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Advice for a succesfull documentation process:

Working in a FabLab is not an easy task, as much as I like to learn, I can’t learn everything, and my ambitions not always reach my outcome in work and documentation. So for this week I’ve made this list of recommendations to get easily into the documentation process, to help me out to have a structure, and with the hope to help others struggling in similar conditions.

  1. Think ahead of time: Take notes during Neil’s global lecture, and try to make a script for your documentation based on this content, (and your local FabLab workshops) define the titles and sub-titles of your notes.

  2. Take sequential notes by hand: I’m using a small notebook to take notes quickly and help me out to describe my ongoing work.

  3. Make a final comprehensive list of the stuff you have made: At the end of the day. DAILY. Take the time to summarize all the things in a list.

  4. Draw sketches in your notes: There are some ideas that can get captured quickly as a sketch rather than words.

  5. Make a note for photos or videos of something happening, like “it will be cool to have a photo of this.”

  6. First accomplish the lowest minimum requirement, small and quick stuff, then jump to the ambitious version, or your final project. In this process you’ll learn but at a lower cost in time, energy and materials.

  7. Always keep an eye in your final project documentation, update your new findings constantly.

  8. Dedicate a daily time to write the content of your site.

  9. Ask your FabManager for concise workshops, don’t expend a day on improvised workshops without using the machines, although the understanding of the risk of operating every machine it’s critical.

  10. Talk to your FabManager, ask him as much as possible, but try to not be trivial, it doesn’t matter how grumpy it’s him/her, they have more experience in the matter.

  11. Accomplish your documentation for Monday, make a review on Tuesday, improve based in the feedback and new ideas, be prepared for Wednesday.

  12. Make just one directory for all the files and stuff of the week. “week07” make two folders inside, “raw” and “final”, first place everything under “raw” and in the image compression process and stuff place all in final, then copy the final content into the “images”, or “files” folder of your repository.

  13. Use a nomenclature for the files, like this “fdm_01.jpg”, “sla_03.jpg”, “outcome_01.jpg”, “hero_02.jpg”

  14. Be humble to receive feedback and improve, but don’t give up!

  15. Work as a team with your fellows in the FabAcademy. Ask everyone how are they doing, help and receive help! That’s something we’ve made since the begining with Theo and Elina. Take a look at our work assignments.

  16. If you’re in a foreign country and you don’t speak the official language ask your instructors and fellows to speak in a common language, on this year and this case it’s on English, but also take on consideration to learn a new language while in the FabAcademy, don’t be ashamed to ask “What does this mean?” or “How do I say this on French, etc. ?” and more importantly it may be easier for the instructors to explain everything in their native language, so if this is the case, ask to someone to assist you in the translation of the most important things.

  17. Learn by doing/making and have fun.

Last update: March 6, 2021