Laboratory notebooks are an important part of conducting any lab work, and without one things can get disorganized fast! If you’re not sold, here are a few reasons why you definitely need one.
5 Reasons Why You Need A Laboratory Notebook
- Data. While it may seem obvious, as what else are notebooks for but keeping data? But, when it comes to lab work, it’s important to have a place where you can keep all of your collected data. Without an easy source of reference it can be easy to lose track of important research notes and data points. This can easily set you back and further complicate the process more than need. Having lab notebooks ensures that you always have an easy reference point to pick up exactly where you left off, while not losing any important discovered information.
- Next Steps. A scientific notebook can also serve as a to do list for everything you need to complete in the future. This can be invaluable if you have a multitude of tasks piling up. Being able to see everything that needs to be done, and checking them off as you go, can help you stay on track and see how much you still need to do before the end of the day. This can also help ensure nothing is accidentally forgotten or overlooked.
- Protocols. When it comes to laboratory work protocols are important; however, it can be easy to forget certain procedures. A notebook will allow you to easily write down the ones you need to remember so that you can easily reference them as needed. This can also make conducting experiments easier, as all the procedures will be clearly outlined for you to double check.
- Team Organization. Keeping your own notes makes it easier to cross reference with teammates. This way you can easily pinpoint discrepancies, or even fill in the blanks that you or others may have missed. Your notes could contain information that a colleague missed. All noted information is invaluable when it comes to the experimentation process, and by being able to easily cross reference with your team, the whole process can go even smoother. Laboratory notes can also help you keep track of who did what so that everyone gets the credit they are due.
- Publications. When it comes time to publish a finding or patent an idea, the data in your notebook is of the utmost importance. This is because it will contain all of the required evidence to back up any findings or discoveries that you and your team put forward.
You can never have too much documented data when it comes to working in a laboratory. Everything that you include can not only help make your job easier, but it can help experiments go smoother, and back up the credibility of findings. If you’ve been relying on sticky notes in the lab it’s time to upgrade and invest in a scientific notebook.