I finally got my logbook up-to-date, every flight entered, every page totalled, grand total calculated. Each line represents one flight, and includes the date, aircraft type, aircraft registration, point of origin, destination, crew, and duration of the flight. There's also a remarks field which I sometimes use to include information like "annual review," "hit an eagle at rotation," "picking up new airplane," or "ferry permit with u/s flaps." Long ago I used to write my first initial and full last name in the pilot in command or copilot field, as appropriate, but that got tiring and sometime over the last couple of logbooks ago I switched to "self" and then "me," with the other crewmembers reduced to initials after the first few entries with their complete names.
The duration blank for each flight is not a single column, but eighteen columns, the whole facing page, in all appropriate combinations of single- and multi-engine time, night and day, pilot-in-command, dual instruction, and copilot, plus additional columns to record time in instrument meteorological conditions (clouds), simulated IMC, and in a flight simulator. For the last seven years I have used two columns: multi-engine day PIC and multi-engine night PIC. I'm even pilot-in-command for my annual training flights, because we hire outside experts who aren't ensured on our aircraft. So on every page I complete there are only two columns I need to total, multi-PIC-day and multi-PIC-night. I sometimes fill in numbers for IMC, or landings, but long, long ago stopped totalling them. There are a even a couple of do-it-yourself columns in which I sometimes track time on floats, turbine vs. piston or tailwheel. I tried to persuade myself to stop carrying forward the times in the columns other than the two that actually get updated every page, unless for some reason I flew a single-engine aircraft or acted as co-pilot, but despite being lazy enough not to update my logbook for three years, once I started updating, I felt obligated to carry those stupid numbers forward, page after page. According to the numbers, at some point in my career I acted as a copilot at night. I can't even think when that was, as the two-crew aircraft in which I logged my copilot time was a day-only operation. I think I must have been acting as co-pilot for new captain. But I'm copying forward that 2.0 every time I turn the page. Also the 13.1 night dual single engine. I have this minor fantasy of renting a single-engine aircraft and flying just long enough, day, night, PIC, and dual, in order to bring all my logged hours up to even numbers. The trickiest part about copying the numbers forward though, is making them fit in the boxes.
Both my single- and multi-engine daytime hours extend to five digits, including the one after the decimal point, and the boxes allocated for the totals are not very big. There are a few possible strategies for coping with this. I generally used a fine-tipped pen and very small printing, but depending on how many 4s, 6s and other digits that don't compress well there are in the total, sometimes I combine this with writing the number diagonally from corner to corner of the tiny box, or writing the decimal point and final digit on a second line. Sometimes I just give up and write the total in the bottom margin, with an arrow pointing into the box it should occupy. I suspect most of you with this kind of time don't bother keeping a personal logbook at all, just hand the paperwork that shows you're legal into company, and then at medical time just add what you've flown in the past year onto whatever total you gave the year before. That's what I've done for the last three years. The real timekeepers among you will be using an electronic logbook that, at a couple of button presses, can extract all your multi-engine turbine time flown on a Tuesday. But I can't be the lone holdout Luddite enough to be still using paper logbooks, but having trouble fitting the big numbers on the page. What's your preferred strategy?