VIP Notebook

VIP notebooks, whether electronic or hard copy, allow students to track and document their efforts. In turn, VIP notebooks allow instructors to assess student contributions to the team. Notebooks are typically graded twice each semester, and explicit feedback is given in categories including completeness of meeting and design notes, maintenance and check-off of a to-do list, and usability by future students who may need to understand why a particular design decision was made.

To the left is an excerpt from a VIP notebook with a model level of detail and organization. A longer excerpt is available in our sample notebook, courtesy of Georgia Tech VIP alumnus Rich Reece.

VIP teams at the University of Arizona may opt for other collaboration and recordkeeping tools such as Trello, OSF, or e-portfolios. Whatever method is used, the below table provides examples of best practices for logging activity.

Notebook Essentials

Notebook Maintenance

The notebook does not have removable pages.

Outer Cover: Your name, your project's name.

Inner or Outer Cover: Your contact info and your team members' contact info.

Each Page: Numbered, dated and signed.

To-Do List Maintenance

Maintain check-boxes for items to be done that are then checked off and dated when done. 

Meeting Notes

Detailed meeting notes;

Check-boxes for items for which you are responsible;

Deadlines for your subteam and the overall team. 

Technical Notes

Detailed VIP/design notes, VIP/design decisions;


Copies of code you wrote, or pointers to where the code is stored in a repository;

Records of important websites;

Your ideas, even if they are still in early stages.


Will your VIP notebook be of use to people who join the team later and need to refer to it? This includes legibility, intelligible technical and meeting notes, and overall organization.