Think about it: why would you need a paper notebook today? We live in the age of smartphones and tablets. Sure. Computers have disrupted all fields; more so, engineering fields. The thought of buying a good, old-fashioned engineering notebook might seem a little outdated. Yet, engineering lab notebooks are essential today just as in the olden days.
Unlike electronic devices, paper notebooks don’t require charging. They can be taken anywhere and used at any time. This feature makes them essential for manual tracking of laboratory experiments today, just like they were in the olden days.
Good engineering lab notebooks will also enable quick referencing, cheap archival and ease material maintenance. You will nature good habits that will serve you throughout your scientific career by learning to keep a log book while a student. An engineering student’s notebooks, should, therefore, be valued like one’s diary. They will aid you to research, record, track new findings and capture solutions.
How to Make Student Lab Notes
i. All lab notes should be complete and accurate. It is recommendable to record all experimental methods and data from experiments in the engineering logbook.
ii. Students lab notes should be permanent and easy to reference
iii. Record all the mistakes and difficulties you encountered when experimenting. This act will help you to learn past failures frequently, and failed attempts.
Here are five reasons you will need your laboratory notebooks.
1. They Enhance Record Keeping
It is vital to keep track of the work you’ve already done and the tasks that you intend to do. Sometimes you could do with mastering your ideas off-head.
But laboratory life is hectic. You may have a lineup of tasks daily. Occasionally, new ideas could pop up. Your lab instructor might demand a few off-the-plan tasks. Thus, keeping track of all your lab ideas off-head might become cumbersome. With a well-kept laboratory notebook, you can save a detailed list of plans and ideas by maintaining the relevant log books.
2. Notebooks Ease Project Monitoring
When you take the time to record all the steps carefully, it’s easy to pick up your experiment from where you left it. Here, you will find your up-to-date record of trials, future ideas, and their onset time.
So, pick a pen, capture all steps of preparation and experiment initiation. Jot down the results at the end of each experiment. If you take a recess, let your notebook guide you on which step to move next. A lot of engineering faults could be avoided with proper recording and referencing.
3. With Notebooks, You Will Keep Track Of Your Lab Partners
Complicated engineering experiments often involve multiple people working together. Each person handles a significant portion of an experiment that is usually their speciality. This arrangement makes things easier. But it also adds mutual stress as a team is only as good as its weakest member.
To avoid mistakes and make foster teamwork, purchase group engineering lab notebooks. Double-check each engineering student’s role and record it. An ideal group laboratory notebook will keep a record of all your teammates’ work. With time, you can review and provide feedback where necessary.
4. Notebooks Make Students Stay Organized
How do you plan your lab tasks? Usually, the more detailed and far-reaching you lay out your plans, the less time you will spend at the lab. It is crucial to plot every step beforehand. And where better to keep your future schedules than in the trusty laboratory notebook?
5. Engineering lab notebooks Can Help You to Make Money
Yes, money. Such occurs when your research is used as archival material. In other cases, your laboratory work may lead you into a discovery that you and your lab partners would want to patent.
To make it through the patent process, you’ll need to show a record of your working process. You will need to showcase the schedules on which you performed your experiments. In such cases, your notebook will be your gold.