For coaches
September 15, 2022

How to Keep a Coaching Log: The Ultimate Guide

In this blog post, we'll show you how to set up your coaching log and give you an example of what one looks like.

How to Keep a Coaching Log: The Ultimate Guide

If you're a coach working towards certification or seeking credentialing from the International Coaching Foundation (ICF), it's important to keep a coaching log. In this blog post, we'll show you how to set up your coaching log and give you an example of what one looks like. We'll also provide you with a coaching log template that you can use to get started!

Your life as a coach will be so much easier if you are consistently tracking your coaching hours. Most coaching programs require you to attest that you have completed their required number coaching experience hours before they certify you.

ICF Experience Requirements

The expectations from the ICF are even higher. As a coach applying for an ICF credential, you are required to keep a log with these key elements:

  • Your client's name
  • Your client's contact information. This can be either an email or a phone number
  • The start and end dates of the coaching relationship
  • The length of each session
  • If the session was paid or pro bono. The ICF only allows for a certain number of sessions to be pro bono, ranging from 10 - 20% depending on whether you are applying to be an Associate Certified Coach, a Professional Certified Coach, or a Master Certified Coach.
  • If the session was an individual or a group session. For group sessions, the ICF asks you to note how many clients were present.

You can create a simple log in Word or Excel, but we recommend using a coaching log built in a database software like Notion. Notion has a robust free plan that allows you to build a dynamic and interactive coaching log (see our founder's example below). Plus, we've gone ahead and built you a coaching log template so you don't have to start from scratch!

Coaching Log Example

To get started with your own coaching log, simply enter your email below to access our template.

Coaching Log Template Walkthrough

As you can see from the video, our coaching log is based on the template that our founder used to manage her growing coaching practice. It has three key components: the individual client log, the group session log, and the client list.

With the individual client log, you can filter by name, client, and payment type while easily tracking your experience hours earned. You can also keep your session notes using our built-in guide, which was created with you in mind. We thought of everything! The guide has an embedded timer. It also has an easy-to-follow framework to help you effectively structure your session, and sections to track action items for both you and your client.

Individual Client Log

Session Notes Template

We love Notion for its flexibility. So while there are core elements included in the guide, there's also plenty of space to track the data points that are most important to you as a coach, such as topics covered in each session, themes, progress made, and goals for future sessions. You can truly make it your own.

The next component of the coaching log template is the group session log. We split the individual and group logs to help you avoid a common coaching log pitfall. One hour of group coaching only counts as one hour. It does not count as one hour per client in attendance. By tracking group sessions separately, you decrease the risk of over-counting experiences hours earned via group coaching.

The group session log also includes a built-in guide, with one addition: a spot for taking attendance. Even though each client doesn't count as an additional hour, it's still important for you to track who was there.

Group Coaching Session Attendance

Finally, there's a client list module. This is your space to store your client's contact information as well as the information from your intake process and discovery call.

Client List Module

The sooner you can build the habit of maintaining a coaching log, the better. We recommend building in buffer time before and after your sessions to review your notes and update your log. This small time investment will pay dividends for your coaching practice. It will make your certification and credentialing process smoother, and it will give you more capacity to focus on what you do best—coaching!

Don't forget to grab your free coaching log template above. And if you are in need of paid coaching experience hours, we're here to help. Apply to Gateway Coaching today.