Friday, February 14, 2014

The Notebook (not the movie!)

In the past I have had fellow students examine my notebook, and I usually get two different responses...1) "Overachiever!" and 2) "Would you sell this?"

In response to the common two remarks, I decided it was time to share a few of my secrets in making the best notebook for geology you can.

Yes, I am artistic (thanks Dad), but I do not always rely on my drawing skills especially if reproducing something is going to take too long, or I find something I like better. PLEASE keep in mind these are only is up to you to figure out what works best for your needs and class notes.

For my fellow students this is all you need to do.

1. I prefer the "Top Flight" Wired Heavy Paper spiral-bound notebook. (5-Subject as it leaves me plenty of room for handouts, cut and pastes, drawings, etc.) but any notebook will do.

2. Invest in colored pencils. I have Prismacolor Verithins and Premiers, but honestly I love Crayola
colored pencils...(Staples has the 50 color pack which I love).

3. If you really don't enjoy drawing, then search GOOGLE for what your are studying, and click on "Images"From there click on the graphic, photo or illustration you like. A screen will open asking if you want to "Visit Page" or "View Image". Click on View Image. Warning, not all pictures you click on will work. Some are so small, they will not work in cutting and pasting into Word (will explain in a few).

Once you do find the image you like that appears clean and large enough to see if you cut it and paste it...right click and click on "COPY IMAGE".

From there I use Word, and I have a new document open. I click in Word and paste the image. I resize it to fit in my notebook. Have a little ruler on hand so you get the right size. Then from here you just print it. Cut it out with scissors. Attach to notebook page with either a glue stick (okay) or my preference, a Tombow double-sided tape runner.

4. Handouts and class lectures posted online are also wonderful sources for your notebook. I take my handouts I get, and trim them so that they fit on a 8-1/2 by 11 inch page. Most handouts have a margin so it works well. Again glue stick or tape runner works well.

5. Extras that make life easier. Staedtler's Mars Plastic (latex-free) eraser is the bomb. It cleanly erases all pencil marks. I have the Staedtler's "Mathematical Instruments Xcellence 8-piece set" that cost me a few bucks. It has a small 180-degree protractor,45-degree and a 60-degree triangle, a pencil sharpener, pencil, eraser, calipers, ruler, and a compass. Works great in drawing diagrams and such for Geochemistry II.

6. I use Pilot G-2 (Sizes 05-07) for taking notes. I LOVE color, so I have purchased the two color sets they sell...again Staples has all this fun stuff.

7. Templates are cheap, and if you have a hard time drawing squares, circles, triangles, etc. it is a worthwhile investment. They cost a few dollars. My old-time favorite is "The C-Thru Ruler Company" T-816.

So tomorrow night I will continue with some other helpful hints so that you can produce the best notebook ever. Geology students rely on their notebooks not just for the class they are taking but for future reference. Hope this gives you some ideas!

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