Grinnell Field Notebook


Grinnell style field notebook

What is a Field Notebook?

A field notebook is a small shirt-pocket-sized memo pad where you record your nature observations.

It is carried on field trips, hikes and while sitting in your backyard. It is a handy way to record what you see and to always have something to write in your nature journal. I always have mine with me.

Using a Field Notebook

I take mine on fast-moving birding walks with my birding group. I list birds seen and other observations.

It is your primary note receptacle. It can contain all sorts of notes such as directions, nature observations, books to read, anything you want.

Keeping it with you allows you to take notes while you are observing. Memories can be inaccurate.

Later you may ask yourself was the hawk’s eye yellow or red? Had the American Goldfinch’s plumage turned from summer breeding to drab winter colors?

A memo pad fills up quickly. I go through several each year. When you fill up one, file it away. From the memo pad, a full account of your observations are written in the field journal.

Observation Hints and Tips

  • date every page
  • include your name, permanent address, telephone and email on the inside front cover
  • write or tape the daily observation checklist on the back cover

Buy a Guide to the Grinnell Method

My book on using the Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal method is available through Read more about it Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal (PDF and Paperback)

More on the Grinnell Method

Grinnell Method for Nature Journals

Grinnell System Field Journal

Grinnell Field Notebook

Catalog for the Grinnell System

Species Account of Grinnell System



  1. Can you provide an example of the “daily observation checklist”? Thank you!

We're Listening

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.