The first time I was asked to write a log book at University was for the Software Engineering module in the second year, which is a group work module. As far as I can tell; this was used to teach us the importance of a log as well as providing a platform on which to assess the teamwork of individuals.

So, what do you write in a logbook? Date, duration, brief description of the work done, meetings had, communications made and anything else you feel is relevant. To flesh it out you can turn the brief description into a full write up, including reference materials for the knowledge gained in doing the task. This can help with both short term and long term revision. It means that you can go back and find those interesting articles again. If you include a note for what you've found at each location that will also help the information there to sink in. I find that writing something down, by hand, eases the understanding and recollection of information.

A log book can provide much more than merely a note pad though. It can help you estimate the time a task may take you, based on the time similar tasks had taken you in the past. This can help you to schedule your coursework or other work based on an estimation of the time. However, you should bare in mind that no two tasks are the same, nor is there only one solution. So it should merely remain a guideline and one should leave an extra buffer for a task in case it does not take the time predicted, or go to plan.

You can also learn about how you work in a team. Decisions you made, conversations you had, what was done as a result, what wasn't done. Why wasn't it done? Was it done well? What could you have done to make sure it was? Providing you go into enough detail in your log entries, you may be able to reflect upon this at a later date, learn from it and grow as a team member and an individual.

I'm planning to keep a log book over any personal projects and suitable university projects in the future in the hope that I can gain a lot from them.