Should I type or hand write my vex journal?

Hello everyone, I just wanted to ask a quick question to the forum, which was whetehr I should type my vex journal or hand write my vex journal. As of right now, my team has typed our vex journal, but after looking at alot of other journals on youtube and the vex forum, we noticed alot of teams are handwriting their journal. So I wonder whether judges perfer hand writen journals or typed journals.

P.S. Keep in my mind our designs in our journal are hand-drawn since our team does not have a CAD subscription.

It depends on what competitions your team is signing up for. If you only do online competitions, typing the notebook is fine. If you plan on doing any in-person competitions, start handwriting the logs into a physical notebook. And if you start handwriting, it’s best to use black pen only.

1 Like

This is because in the past teams were not allowed to submit online notebooks (in order to get the bound notebook bonus). Now due to the Pandemic, teams have the option to use a physical or online notebook. Depending on your event, notebooks will either need to be submitted virtually (a link to a file, either a pdf or a pdf created from scans of a physical notebook), or in-person (online notebooks will have to be printed and assembled in a physical format). This season, the bound notebook bonus has been replaced with a verifiable time stamp bonus, which both formats of engineering notebooks have (if done correctly). Thus both formats of notebooks will be acceptable to submit at every event this season.

Since y’all have started out with an online notebook, I would suggest continuing with that. Switching to a physical notebook this late in the season will most likely be a hard change that frankly I wouldn’t recommend with the state of the rules for this season.


Hand writing if it’s a physical paper journal, use black or blue ink.

Use color ink to highlight important sections or ideas.

I love the paper books

But I love PDF files with nice formatting, the use of BOLD italics underline and color to direct me and the use of hyperlinks within the document. I think this is the way to go, but sadly not enough traction with other event partners.

PDF files done well are an amazing thing.


Especially if judges cannot attend the event in-person (due to COVID, or other circumstances). If this becomes the standard then judges can volunteer from the comfort of their own home, and host zoom meetings with the teams before/during the event while remaining safe and without the risk of contracting COVID from a physical notebook.

Thanks for y’alls feedback I’ll defintley keep this in mind, thank you guys so much.

1 Like

Presently we do judging from home and the two formats seem to be scanned notebooks into PDF files and Google Docs (either Raw or in PDF format). I’ve been asking for years to do electronic notebooks with PDF files.

  1. Allows for formatting
  2. Allows for insertion of pictures
  3. Hyperlinks
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Index

The only thing really missing is the enforced timestamp issue.

OTOH tools to build complex documents are free. Tools to read documents are also free.

I lack the energy for 2022-23 to make PDF the default documentation, but if someone wants to start and manage that effort I’ll sign on.

I had huge hopes with Google becoming a major sponsor that Google Docs would have a controlled date management feature.