Keeping an Engineering Notebook
As you are working on your semester-long design project, it is critical that you maintain a record of your work and progress. In order to help create your Milestones and Final Presentation, as well as maintain your project schedule, the notebook should be updated regularly.
In order to pass a project Benchmark assessment, or to complete your final Submission, your notebook must be fully updated and deemed satisfactory by a TA. For Milestone 2, Milestone 3, and Final Submission you must have it approved by an Open Lab TA in a Word Document (DOC or DOCX) format. One engineering notebook needs to be maintained for a group.
Why Is Keeping a Notebook Important?
As engineers, a record of your work must be shown clearly to your employers and supervisors. As a student working on a long-term engineering project, you are expected to do the same. A notebook will be a valuable source of reference when developing a presentation for Recitation, understanding any changes a teammate may have made while working by themselves, or to return to a previous point should a new development fail to come to fruition.
What is a Fully Satisfactory Notebook?
In order to qualify for Benchmarking, your notebook must meet the following criteria:
- Minimum of two entries per week on your project status. If you did not work on it that week, or only worked on it once, provide explanation on why (e.g. ahead of schedule, already Benchmarked, preoccupied with other work, etc).
- Professional formatting. Your notebook should be more than a list of bullet points.
- All topics discussed below in What Should You Include In Your Notebook?
- Clear insight on which teammate is logging the notebook, as well as who is responsible for what tasks that have been completed.
What Should You Include In Your Notebook?
There is no specific format directly required of you. You are free to format your Engineering Notebook however you deem most appropriate. However, keep in mind that many TAs, Professors, and Writing Consultants may reference your notebook at any time to view the status of your group.
- Your notebook should be ordered chronologically including but not limited to the following information:
- Topics discussed at a meeting together
- Major developments on how the group wants to proceed
- Division of labor
- Individual accomplishments
- Developments in code
- Plans for the future
- Developments for a physical model (not applicable to virtual semesters)
- Pictures of the model
- Plans for Recitation presentations
- Updates to cost or project schedule