Data Entry

Example of an entry

With labfolder you can add different content into a single entry. You can use the elements such as text, images, tables, graphs, file uploads and sketches to shape your data entry in the way you want. Here is an example of how an entry may look like:

Now let’s recreate this entry step by step.

Explore the entry header

Although your data represent the most interesting part of your entries, you can find a number of useful information in the entry header. Based on your entry and the data within, the entry header shows you:

View the entry header

A

Author: This is the person who created the entry and the only one who can perform changes to it.

B

Unique ID: The unique ID will show up as Entry N/Total, meaning the Nth entry out of the total number of entries you have in one project.

C

Entry title: Don’t forget to name your entry! Make it relevant to what is contained within, so you and others can easily identify the contents in the future.

D

Timestamps: The timestamps visible in the entry header are the dates on which the entry was created and then last edited. Besides that, custom dates can be added to achieve an even better organization. To ensure your timestamps are accurate, check that you have the correct time zone defined in your settings (Profile > Contact > Time zone).

See how you can add custom dates here.

E

Tags: You can add tags to your entry to make it easier to retrieve later on. These should be also relevant to the content and make sense to search for.

See how you can add tags here.

Add text

When you have an entry in your notebook, you can start adding notes and data to it. Our ELN provides basic text formatting similar to Word, so you can format your text however it best suits your data.

See how to enter text into the ELN

  1. By creating a new entry, a text field automatically appears for you to start working in.
  2. When you have finished editing, click the Save icon in the top right corner of the element and it will save and close automatically.
  3. To add another text element, click the +icon with horizontal lines next to it and start typing!

Insert tables and graphs

Insert a table with data

In a research environment, data are often summarized in tables e.g. large data sets or buffer compositions. With the table element you can add data in the form of spreadsheets to your lab notebook. Similar to functions seen with Excel, the table element allows you to work with formulas as well as conditional formatting in a range of cells. Along with other features, you are also able to visualize your data using different chart formats.

insert a table

  1. Press the + Table Element icon to insert a new table element into your entry.
  2. A new table will open in a lightbox, where you are able to make edits similar to Excel.
  3. Give the table a name by entering it into the cell at top.
  4. Click on the cells of the table to insert and edit content.
  5. By clicking the Save icon in the top right corner of the lightbox, your table will be saved and close automatically.

Insert a graph

Create and edit graphs directly from data added to labfolder.

insert graph

  1. Click on the editing icon.
  2. Select the data you would like to represent with a graph and click on the graph icon.
  3. Double-click on the graph and start formatting.

Upload files

An important reason for digitizing your data is to have them integrated all in one place. Therefore you are able to upload all file formats into your ELN. This covers Word, Excel, images, PDFs and more.

Loss managment iconWith the Free version of labfolder you have 3GB available for your projects and data.
By upgrading to the Advanced version you will be granted with up to 300GB storage per user.

Upload Data into your ELN

    1. Press the + icon with an 🡅.
    2. Select Upload file.
    3. Choose the file from your computer and upload.

Visualize PDFs

When you upload a PDF such as a scientific paper or a protocol, you can open and view it in your notebook. This allows you to compile in a single tool all the information for one specific experiment, including that one paper that gave you a great idea!

 

View your entries as a PDF

  1. Hover over the element and click on the eye icon that appears at the top-right corner.
  2. The PDF file will be opened in a lightbox where you can scroll up and down to read it.

Incorporate Microsoft Office

Extract Word files

With your ELN, you are able to upload all important document formats into your entries. However, labfolder deals differently with Word documents. Our lab notebook is able to recognize the content of the document (text, tables, images) and extract it to its respective entry element. If you have your protocols stored as Word documents, you can easily insert them in your digital lab notebook and start working with them immediately.

Download your entries to Microsoft Word

  1. Upload your Word file of interest.
  2. Hover over the element and click on the extract icon that appears at the top-right corner.

Extract Excel files

Many experiments involve the collection of large datasets in form of Excel files. In order to easily attach them to the corresponding experimental records, you can use your ELN to upload and extract Excel files. Being able to display large data sets with easily understandable graphs is indispensable, therefore any Excel extraction will also maintain generated graphs, mathematical formulas and conditional formatting.

excel file

  1. Upload your Excel file into an entry.
  2. Hover over the element and click on the extract icon that appears at the top-right corner.
  3. Your Excel file including tables and charts will be displayed in the respective entry element.

Annotate images

Annotate uploaded images

With images uploaded into your notebook, you are able to sketch over and annotate them. Any changes, like annotations, made to images are saved in separate layers, so the original data will never be compromised by your edits.

  1. To annotate, click the pencil icon on the image element.
  2. Sketch freehand or make predefined shapes (rectangles, circles, etc.).
  3. Add text to describe annotations further.
  4. Save your image and click the X in the top right corner to close it.

Draw sketches

We know that letters and numbers are not the only way you will be expressing your data. This is why you are also able to make simple sketches in your ELN.

Data Entry Sketch Tool GIF

  1. Click the + icon with the pencil to create a sketch element.
  2. You can draw freehand or create rectangles, circles, lines, arrows, arrowheads, and asterisks.
  3. Save your sketch by pressing the Save icon and you can close your sketch to move onto the next piece of data.

Rearrange entry elements

Changing the order of the elements you created is very easy using our drag & drop interface.

You can rearrange the blocks within your entries

  1. Hover over the crossed arrow icon in the top right corner of an element.
  2. Drag it to whichever position in your entry you wish it to go. The area initially colored in light blue will be highlighted in dark blue when you hover over it, indicating that you are able to place the block there.
  3. Release the mouse and you are done!

Entry reference

In the same project, you will be doing different experiments and each experiment requires several entries. You naturally want to connect these and you can do that with labfolder’s Entry Reference tool. Within your text element inside an entry, you can reference it to one or more entries that exist in the same or a different project.

Reference certain entries within your ELN

  1. Open a text element in the entry you are working in.
  2. Click the icon.
  3. Then select the entry which you want to link to the one you are currently working on. You will then see a reference among the text, structured like this: Entry Name – entry #N in project ‘X’ (Author, Date).

 

Loss managment icon Entry referencing only works for entries that have a title.

 

Next: How to make the most of your protocols and SOPs