What I usually do is this
nohup command [options] > output.log &
and then i log-off...when i log-on back again...if i wanted to see the progress i issue this command
then I know what happened while i'm away....so i'm not sure if what you've been doing is similar to my case..
If nohup output is redirected to a terminal or is not redirected at all,
the output is appended to the file nohup.out. If the file is created, the
permission bits are set to Owner Read and Owner Write (600). If nohup.out
is not writable in the current directory, the output is redirected to
$HOME/nohup.out. If neither file can be created nor opened for appending,
utility is not invoked.