Tracking Useful Information

What do the clever programmers here do to keep track of handy programming tricks and useful information they pick up over their many years of experience? Things like useful compiler arguments, IDE short-cuts, clever code snippets, etc.

I sometimes find myself frustrated when looking up something that I used to know a year or two ago. My IE favorites probably represent a good chunk of the Internet in the late 1990s, so clearly that isn't effective (at least for me). Or am I just getting old?

So.. what do you do? ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

20.08.2008 11:32:33
I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not about programming
Vadim Kotov 24.10.2017 08:43:34

Two Things I do:

  • I blog about it - this allows me to go back and search my own blog.
  • We use the code snippet feature in Visual Studio.


20.08.2008 11:33:56

Why not set up a Wiki?
If you are on windows, i know that ScrewTurn wiki is pretty simple to deploy on a desktop/laptop. No database to fuss around with.

20.08.2008 11:34:07

Blog about it.

One of the nice side-effects of blogging is that if you use a sensible categorization or tagging system, it's quite easy to search for stuff within your blog. The fact that you wrote about it also makes it easier to remember problems you have encountered before ("hey, I blogged about that!").

That's a great benefit aside from, of course, being able to share this information publicly so that others might be able to find your solution to a particular problem using Google.

20.08.2008 11:36:17

I send them to my gmail account, that way I have them where ever I go, and they can be put into appropriate folders for later.

20.08.2008 11:36:45

I second the blog about it technique...even Jeff said that's a major reason he blogs.

Also, regarding the wiki idea, if you set one up at work, be sure to encourage your coworkers to do the same. When someone finds something of interest they can just write a little "article" explaining what it is and how to do it... that way, not only are your own things easily available and quickly searchable, but you'll often find out things you never knew from other people in your group. That way it benefits everyone not just you.

20.08.2008 11:48:29

I agree with emailing, the wiki and the blog. Emailing is the most useful. If you can't use GMail and you're on windows, install a desktop search utility (Windows search, Google Desktop, Copernic, etc)

I also like to jot it into a textfile and save it in my documents folder. Whatever desktop search utility you use will be able to find it easily. e.g.

//print spool stop.notes.txt
If the printer spooler stops, start it again by 
- Services > Provision Networks > Restart Service

tags: printer provision no printer spooler cannot print remote desktop
20.08.2008 11:51:02

Subscribe in Google Reader and then search later.

20.08.2008 12:14:25

A number of people I know swear by Google Notebook

20.08.2008 12:20:35

At my last place of work they wouldn't let me set up a wiki or anything - so I just made various word documents full of tips and instructions and gave that to my successor when I left.

Now though I'd use a private wiki, or maybe a blog.

20.08.2008 12:50:05

I use:

  1. Google Notebook - I take notes for projects, books I'm reading, etc
  2. Delicious + Firefox plug in - Every time I see a good page I mark it.
  3. Windows Journal (in tablet pc) - When I need to draw something and then copy/cut/paste it. I have more distractions here, the web is always very close :)
  4. Small Moleskine paper notebook - Its always with me.
  5. Big paper notebook - When I need more space to write and less distractions.

Obviously these are for all useful information, not just for snippets or tips and tricks.

20.08.2008 13:07:52

For many years I've kept a Word doc named Knowledgebase.doc that contains all my notes with a decent table of contents. I like to keep everything in one searchable doc.

I use a sync tool to make sure the file is copied to all the machines I want it on.

15.09.2008 14:33:35

I use TiddlyWiki stored in my DropBox account. Although, recently, Evernote is getting my atention; it has a really useful feature: you send a twitter direct message to evernote user (myen) and it adds a note with your message (a really quick way to add notes or URL's for post-processing). Imagine, you can use a command-line twitter client to create notes! (or any twitter client). I really like this feature.

5.05.2010 13:22:55