Is pasting printed pages a bound notebook?

Hi all,

So I know a "bound notebook " gives you an extra 5 points on the design/excellence award rubric. We are a 2-person team, and both of us have completely atrocious handwriting, so writing our notebook isn’t really an option.

If we were to type our engeneering notebook out on a google/word document, and if we were to then print this out and paste the pages into a bound notebook, would we still get the 5 points?



I mean our team had some pages that were typed and then pasted in but not most of it were still handwritten and we still got the 5 extra points so maybe that would work but try to mix in some handwriting here and there would be my suggestion.


Since we all have nothing but time, I would use this opportunity to improve your handwriting. If it’s really necessary, type out a lot of it but make sure that you include some handwriting here and there. I know handwriting is hard to fix (believe me, I’m currently trying to improve mine), but this would be a good time to do it. I don’t think that typing it would be an issue as long as if you were to get an interview you would state why you typed it all.


What does a bound notebook mean?

It refers to a notebook that has a binding like a book does, so pages cannot easily be ripped out with making it very obvious a page was removed. This is also known as a “composition book”.

Does the Engineering Notebook bought from vex robotics count as a bound notebook?

yes it does. (20 characters)

As someone who had terrible handwriting I understand your problem.

It’s my understanding that part of what precipitated the bound notebook requirement was to help ensure entries are made contemporaneous with the practice. A collection of loose pages in say a 3 ring binder allows for the pages to be done at any time, in any order. Your solution does the same.

I’ll also note that in the rubric “Record of Team & Project Management” says “written in ink”. I admit it doesn’t say “handwritten” it also doesn’t say “printed”. I think it’s something that should be submitted to the official Q&A. Lacking any other official guidance, I’d probably give you the 5 points, but minimal points in “Record of Team & Project Management”.

In the end, you’ll never know how the judges ruled, so I’d justy go with improving my handwriting. :wink:


I would encourage you to look at the guidance provided in (last year’s) Judging Q&A 372 to better understand what does and does not meet the “bound notebook” criteria.

I agree with most of the points made by @ChrisR246, though I would personally not grant you the 5-point bonus. In my eyes, a notebook entirely or mostly composed of pasted-in printed pages might as well be a 3-ring binder of printed pages.

Definitely ask in the Official Judging Q&A (once it opens) if you would like an official answer.


Thanks for the post,

Do you know when the Q and A is going to open?

May 5th


20 charicters

Honestly I wouldn’t worry too much about having bad handwriting. As long as it’s legible, judges are more so looking for content rather than aesthetic. Obviously it’s still good to have a nice looking notebook, but the content that you write about will always be more important. If your handwriting isn’t legible, try slowing down a little bit when you’re writing and really think about what you’re writing and how you want it to look. I had to do this a few years ago after I fractured my wrist and stopped writing for a few weeks and my handwriting got really bad and it helped a lot.


The more I thought about this, since it’s a design notebook and not a journal, maybe consider writing less, using more bullet points etc and printing instead of cursive


This is very true, There was a notebook with all bullet points as everyday they work on their robot and they have won excellence every tournament i see them.

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If you mark every printed page with the date, would you count this as being bound? This year, I am trying to prioritize neatness such as handwriting and spelling but also keep the documentation of the notebook accurate to each day we write an entry. I was also thinking of having an original date written and if we ever edit the page, we would put an additional section at the bottom for edits and document the date edited.

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Ask in the official judging Q&A (when it opens).

I’d say no, as there is no way to know what order they were done in, if they were redone etc.

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Reviving an old thread is not productive.

Mid-August RECF will be publishing new guidelines for notebooks to adapt to the challenging season due to Covid-19.

Start a new topic if there are questions regarding the new guidance.


Thank you for letting me know. I’ll delete the post.

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