User:Brian P. Josey/Notebook/2009/10/28

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Keeping a Notebook and Making Gels

Yesterday someone, I can't remember if it was Koch or Cameron, mentioned that when you keep a notebook, you should write it as if you are going to forget how to do everything in twelve months. This way, with experiments changing so rapidly, you can go back to a notebook page and still understand exactly what you were doing, and you could recreate a procedure, experiment or whatever. I got a lesson in this today with making gels.

Anthony was stuck in traffic and wanted me to make a gel for him. Checking the page I have on it, here left something to be desired. So as the theme has been so far this week, I am creating another protocols page for making gels.

Andy Maloney 21:24, 28 October 2009 (EDT): Good job! Not the forgetting, but learning a valuable lesson we all forget from time to time.

Steve Koch 02:21, 29 October 2009 (EDT): I agree! It's really hard to achieve the goal, but definitely worth the hard work. I think we're at least to the point now where it's equally hard or perhaps easier to take good notes electronically, AND to find them later. But as far as I see it, there is HUGE potential to improve how we capture information, so that it becomes 100x easier to keep an effective electronic notebook, compared with a paper one. I'm really happy to read these comments from you (I think Cameron said it, but I agreed and always tell my J-lab students the same). Keep your eyes open for ways you and others can improve the electronic note taking process and we'll try to implement the ideas!