Using two different engineering notebooks?

Hey! My team is gearing up to start the 2020-2021 season and I was wondering if we are allowed to use two separate engineering notebooks? I know a lot of teams aren’t going to be able to meet up To do robotics for a while, but putting the entire engineering notebook on one person is a lot of strain. Will there possibly be any leniency for having two separate engineering notebooks spanning the same dates? And if not how do you recommend teams to have all members contribute to the notebook? Thank you for the help!


This thread seems to have some options that answer your question.


Just to be clear, there is no prohibition in the judging rules of allowing multiple notebooks. It has always been acceptable to have multiple notebooks. As a judge, though, it is difficult if I can’t line up the notebooks in time or activities. Remember, the judges are going to use the rubric - so make it easy for the judges to find what they’re looking for. If it is spread across multiple notbooks, give the judges a roadmap.


we had two notebooks this year, but it was because we filled the first one completely up. I don’t know if this answers your question, but thats just what we did.


If you read the post, his question refers to two notebooks documenting the same time frame.


oh… I don’t really know how that would work or be beneficial at all. If you want to have multiple people, just use facetime or something like that.


Well, due to current conditions, some teams have difficulty with having multiple people record the design process in their notebook.

Therefore, two people would each keep their own notebook, so as to document their findings effectively. Using facetime does not accomplish the goal of multiple people writing in a single notebook.


maybe writing it down in a regular composition notebook or something and then when they end up seeing each other they can put it in the real notebook? This would definitely be a sort of hard thing to do but I do not see the use in turning in two notebooks that are from the same time frame


Maybe you can have two different notebooks for two different parts of your team. Like this year, my team had a normal engineering notebook for the physical design process and another spiral bound notebook for programming where we had highly detailed descriptions of the different parts in our program with tabs for easy navigation (we printed the spiral bound notebook from Staples but we bought an engineering notebook and hand-wrote in it).


Well relating to that matter. I was wondering if you do not get an official vex notebook will you be graded down for awards?
I am just asking because I don’t have any of this.


As long as the notebook is bound before any entries are made you get the 5 points.


Thank you!


Did you have any issues with that? Did the judges score both notebooks or just take priority in one. I was also thinking of having a separate programming notebook, but I wasn’t sure if that would be allowed.


The judges will score your entire submission. You are allowed to have a separate programming notebook. Whether it is a good idea, on the other hand, is debatable.


Thank you!
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Okay so I am my team’s notebooker. We’re actually already planning this out and it really depends on your team. It’s a team decision.

So what I would do is have everyone on your team on a shared document, text message, facetime, or whatever. Have your main notebooker start off your notebook, and just have everyone else add their thoughts to the doc. I wouldn’t have two notebooks spanning the same date even though there isn’t anything against it. IIRC, a judge told me they only get about 10 minutes to look through each notebook for time reasons.

Also, imagine how confusing it would be to try and line everything up for the judges. If you do decide to go this route, I would have a larger notebook ready for you to combine all of that in.

Honestly it isn’t that hard if you haven’t been able to start building, coding, CAD, etc. Depending on your state, your team is home for the rest of the year. Trust me, I know how hard notebooking can be sometimes, especially when you’re busy, but being at home all the time without even have started anything else yet is the perfect time to get it done. If you have started to do things other than the notebook, all anybody has at this point is time, and I would spend it doing your notebook.

Finally, I just really wouldn’t start 2 notebooks. It would put a lot more strain on you, especially if you would combine it before the end of the year. Rewriting notebooks is horrible and awful and I’m sure you might have done it before (I know I have). Do you really want to rewrite double of what you wrote the first time? But, there isn’t anything or anyone on here or in the rubric that says you wouldn’t be able to do that.

So here are some questions you should ask yourself if you really care about your notebook and are aiming for judged awards:

  • How many people are on your team?

  • How many notebookers do you have?

  • If there’s only one, does anyone else want to do it?

  • Is everyone able to communicate?

  • What if something in one notebook contradicts the other?

  • What if the judges don’t have enough time to view both?

  • Would you eventually combine the information?

  • Would you eventually WANT to combine the information considering how much “fun” it would be to rewrite another notebook with double the info?


Thank you for your input, very helpful. I’m going to use that google doc idea, especially in the beginning while I’m scrambling to get the book intro done lol. Also final input, we are going to be doing A LOT of cad over summer, it’s all we have.

Nice dude! I hope your team gets the notebooks set straight

Thanks, me too! I’m hoping to get design award in my league this year, and hopefully at states as well though it’s a long shot. It’s my senior year and I’m just hoping to be able to take my team to worlds.

I’m sure that your question has already been answered by now, but we had four bound notebooks for 2019 Worlds, so using two is definitely fine. Just make sure they’re labelled and rubber banded together so they don’t get separated.