My two cents for report writing time savers:
Software: Use a software that has “pickers” and build out the most common defects with a more robust pick-list so that the software is building your sentence or paragraph for you. The greatest time saver is clicking for a comment instead of typing.
Inspection: The process while you’re on-site should incorporate writing at least some of the report while you’re there, leaving less to do at home. I can very much relate to the late nights and lack of family time (that was until I sorted out the inspection process and more importantly my software). I personally prefer to do as much on-site as possible.
Photos: I personally take between 100-200 photos including infrared. Only attach a photo if it supports the narrative. For example I don’t typically attach an image of gutters needing to be cleaned or of moss on the roof. Also I point with my hand in the frame of the photo, it saves time both in photo editing but also report writing because in my narrative I can use a generic “left side” and then they can look at the photo to see exactly where I’m referring to. I think the camera you’re using should be doing most of the editing for you, IE: I use flash or have my flashlight illuminating the frame almost all of the time so I don’t need to adjust the brightness. The settings on most cameras have a center line and a grid so you don’t have to tilt or crop photos if you’re already taking the picture on a level plane (or whatever the terminology is)
Narratives: I don’t personally explain implications for things that I deem obvious. For example if I’ve said the siding or trim is damaged I don’t think it’s necessary to explain that moisture damage or further deterioration could occur, I’ve already said it’s damaged… As for making recommendations, I do not specify exactly WHO for the repair, I always state “Licensed/Qualified Professional” instead of saying licensed plumber, licensed electrician, etc etc As for HOW, I never specify either, “Repair/correct as needed” puts the onus on the ones doing the repair not on you.
If you want the most succinct way to do it, only two words are needed… “Recommend corrections” personally I think it’s too vague for most things but in your example of a tub stopper,
Instead of saying: “The upstairs third hallway jack and Jill bathroom had a tub stopper that was inoperable, this can allow for objects and debris to fall into the drain, possibly creating a blockage and potentially a full tub overflow, which could necessitate full remediation by a licensed fire and flood restoration crew, requiring removal of the floor tile, sub flooring material, insulation and downstairs ceiling drywall. We recommend a licensed plumbing contractor repair or replace as needed.“
I would rather say: “Tub stopper in upstairs hall bathroom was missing or inoperable. Recommend corrections.”
Also I like bundle comments which might have already been mentioned but in an electrical panel for example:
“The following issues were observed in the panel that should be reviewed by a licensed/qualified professional for safety: Double tapped breaker, scorched wiring, missing knock out plugs, and pointed metal screws. Recommend corrections as needed.”
May I ask you, what software and what cameras are you using?
I wish you the best of luck and I hope you can get out of the midnights report writing man. Try not to get burned out (and also your inspectors won’t last long if they’re burned out too).