Did you know Thomas Edison completed more than 2,500 design notebooks in his lifetime? Notebooks are a great way to record your ideas and keep track of your work.
Your notebook is your key for sharing the your ideas and work with your team, TA, and advisor. You can't get credit for your work and accomplishments if your advisor doesn't know about them.
Notebooks can be kept in paper notebooks, three ring binders, or on Microsoft OneNote notebooks. Your advisor may require a specific notebook format, so make sure to check with them at the start of the semester.
Your notebooks will be evaluated by your TA in weeks 4, 8, 12, and 15. See the Grading Guidelines and the recommended content and format below for help acing your review.
Recommended Notebook Contents
- Project Work including brainstorming, sketches, calculations, designs, and action items.
- Team and project team meetings. Include agendas, major discussion items, and action items that result from the meeting.
- Record relevant information and discussions from EPICS lectures.
- Record contact information (name, phone number, email, address -- whatever is relevant) for people with whom you consult about the project. Record information about conversations with the project partner. Record outcomes from all relevant conversations, including phone and email conversations.
- Detailed records of library and patent searches and to record relevant URLs resulting from WWW searches.
- For software, describe the work done and give the location where the software can be found.
- Location of documents that you contributed to, what they contain and where they can be found.
- Include important information that your team has compiled that pertains to the project.
- Include conclusions and recommendations.
- Reflections, either prompted by specific project experiences, or by reflection questions.
- Include enough narrative to explain what is being done; make entries readable by other people in your discipline. How is the information relevant?
Recommended Notebook Format
- Put your name, phone number, and email address on the front cover.
- Recommended: Include page for Table of Contents and pre-number the pages in the notebook.
- Date all entries.
- Single page documents (e.g., meeting agendas, single page of notes) can be taped or stapled into the notebook, but larger documents should be posted on the sharepoint and referenced in the notebook.
- Write legibly.
- Include narrative to describe sketches, diagrams, plots, and equations.