Project Notebook


  • Notebooks provide space to brainstorm and capture ideas in one area to aid in the synergizing of ideas.
  • Notebooks are a design record to document project intellectual property.
  • Notebooks are a Project Management tool to document team communications (meeting agendas, key decisions, action items, etc.)
  • Notebooks are one way to demonstrate individual contributions to the team.

Content Recommendations

  • Record sketches, calculations, brainstorms, etc.
  • Include scratch work, but indicate that it is scratch work and try to clean it up later.
  • Include work on all topics which may be presented in future written reports.
  • Include enough narrative to explain what is being done. Add titles and subtitles to important sections. This is especially important for calculations and engineering modeling. Explain the approach and equations used.
  • Use the design notebook as a journal for phone contacts and project meetings. Include agendas and action items agreed upon at the conclusion of each team meeting.
  • Use the design notebook to keep detailed records of library and patent searches
  • Include important information that your team has compiled which pertains to the project (problem definition, Gantt chart, house of quality, functional decomposition, decision matrices, modeling, drawings, narrative descriptions of primary and backup concepts, BOM, economic analysis, relevant tables and plots, etc.).
  • Include conclusions and recommendations.
  • Include a weekly summary of what was accomplished during the last week, and check boxes for tasks to be done – carried over from last week and new ones