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Laboratory and Engineering Notebook [Bonus: Logbook Software]

 

Science is the genesis of invention and human advancement. This highly revolutionary niche involves long hours of confinement in the laboratory, collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. Whether you are a novice or an experienced researcher, understanding the specifics of the data you are working on is vital to conduct a successful experiment.

However, with hundreds of information sets involved, making the most of your data may be difficult. The whole undertaking can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have customized templates to record your findings and deductions.

For both engineering investigations and scientific research, meticulous presentation of data is vital, as it greatly improves your work. If you are looking to streamline the whole undertaking, a laboratory or engineering notebook is essential.

For any serious engineer or lab technician, a notebook is indispensable. Our comprehensive guide will help you understand why you need this book and how to keep it.

 

 

Part 1
What Is a Laboratory or Engineering Notebook?

A laboratory notebook is a highly customized document that focuses on meticulously highlighting all the crucial details of the research process. Inclusive of meticulous outlines, this notebook helps lab technicians organize their work, ensuring that no detail is overlooked.

An ideal engineering notebook will allow you to effortlessly capture crucial experimental information like:

  • Data Computations
  • Hypothesis
  • Observations

In addition to the details of a specific project, a laboratory notebook will include upcoming meetings and appointments.

Brief Summation

Just like a personal journal, a lab notebook provides a detailed account of your experimental procedure. This insightful tool provides comprehensive documentation of all stages of a project.

A laboratory notebook doubles as a referencing database inclusive of a wide array of details, enabling you to accurately monitor the ideas you have explored. Besides avoiding repetitive experiments, a laboratory notebook outlines all the observations and challenges involved, thus enhancing future similar projects.

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Part 2
Importance of Keeping a Laboratory Notebook

An engineering notebook is a crucial tool that features all the experiments conducted, the motivation behind them, and the observations made. The main purpose of this book is to help you accurately track your research. A lab notebook highlights the key details of an experiment, including the exact observations made, and provides a detailed summary.

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Another reason to invest in a laboratory notebook is to track the progress of your work. This essential book provides an exquisite recording avenue, thus accurately capturing your procedures. An engineering notebook focuses on documenting all the steps taken and the subsequent observations made.

This book not only helps you understand the project, but also provides an excellent opportunity to monitor your work. A lab notebook also provides dozens of other benefits, including:

  • Helps identify and organize your colleagues in their respective roles
  • Enhances your workflow organization, enabling you to meet deadlines and improve intuition
  • Acts as a referencing point for fellow researchers
  • Can be used when conducting lab audits
  • Provides a comprehensive to-do list

Part 3
How to Keep a Laboratory Notebook

A lab/engineering notebook is a powerful tool that goes beyond research administration.

A laboratory notebook performs a variety of functions, including:

  • Documents your daily lab activities and the niches you are looking to explore
  • Records your ideas regarding a scientific study, which enhances visualization and thus actualization
  • Provides a detailed analysis of the reasons behind a study

The benefits of formulating and keeping an intuitive laboratory notebook are indisputable. Despite the numerous rewards, however, most lab technicians don’t have a clear understanding of how to keep a laboratory notebook.

In this section, we will explain what is expected of you when keeping this essential book. Some of the most common techniques of keeping an excellent engineering notebook include:

  1. Create Photocopies

    Unlike other notebooks, there are specific procedures when it comes to maintaining this crucial document. First and foremost, ensure the safety of your notebook. While it is a common organizational practice to hand over the laboratory notebook, keeping copies of the original document is recommended.
    Having copies of your notebook allows you to conduct further research even after the project is no longer needed. These copies can also be used for patenting your research.

  2. Ensure Proper Archiving

    Amidst laboratory mayhem, corrosive chemicals may spill over your notebook. For this reason, it is imperative to archive your laboratory notebook in a secure place free from damage. The best place to store your notebook is in a lockable bookcase. If that is not available, you may also consider storing it in a file cabinet or a cupboard.
    Tip: Inform your manager where to find your lab notebook. For easier identification, consider labeling it.

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Part 4
Essential Tips For Keeping a Laboratory/Engineering Notebook

Keeping a reliable notebook necessitates a keen understanding of some general rules, including:

ProsperForms — receive reports from your team members on autopilot. 100+ forms available: reports, logbooks, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage data on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate consolidated PDF reports. Get Started

  1. When recording a procedure, making errors is inevitable. Consider a notebook that allows you to pluck off pages without leaving any evidence. A ring-bound book would be the perfect choice.
  2. Each experiment should feature in a new page.
  3. There should be no gaps between entries. Additionally, data should be entered in real time and should be systematically dated.
  4. Besides documenting each experiment in a brand-new page, consider including a detailed title followed by a step-by-step breakdown of all the instructions followed.

For additional insights on how a laboratory notebook should look, click on this link.

Part 5
Laboratory/Engineering Notebook Sample Format

While keeping this insightful document predominantly revolves around immortalizing it, learning the art of designing and accurately integrating your laboratory notebook in your workflows is equally vital. For an example of what the notebook should look like, see the sample laboratory notebook form template below.

laboratory engineering notebook sample format

Conclusion

A laboratory notebook is an incredible tool that enables you to efficiently manage your research. This tool allows you to perfectly monitor the steps taken when executing a project and provides a comprehensive outline of all the ideas you have examined.

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lab round checklist

Edit and use this template

 

construction daily log

Edit and use this template

 

construction daily report

Edit and use this template

 

ProsperForms — receive reports from your team members on autopilot. 100+ forms available: reports, logbooks, requests, etc. or build your own. View and manage data on Timeline and Dashboard screens, generate consolidated PDF reports. Get Started

weekly project status report issues resources scope

Edit and use this template

 

event site inspection checklist

Edit and use this template

 

roof inspection checklist

Edit and use this template

 

inspection round checklist

Edit and use this template

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Part 4

ProsperForms is a cloud solution to dramatically reduce the time you spend creating reports

  1. Make reporting easier with auto-fill: Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
  2. Consolidate reports automatically: Reports created by your team members can be consolidated easily.
  3. Save time with auto-layout: No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
  4. Peace of mind with auto-reminders: No one forgets to submit their reports because ProsperForms automatically sends timely reminders according to the schedule you chose.
  5. Decrease time and effort spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
  6. Quick sharing: Reports can be either - exported to files and printed, or sent by email; - shared with the manager online (in real time); - optionally shared online as team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other to spend less time on meetings.

How to configure reports on ProsperForms:

Step 1:
  • Choose a form (100+ forms available) — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
  • Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
  • Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Click the "Open Submission Form" button to fill in and submit the report. Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically. As soon as a new report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.

Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF. (Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)

Click “Generate Report”.

Done!  

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