Engineering notebook help

Hello fellow RoboNerds, I was wondering if anybody would not mind telling me what you think makes your engineering notebook truly unique.

I personally think that all of the work done on the robot should be documented. Are team use a website that has all of the information. Some of the things that you might want to have is the design, any problems you have had, the pro’s and con’s of your Robot. No detail is to small to be noted. I hope that this helps.

Make sure your overall organization is really good and complete, and then record everything. EVERYTHING.

Thank you for the advice!

Related thread.

Other threads that discussed this in the past:

One team did a reveal of their documentation:


I find pastoral invasion’s notebook helpful, especially the part where they documented using PID to freeze lift. Very detailed and practical.

Will a bounded notebook be scored higher than a 3 ring binder notebook?

I think content is more important than material.

It shows more planning to do a bounded book from a composition book, but is easier to add to the middle of a binder or website.

My team uses a website, as it is the 21st century, however people have many differing opinions about this.

Hello! I am the notebooker for my team and I use a 3 ring binder. Every competition my team has competed in we have won the Design Award for the notebook. Really what the judges are looking for is the contents. After a competition I was talking to a judge and the reason why we won was because of our documentation and our use of the design process with a few little tricks here and there;)

This isn’t exactly something that makes a notebook “unique,” but include lots and lots of pictures! The judges do not have time to read everything in your notebook, so make it visual too by adding lots of pictures. Don’t do this instead of writing, but adding pictures helps them to see your point. Also, keep it organized and maybe include a table of contents. My team has done this for this year too. Overall, make it as user friendly as possible so that anyone can pick it up and know a lot about your team and your robot. :slight_smile:

My notebook is unique because of the quantity and concentration of information. I have filled up one volume completely (130ish FULL Pages no blank spaces) and I have written 45 full pages in volume two.

I have gone through many, many redesigns so all the information is highly relevant. (IT IS NOT QUANTITY>QUALITY)

I think the most important informational quality of an Engineering notebook is to remember to EXPLAIN Everything. And make any drawings neat. My rule is any hand drawn sketch smaller than half a page should be considered a doodle. (rule partially due to my terrible drawing skills)

Visually, there should be no blank space. It should all be filled with drawings, pictures and text. NO EXCEPTIONS.

I think the bigger and more detailed the journal and drawings the better.

I sometimes employ multiple note booking strategies at one time. RIght now I have a hand written chronological Journal and I am finishing up a typed summery/ write up. I also have a binder with reference material. The more material the better (as long as that material is nicely ORGANIZED)

When in doubt, do a hand written bound notebook, a binder and a typed thing.

I was talking to a judge at the Southern California State championship and he said when they judge the notebooks they do not want typed pages. In fact he was told to only look for the hand written information

I have a large (2 volume 180 page ish ) hand written one plus the typed one

The typed one basically summarizes everything and makes presenting easier. Its like a printed presentation to aid in the pacing of our notebook presentation. In past years, I have created typed scrap books with pictures to aid in presentation

I think a typed summery helps organize and pace presentations.