The basics of keeping a technical notebook
Anyone reading the notebook should be able to follow the progress of a project through time with no question as to what each and every step is and what it means. Below are the basic steps to follow.
How to keep a notebook
- Use a bound (stitched binding) notebook (so a page can't disappear without a trace).
- Use permanent ink - not pencil.
- Start each page with the Title, Project Number, and Book Number.
- Write EVERYTHING down - IN THE NOTEBOOK. Record all data, all the details, all the notes, all the calculations directly in the notebook, NOT on loose paper to be transferred later. Draw a single line through any corrections. Be sure the corrected data remains legible. Corrections should be initialed and dated.
- BEWARE OF AMBIGUITY. Be sure nothing can be mis-interpretted later by others. This takes some practice. Think legalese.
- Sign and date all entries. A witness(es) should sign and date each entry as well. The witness must observe the work that is done, and have sufficient knowledge to understand what they read. Record the names of all who were present.
- Use both sides of a page. Never leave any white space: "X" out or Crosshatch all unused space, initial it & date it. Think of writing a check.