A good laboratory notebook is one of the most crucial tools at your disposal as you study engineering. You’ll use it to document your processes as you complete design projects, and it will serve as a valuable reference for the future. Read this handy guide to an organized engineer science notebook and invest in a good lab book today. Your studies will thank you.
Because your lab notebook is a legal document as well as a resource for you, each entry must be legible. Write in permanent ink, and use your best handwriting. To avoid ink bleeding through the page, invest in an engineering lab notebook with archival-quality paper. It’ll hold the ink more easily and prevent that bleeding. If you make a mistake, strike it out with a single line. Don’t scribble it away! Mistakes are valuable learning tools.
Make your lab book as easy to navigate as possible. Write the date at the top of every page (yes, every single page). When you begin a new project, start it on a new page, even if you’ve got space at the bottom of the last one. Don’t leave that space empty, either; strike it out and sign it. When you finish a previous project, sign and date the page at the end of your notes.
Write down every step of your process, no matter how mundane it seems. If you make a mistake, don’t scribble over it or tear out the page; strike it out with a single line (see above) and keep going. Keeping your notes and processes in chronological order is crucial, so sign and date your page at the beginning and the end of each class or work session.
You may have noticed a trend in this guide: no detail is too minuscule for notation. Even if a step seems like common knowledge, keep a note of it. If you ever have to go to court to prove a patent, your lab notebook will be a crucial piece of evidence in your favor. Make sure it is a complete and understandable record of your entire process.
When you begin your engineering course or career, start strong with an engineering lab notebook from Scientific Notebook. Our bound lab books are an essential part of the STEM toolbox; pick one up today to see the quality for yourself. With our guide to an organized engineer science notebook, you’ve already got a head start in your studies.