Why is an Electronic Lab Notebook the choice over paper notebook in a growing laboratory?

Why is an Electronic Lab Notebook the choice over paper notebook in a growing laboratory?

Why is an Electronic Lab Notebook the choice over paper notebook in a growing laboratory?

Electronic lab notebook

Many scientists or someone who works in the scientific field will be familiar with a lab notebook. Laboratory notebooks are used to organize notes, procedures, results and more of your research process. For example, noting your observations and altering variables for your research. Nowadays, people tend to use more technological tools for work or study. It is noticeable that many people start to shift to tablets for studying or working. 

With physical notebooks we put our weeks, months or years of hard work at risk to tarnish in seconds. A spill of reagents or water can easily blurred out crucial information as well as tear. There might also be chances where you or your colleagues might have misplaced the notebook causing an explosion of a stress volcano. What if we transform paper lab notebooks into digital lab notebooks, will these worries be gone? 

What is an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN)?

Electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) is laboratory workflow management software that replaces laboratory notebooks. Most functions are similar to paper lab notebooks but well organized, saved in cloud and easy to use for collaboration projects. 

In general, lab notebooks are mostly used by scientists, technicians, and engineers. 

We have gathered from various sources on the reasons people switch from physical laboratory notebooks to a digital lab notebook.

Better organization & easy to share to colleague

We do miss the convenience, physicality and flexibility of design of a laboratory notebook. However, when you try to read yours or your colleagues’ notebook, you might find the notes unfathomable. This can be frustrating especially when you have to invest more time to continue from where your colleague left off.

With an ELN software things can be much more organized and easy to read = more time saved! 

Paperback notebook is frequently a challenge to share among collaborative projects. The flow of information from one to another can easily be disrupted with misinterpretation of each other’s notes structure and writing. This will again affect time & efficiency of work among the team. The switch to a digital lab notebook aims to solve this issue. It has functions that allows you to share your laboratory notes among your colleagues easily. Even in a pandemic situation, you can still collaborate through the cloud platform from anytime and anywhere.

Access your data everywhere and every time

The size of laboratory notebooks are mostly large. It might not be comfortable to carry from your office to home. Based on one of the laboratory notebooks user experience, she said ‘I always take a picture of my experiment from the laboratory notebook before I leave my office, then I will analyze data from my experiment at home because It is inconvenient to carry my huge lab notebook back home.’ However, electronic laboratory notebooks can solve these problems. Electronic laboratory notebooks can be easily accessed through the internet. So, you can just sit in the room or everywhere and easily analyze your data without any worries.

Protect your confidential information

Most research is needed to keep it a secret such as chemical formula. The written laboratory notebook can be stolen from the lab. Usually, electronic laboratory notebooks have a username and password before getting access. The data will be safe and have high privacy.

Example of Electronic Laboratory notebook (ELS)

Nowadays, there are several electronic laboratory notebooks. In this article, we will focus on SciNote. 

Scinote is a platform with Electronic Lab Notebook in cloud based system, inventory management and project management capabilities. This platform is user-friendly, organized, low time consumption, and reliable. It is suitable for all R&D labs. Moreover, SciNoteare trusted by the FDA, USDA, NIH. They are also being used by companies and Universities, including 80,000+ researchers in more than 100 countries.


Highlight feature of Scinote that meets the FDA’s 21 CFR part 11 compliance.

  • Inventory management feature

It easily manages all experiment data by creating inventories of samples, reagents, instruments etc. and link those items to your experiments. Scinote also collaborates with protocols.io that users can adjust their own protocol or select a standard protocol from protocols.io.

  • Team management

Scinote provides functions that are easy for collbrolation projects. You can tag, comment, or notify collaborators in your project. Moreover, you can set the accessibility of your team members in SciNote.


Note: SciNote also has a SciNote’s mobile app that you can use not just from your laptop but also can use on your mobile phone or tablet. 



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