A good record needs a What, Where, When and Who.
Record What was seen to species level if possible or take lots of photos and include descriptions. Photos can be used by an expert to confirm the identification of the plant or animal seen. The Learn about the Environment page has more information on how to identify what you’ve seen.
The Where or location of the sighting can be a GPS location, description or an address. When is the date, which can include the time, and the Who is the person making the observation.
Further information can be recorded on How many were seen, also known as the abundance. If known, then details on the lifestage of the individual sighted can be very useful eg was it an adult or larvae. Abundance can be recorded as the actual number seen or by using a scale, eg frequent or rare.
These essential bits of information make it easier for people to include the observations in a database and provides the information in context (with time and place) for scientists and land managers to better interpret and understand.