be in-progress (blue) or completed (light gray) in order for the Journal button to even appear.

Best Practices

  • It is recommended that every journal have a title. This helps the client see at a glance which visit your journal report is referring to. The title can include the day of the week, time of day, and/or the service. Emojis are encouraged, especially our brand emoji πŸ’œ (purple heart).
    • Examples:    
      • Monday Afternoon Dog Walk πŸ’œ    
      • Thursday Morning Cat Visit 🐾
      • Tuesday Evening Pet Visit 😻

Journal Checkboxes

The next section of a journal report is the checkboxes. The checkbox section starts with “pee”, “poop” and goes all the way through “Other Actions”. You can find the checkbox section near the top/middle of a blank journal report once you click on the blue Journal button within a service box. Remember, the service box must be in-progress (blue) or completed (light gray) in order for the Journal button to even appear.

Best Practices

  • It is best to check off EVERYTHING that occurred during your completed service. That way, the client can get a clear, detailed idea of how the service went. It can be easy to miss certain checkboxes, so double checking that none were missed is highly recommended! 
  • In the “Other Actions” section (below pee, poop, medication, meal), you’ll notice a TON of checkbox options to check off. Please note that all checkboxes are organized in subsections by service type. That way, it’s easy to locate which checkboxes apply to you and the service you completed. The subsections are as follows:
    • General
    • Dog Walking
    • Cat Sitting 
    • House Duties

Journal Notes

The next section of a journal report is the notes (Sitter Notes to Client). This section looks like a big open blank space in a blank journal report. You can find it beneath the checkbox section near the bottom of a journal report once you click on the blue Journal button within a service box. Remember, the service box must be in-progress (blue) or completed (light gray) in order for the Journal button to even appear.

Best Practices

  • The most effective and well-received journal notes are at least 7-8 sentences in length.
  • Plenty of emojis are encouraged, in order to emphasize points and be expressive and emotive! 
    • It’s especially encouraged to use the purple heart πŸ’œ branded emoji at least once!
  • You can use the following acronym to help guide you: P.A.W.S.
    • Preface with an opener
    • Always keep things positive
    • What specifically happened? (Detailed summary of events from start to finish)
    • Statement of gratitude

Journal Photos

The next section of a journal report is the photos section. This section contains two buttons: “Choose Photos” and “Take Photo”. You can find the photos section near the bottom of a blank journal report once you click on the blue Journal button within a service box. Remember, the service box must be in-progress (blue) or completed (light gray) in order for the Journal button to even appear.

Best Practices

  • We recommend that every journal report includes at least 4 photos, and at least 1 of those photos is a selfie with you and the pet(s) in your care! This gives clients the chance to put a face to your name, adding a friendly touch to things!
  • We highly recommend NOT taking photos of hiding, cowering, or scared pets. Photos ideally showcase happy and content pets!
    • For example, if you are working with a cat who is super shy and is hiding under a piece of furniture, instead of taking a picture of the cat, you can include a picture of a pet care duty you completed: a refreshed water/food bowl, a clean litter box, toys neatly put away in a toy bin, etc. Then, you can include a note in your journal comments stating: β€œX was relaxing in his spot under the bed, and I didn’t want to disturb him by taking a picture. So, I’ve included a picture of the duties I took care of for him instead!”
  • The best photos are clear and NOT blurry!
    • *PRO TIP: You can try taking photos of pets halfway through or towards the end of the service; that way their initial energy is out and they can likely hold still for a clear picture to be taken.
  • The best photos are well-lit (you can use your flash if needed!) 
  • In the best visit photos, pets take up majority of the frame in all the photos you take. Clients want to see as much of their pets as possible!
  • We recommend you NEVER snap a photo of a pet while it’s going to the bathroom! πŸ’© Gross!!
  • We also recommend you NEVER take a photo of pets while you’re walking them!
    • If you DO decide to take a photo while out on a dog walk, the safest way to do so is for you and the pet to stop first. Then, you can pull out your phone and proceed to take your photo. Then, you can put your phone away before you continue walking the pets! Walking and taking a photo at the same time can be unsafe simply because it means you’re distracted! 
  • Pets do NOT have to be looking into the camera for every single photo you take!
    • It can get frustrating trying to get pets to look perfectly into your camera for every shot. Candid shots of pets are definitely acceptable and more realistic anyhow! If you’d like for pets to look at the camera, however, there are several things you can try to get them to focus and look!
      • You can hold a treat right near the camera lens.
      • You can squish a squeaky toy near the camera lens. 
      • ONLY if it’s before you take them on a walk (so you don’t tease them), you can ask them if they wanna go for a walk. 
      • You can say hot words (their name, treat, toy, squirrel, walk, etc), especially if you don’t have a treat or toy on hand!
      • You can say training commands listed in the pet’s profile in Precise Petcare.

Additional Things

  • To learn all about how journal reports are viewed and understood on the client’s end, please check out this support article!
  • You are encouraged to respond to all journal comments from clients in a timely manner, especially if a client asks a question about something regarding the service, their pets, etc. Even if a client simply thanks you for your service, you are still encouraged to respond. 
    • If the client asks a question, you may answer accordingly.
    • If the client presents a tip, trick, or “something to note” for future, you have the ability to make those edits to the client’s profile or pet’s profile accordingly to reflect the new information. Or, you can at least take a screenshot and send it in Slack so that we are all made aware. We’ll likely then add that to the client’s account.
    • If the client simply says thank you, you may respond with a form of “you’re welcome”.
  • *For dog walks: It’s best to aim for the following “miles walked” for each type of service duration. You can see our Journal Maps support article to learn how/where to locate your walk miles/distance!
    • QUICK Service: 0.25-0.5 miles
    • STANDARD Service: 0.5-1 miles
    • LONG Service: upwards of 2-3 miles
  • You are highly encouraged to stay at your scheduled services for the designated amount of time, as indicated by the client.
    • QUICK Service: Stay checked in (in-progress) for AT LEAST 20 minutes 
    • STANDARD Service: Stay checked in (in-progress) for AT LEAST 30 minutes 
    • LONG Service: Stay checked in (in-progress) for AT LEAST 45 minutes

Editing Journals

If ever you submit a journal report (click “Save and Email Client”) and realize that you accidentally forgot to include something, go to your My Schedule page, locate the service box that you want to correct a journal for, and click on the journal icon (either Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.11.06 PM or Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.12.38 PM). Once the journal loads, click on the green Edit button Screen Shot 2022 08 15 at 4.49.46 PM to make your edits. Once done, click on the blue Save and Email Client button at the bottom of your edited journal to make the edits official!

Work Infractions

It is important to reiterate that journal reports are the bread and butter of communication between team members and clients at Hands N Paws. Journals are highly valued in our workplace because they are essential to giving peace of mind to our clients! If journal reports are neglected, the client may be inclined to believe we didn’t meet their expectations and the quality of care is poor. Clients may become wary of pet care techs that do not provide details on how services went.

Ideally,  journal reports are sent to the client after each and every assignment, using the best practices laid out for each section above. If journal report is NOT sent to the client, team members will be subject to work infractions as detailed in the Record Points support article. Team members receive 1 (one) point per journal report they do NOT send after completing services.

To learn more about other journal-related things that could result in work infractions, please see Record Points.

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