What to Look for in an Electronic Lab Notebook as a Lab Manager

Michal Frenkiel

Michal Frenkiel

Electronic lab notebook for lab managers


Feb 2021

Lab managers hold a huge responsibility. No lab would be able to properly run a research without someone to take care budgeting, planning, managing inventory and equipment and more.  

In 2021, many lab managers are moving their work to Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs). But there are countless options for lab manager softwares out there, and it can be daunting to try to choose one. This article will help you, as a lab manager, pick the correct ELN.

Why an Electronic Lab Notebook?

Documenting laboratory management work in paper notebooks can easily get messy, and information can be lost. With an Electronic Lab Notebook, your information will be stored safely online. ELNs are also proven to save time and money, as they simplify and shorten the recording and searching process and prevent human error. 

Inventory Management

Look for a system that is as precise as possible with its inventory management. You’ll want to use the system to assign a location for each supply and track its quantity, to keep your storage as tidy as possible - so look for a system that can track the location of supplies from storerooms down to the level of boxes and tubes, as well as exact quantities. It should also allow you to make supplies as consumed once they’re used up, and show low stock alerts so you know when to make a new order. Make sure you can also create and save shopping lists and manage costs.

Digitizing your labeling system can also go a long way to make your storage tidier, so prefer an Electronic Lab Notebook that can print QR-coded labels for each supply.



Tasks and Workflow

Prefer an Electronic Lab Notebook that allows teamwork and functions as a central database for the entire lab. We understand that you’re looking for a system for yourself, but you can bring a system to the whole lab to make everyone’s life a lot easier - and in so doing add value to yourself and company. 

Using such a system, you can see the big picture of workflows from start to finish. It will also help the researchers in your lab run their experiments more smoothly by digitally recording results and analyzing them, and they can take part in inventory management by marking supplies as consumed themselves or requesting items for upcoming orders. 


When lab members use the same system to record their experiments and results, it also allows you as a lab manager to evaluate workflows over time and see which methods yield the best results. This helps you achieve better decision making.

The ELN should allow you to view everyone’s tasks and projects in a calendar, assign tasks to lab members, check the status of tasks, and communicate easily within the team.


Equipment Maintenance and Calibration

Look for a system that lets you register every instrument in the lab and customize the types and frequency of maintenance and calibration that it needs. The ELN should also remind you when maintenance is required, and allow you to track the performance of maintenance events or assign them as tasks to lab members. 


Labguru lab management system

It’s important to find a solution that supports all aspects of your work. You don’t want to end up having to buy several different softwares and juggle them all, moving information between systems and keeping them all up to date. Labguru is an all-in-one program that includes laboratory inventory management system, task and workflow planning, equipment maintenance and calibration. 

Labguru is created with the goal of simplifying and centralizing lab management procedures, perfect for lab managers. Our team of experts can help you customize the system to the specific needs of your lab.

If you’re interested in learning more, click here:

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