Listen, nobody likes wearing pants, right? They’re uncomfortable, they don’t let the wind tickle your pale chicken legs, and we take them off as soon as we walk in the front door. But we still wear them, because we have to.

Notary journals are the pants of the notary public world. If you could avoid them, you would, but you really shouldn’t, unless you want to end up on an episode of COPS (do they still make that show?) wearing Wonder Woman briefs and yelling about the moon.

Here are five reasons for you to use a notary journal:

Reason #1: It’s the law!

While it might not be the law in your specific state, many states require that notaries public keep a journal, with specific details about what each record should contain. Other states require specific handling of a notary journal, and for the states that don’t mandate keeping a journal, the courts prefer it. If any of your notarizations end up being evidence in a court case, you’ll be glad you kept a detailed journal.

Reason #2: It’s good business

I’ve forgotten what I ate for breakfast this morning (I think it was a bagel? Or a burrito I found in my backseat? Whatever, definitely a b-word) so I know it’s impossible to remember every client I’ve had, and every notarization I’ve done. If you’re a professional providing notary services, you should act professionally, and that means keeping detailed written records that you can refer to if the case ever arises.

Reason #3: Protect yourself

A journal gives you much more protection than no journal. You can successfully defend yourself against lawsuits and claims from others who might see you as a weak link when trying to illegally break a contract or transaction in which they participated. If you’re able to provide explicit transcribed evidence of what actions you took in your official capacity and how you identified the signer and document, you’ll have solid, valid protection against any baseless accusations that might come your way.

Reason #4: It’s how it’s done

Yeah, I know. Tradition for the sake of tradition isn’t always a good thing, but this is one that is. Notaries have been using journals for centuries, and there’s an age-old custom of keeping meticulous records every time you get out your notary stamp or embosser and do your duty as a notary public. It’s got a bit of honor and decorum to it, and our world could have more of that!

Reason #5: It will help you from making errors

Keeping a journal means you’ll be more likely to go through every required step for a proper legal notarization. You’ll get the correct information, check identification properly, get a signature in your journal, and dot all the “i”s and cross all the “t”s. It will make you a more effective, more professional, and better notary public.

When it comes down to it, whether you’re wearing parachute pants, pajama jeans, skinny jeans two sizes too small for you, or a great pair of slacks you got on sale, you wear pants because you know it’s the right thing to do. Your notary journal is no different – put on your big boy pants and get out your big boy adult journal. Don’t have a journal? We got you – get yours here!