Improving your documentation often means improving your note taking. Good notes are:
Templates add structure to handwritten notes. This ensures you record all of the necessary details and can help you search through your notes later.
To create a template, come up with a list of details to record every time you acquire a particular type of data. Use this list as a reference or a worksheet. See this post for further information.
README.txt's document digital files and add context whenever clarity is required. They are useful for:
Data dictionaries are particularly useful for spreadsheet data. Data dictionaries describe:
Use a data dictionary when you share data, when you expect to reuse the data, or have a particularly large and complex dataset.
Methods are important documentation that you need to remember to keep with your data. Methods include:
Metadata, or highlight structured computable documentation, is useful for:
If you need a metadata schema for your discipline, refer to this list from the UK's Digital Curation Center.