Run out of Room in the Table of Contents


Our team is getting close the point where we are almost done with our first notebook this season (around 20 pages left), but we only have room for 5 more entries in the table of contents. We are planning on starting a second notebook after this, but our team has always add room in the table of contents before so we are unsure of what to do. We have reached a couple possible ideas of what to do, but we aren’t sure what would be best. Here are our ideas so far.

  1. Start the new notebook as soon as the table of contents is full, crossing out the last few pages.

  2. Use all the pages in the old notebook, but don’t have the entries listed in the table of contents.

  3. Use all the pages in the old notebook, and extend the table of contents into the margins.

  4. Make larger entries and finish the notebook with room in the table of contents.

I would appreciate if some who judges notebooks could respond and help us out. Thanks in advance!


I’m not a judge, but I would believe that option 3 or 4 would make the most sense. You want the notebook to look as presentable as possible so crossing out pages is not a good idea, at least in my opinion.

You can do a mix of it, making large and regular entries, depending on how many pages you have left, and just add the table of contents to the margins if you run out.


When the judges are reviewing your notebook, they are trying to find the items on the rubric as quickly as possible. If your notebook appears to have a good TOC or index (not all EN’s do), then the reviewing judge will probably expect to be able to find each of the rubric items in the TOC.

Look at your EN (or ask your mentor/coach to review for a more honest opinion) from the standpoint of a judge who has about 2 minutes to do an initial review of the EN. If the rubric items cannot be found easily, they will likely be missed. Typically the judges review of EN’s is in two steps (see the Judges guide for more information): the first pass is a quick one to sort out the 50% or so of the notebooks that basically have little hope of being considered for Design or Excellence. You want your notebook to be organized well enough to make the first cut, then it will be reviewed more closely.


Do 3 or 4, it looks worse when you don’t use as much space in the book as you can.