"If you cannot measure it, if you cannot state it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind".
This was a statement made by Lord Kelvin, the guy who gave us absolute zero. Since he is smarter than all of us we need to take heed of the premise.To gain consistent repeatable results we have to record what we do and WRITE IT DOWN.
Any machine that you have should have a cheat sheet to help with quick set ups. Recipes for glue mixing, time and temps for heat treating, all that information needs to be recorded. Rely on your notes and not your memory. What may seem simple to remember because you are immersed in it will seems foggy five years later, trust me, I have had plenty of foggy moments. Anytime you get to handle a classic rod ask permission to photograph it and measure it. The more tangible information you can archive will only help you later.
I often come across early notes and comments that are kind of silly now as a few decades of building has given me a solid foundation but in there are a few gems and I find myself saying "really, wow, I had forgotten that"........................