Each gathering is best numbered as it is collected, starting with number 1. Only one series of numbers should be used throughout a collector's career; the sequence being maintained wherever and whenever a collections is made. As specimens are best cited by their collector and their number together with the acronym of the herbarium where they are deposited, the number should be unique to the collector. In these days of computer databases, it is also helpful if this number is part of a simple incremental series.
Record habitat type (e.g. limestone grassland), associated plants (e.g. with Corylus avellana, Danthonia decumbens, etc.) and any features of the plant that will not be obvious on the sheet (height, colour, scent, etc.)
There are several ways of recording field data. A collecting book is best, using one page for each specimen and a pencil or waterproof pen (to avoid losing information to rain or humidity). When one or many details are the same for consecutive collections ditto, marks can be used as seen in the examples (left). A suitable template is available for download.
Collecting book template (Adobe PDF, 1 page, 28KB)
Other methods include using a notebook to record details of location and habitat with a list of species collected (see example below left). A third method is by ruling columns across an A4-size exercise book (see example below right).
See the Model Herbarium Specimen Label for details of how the data is presented and and, therefore, what should be recorded in the field notes.