Early on there were Chart Recorders. In recent years it's been Data Loggers (HOBO). And now I think what may be coming is Web Environment Loggers. Each is a major shift toward better usability, easier implementation, and lower cost.
What I'm using is good illustration (my system is the one quoted above).
While my temp and other conditions monitoring appear to be advanced, complex and 'geeky,' it isn't at all. In fact, it's probably less work that using HOBOs - plug in an Ethernet cable, plug in a cable with 1-wire technology sensors attached, fill out a few fields on a web-based provided screen, and you're done with creating (a) chart(s) and storing data values. No more work is required, and you get data acquisition (sensor data every minute), data storage (spreadsheet), and data display (anywhere on Web) - and, it's real-time, not historical like when using HOBOs.
I think what frightens individuals at the moment is the immediate reaction of having to set up a web site, or a web server, or doing programming to create charts and graphs, etc. In fact, the technology is moving to where this is all part of the turnkey package.
You can look at this map to gets lots of ideas and examples. And more advanced details are here.