Can we start on next year's notebook?

We are done competing for this year and are about to recruit new members and add additional teams. Can we go ahead and start our new notebook? Does it have to be dated after a certain time?

There are no rules about this, and my take is that if you are working on your team and approach for a competition season, go for it. I don’t think you can have too much documentation.

I believe that very few teams start before the new game is announced.

Doesn’t make much sense to start something before you even know what it’s about, hate to put in all that work to realize it’s gonna be something completely different lol

It makes absolutely sense to start early on the notebook. Too often I am presented with notebooks that are an afterthought, and as a result do poorly. There are plenty of structural considerations to the notebook that can be discussed and a design process described so that all team members can contribute to the notebook and team’s success.

I am delighted to hear of a team getting an early start to organizing themselves in this manner.

This was our first year and our notebook was terrible! That is why we are wanting to start the notebook with bios of all of our team members, ground rules for the notebook, expectations of the team, a design process…etc. Thank you all for your responses!

As soon as you know your competition schedule, or at least have a rough idea, the team can start planning, perhaps using a Gnatt chart (some of our teams have used http://www.projectlibre.com/ ). Having been through a season, you now know the various aspects of competition, and your team can also schedule time for doing various online challenges (which don’t change much from year to year).

By having this early planning done, you can get the team together during the summer and maybe go to an early-season event, like the Monroe County Fair VEX Qualifier on August 5, in Monroe, MI! :slight_smile:

I’m someone who is also voting yes for doing the notebook. Pick some projects you wanted to test, build and evaluate. Like PID control and such. They will generally be applicable to any robot and give you abetter understanding. Set general timeline goals like 1st bot done by July, 2nd revision done by September, and so on. Work the notebook over the summer too so you can win that first event and qualify for your State right away. Takes some pressure off.

we never focused on notebooks really, but did more this year and it’s been great to be able to go back and see the evolution.

Its a great way to go to get the judges award if you show how you’ve used your preseason. For example, we were able to show our outreaches that we did last year and the judges loved how we included pictures and descriptions in the “pre season” section of our notebook. It also motivated us to create off season robots that we were able to document and show to the judges.