The secretaries outside the Oval Office prepared President Johnson's Daily Diary. Juanita Roberts, the President's personal secretary, assigned the responsibility of preparing the Diary to secretaries in the office. A particular person would "work" the Diary for a scheduled period. As visits and telephone calls occurred, the secretary "working" the Diary would note them; occasionally the secretary missed noting a call or meeting. White House staff who worked closely with the President frequently entered the Oval Office without the visit being noted in the Diary.
The secretaries frequently included their own observations in the Diary, and entries may include brief quotes from the President's conversations, narratives describing the President's trips and activities at the LBJ Ranch, anecdotal information, and descriptions of the President's reactions to people and events.
In a column labeled "Telephone," the secretary would indicate with a "t" [to] that the call was made by the President to the person listed in the diary or with an "f" [from] that the call originated with the person listed; she would indicate if it was long distance or local. She would annotate the entry with "pl" if the call was made on a "private line" which was wired directly to a phone in the office of an aide or associate.
Calls which were recorded on the dictabelt recording system are often annotated with a belt number indicating which belt the secretary used to record the call. Information about guests at social functions was taken from the guest lists, and a last minute cancellation could cause an error in the Diary.