Pregnancy and lab notebooks

For the past two weeks, I’ve been resuming cloning projects that I began several months ago while pregnant.

There are three things wrong with the above sentence:

  1. Resuming any project after several months can be difficult.
  2. Resuming cloning projects, which are tedious time-sucks amounting to a single sentence in publications (if you’re lucky), is a huge headache.
  3. Resuming cloning projects begun while pregnant, tired, and nauseous is damn near impossible.

My one saving grace is that I took excellent notes during my pregnancy. Even though a few things slipped my mind – like labeling the top of a freezer box tube “#61” instead of “#71” – my notebooks and strain logs are complete and organized enough to figure out what I’ve already done, saving me valuable time. So I only sort of want to shoot myself in the head right now.

Moral of the story – maintain your lab notebooks and strain logs, especially if you plan on getting knocked up.

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5 thoughts on “Pregnancy and lab notebooks

  1. This was one of those areas will the anal-retentive side of me was extremely helpful. Even preggos, I was pretty nutty about organization.

  2. Planning on getting knocked up? (heh, just kidding)

    I do have a table of contents. I actually write up my lab notebooks on the computer – I found I had a hard time reading my handwriting. I also keep different projects in different sections, so that I don’t have to flip through lots of crap to find what I’m looking for. Also, if all else fails, having the notebooks typed up on my computer allows me to search for terms instead of flipping through lots of handwritten stuff.

  3. As I am doing the same thing (until now in word document and now doing the switch to web-based management tool), I know exactly what you mean – that’s one of the reasons I use the digital version from day 1 of my PhD. Though I must say that most people in my floor (and even in the department) are still using the classical paper notebook…How many in your department/in your floor are using digital lab notebooks?

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