SR&ED Documentation: Using “Day One” as a Work Journal

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SR&ED Documentation Piles Up

It *is* possible to get a handle on the required documentation for SR&ED!

Disclaimer: We are not affiliated nor do we have any relationship with Day One. But we do think it’s a great fresh example of documentation software!

Importance of Documentation for SR&ED

Documentation is becoming more and more important for modern SR&ED claims, particularly since the F2013 budget was announced.  Contemporaneous documentation (i.e., evidence that is kept as the work is being done as opposed to a post-mortem), is even more important; it is highly recommended that SR&ED applicants keep logs of their employees’ work. While an assortment of back-of-napkin calculations, text files and miscellaneous papers is better than nothing, it would give a lot of peace of mind to both the journal-keeper – and the CRA reviewer – to adopt a method that is at once more straightforward and integrated. One application that we think fulfills this need admirably is Day One, by Bloom Built.

Day One’s Advantages for SR&ED Documentation
Day One App for SR&ED

With Day One, users can set timed reminders to write notes, automatically include date and geolocation details, export to .txt and .pdf formats, and even perform a selective export via tag system. Photo capture is quick and easy with mobile apps, and everything is synced reliably with Dropbox. Enterprising developers such as Brett Terpstra have even extended its functionality to keep track of select Git commits, which can be a boon to any software company performing a SR&ED claim.

Day One’s Disadvantages for SR&ED Documentation

Day One doesn’t come without a couple of caveats. The most important one is that while there is password security, the journal file itself remains unencrypted; Bloom Built say they will be incorporating encryption in the next few months. The other major question is whether or not you will in fact derive value from separating out Day One content from a different journalling system, such as Evernote or Microsoft OneNote.

SR&ED Documentation Practices: Find the One for You

Other note-taking systems such as Evernote, Springboard, a manual documents-based system or even good old pen-and-paper can be excellent in their own right as containers of myriad ideas and sources that are easily organized and maintained. This being said, we believe that for software engineers in particular – a majority field in the world of SR&ED claims –  the integration of journaled Git commits and excellent export options  make Day One a solid option for SR&ED claimants who want to quickly and easily compile compelling evidence of their technological narrative. Consistency is a key quality that reviewers look for in your SR&ED application, and Day One is an effective delivery mechanism for that. It adds clarity when it comes time to craft a technological narrative for your SR&ED claim.

If you do decide that Day One is an effective solution for your purposes, here’s a system service to send any selected text to a new Day One entry.

Do you have a preferred documentation program? 
Any experiences working with the CRA and their documentation expectations? 

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