Let's Make Robots!

Use a notebook.

Helps you build and code.

   One thing I do before I even start to order parts is to get a notebook.  In it I write down ideas, parts, prices, where to buy from, where to find data sheets, etc.  Then I would start to draw sketches and measurements.  Then after I get my parts I write down what I still have to do and what I still need, but where it helps most is coding for me since its my weak spot.  While coding I write down what makes this motor go foward or what is a good distance to turn away from something at or just little notes.  This is a great simple tip for beginers (Like myself) and is also good at keeping all your notes in one place about a certain project.

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To paraphrase Robert Thompson of the Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments, "if you don't write it down, you're just playing around".

I love my National Brand 43-648 notebooks, and have bought some for friends.  I write down all my stupid ideas there so I don't forget, along with sketches complete or incomplete.  This has been very useful when I have a limited budget of time and money, and too many ideas.  Some successes of the notebook include my FPV video goggles.  It was 1 year between when I bought the parts for my FPV video project and when I got around to building it -- I was happy to find I had the pinouts and wiring diagrams all drawn out.  I typically have a few projects sketched out, some of which go on the "back burner" when school or work or other projects interfere; the notebook keeps them alive.

Although I have many sketches on scrap paper that have been more immediately useful than my Official Notebook, the notebook has stuff I can go back to months later.  (Sketches are good for stuff I'm going to do over the weekend, not 4 weeks later).

-John

   I always end up forgetting what I would want to do so I would always write it down.  If I am on the go I will write it on my phone even.

I'm all about the printer paper (and staples), not to say I can't read between the lines.

I Use my notebook and to prove it i scanned in 2 pages. The first is some on chess and the second is on pong. I have pretty poor hand writing and having the left hand smear does not help either :P. So i find the notebook handy on wrapping my head around something and figuring out exactly how to implement it.

I wish I was more structured and made more notes. Earlier I planned my projects better and started with schematics, breadboard and finally did the soldering. Now I tend to start with the soldering iron and work from there and I see that quality of my work is suffering from that.
Still I feel that a good flowchart of the program I’m making is crucial for making good code.  I’m still a big fan of yEd http://letsmakerobots.com/node/17942

 

So I think I might try using a flowchart when I redo the code for my latest project.

my notebooks are never with me.  Google is always with me.

on my phone sometimes.

I normally carve my notes in stone, how come I haven't thought of that before??

I actually write down mine on the table, not practical, but I always lose notebooks, the table is heavy :P