Adding "notes" pages to a reference manual?

Subject: Adding "notes" pages to a reference manual?
From: Brigitte Johnston <johnstonbrigitte -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 14:34:32 -0700 (PDT)

Hi everyone -

I have a small dilemma at work. The consulting group in my organization does lots of on-site, in-person training for large companies. During that training, consultants use a variety of materials; one item is a reference manual (not a real "training manual," it contains more concept-type information, and doesn't necessarily follow along in the same order as the training class). This manual is accompanied by a workbook, which students use to do all the exercises during the class (they write in it). The consultants have suggested that we begin to include one or two "notes" pages at the end of each of the 15 chapters in the reference manual (which, by the way, we also sell on its own, without any training). They want to provide these notes pages so training participants have a place to write notes during the training (since we no longer provide them with a notepad). They suggest making these pages blank with the word "Notes" at the top, and to not include
them in the page numbering.

My department (Design) has suggested we leave the manual alone and instead add these notes pages to the back of the workbook, because students are already using that to write in and do everything else during the class. We haven't convinced the consulting group that this is the way to go -- what "real" reason can we give them (besides "just because -- take our word for it")?

Any suggestions? Has anyone ever seen a reference manual with blank notes pages? If so, were they numbered or not numbered? Would you think it odd to have those notes pages in your reference manuals?

Many thanks for any suggestions! (FYI I'm on 'digest' so please do copy my e-mail address if you can reply tomorrow -- they're knocking on my door!)

B. Johnston

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