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Use Notepad, not Word when you start writing your plans

Following up on the last post on starting with a blank sheet of paper, Rick Grey pointed out that when he first starts writing up his notes, he prefers to work in a plain text editor - not a word processor. He does this so his focus remains on content, not on formatting. If he doesn't have tables, bullets, and headings available to him then he can't spend hours trying to format them to get them just right.

This tip was part of a brainstorm developed at the September 2011 Indianapolis Workshop on Software Testing on the topic of "Documenting for Testing." The attendees of that workshop (and participants in the brainstorm) included: Charlie Audritsh, Scott Barber, Rick Grey, Michael Kelly, Natalie Mego, Charles Penn, Margie Weaver, and Tina Zaza.

Reader Comments (3)

Some people prefer Mind-Maps for that too,
I prefer ALM Tests Tree (as it is more organized, you can collapse/expand as needed - though it misses some Coloring/Iconing and such),
Just as long as you keep the "KISS" principle - write only Test Names,
Elaborate purpose only if name is not self explanatory.
DO NOT dive into Test Cases and details before you have the full set of documents for all version features.
Better have all highlights, then some fully written and others not thought of yet.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhalperinko - Kobi Halperin

I'm right there with you...I have (maybe unfortunately) hundreds of notepad files lying around the computer that are anywhere from temp. business plans to agendas to minutes from meetings. It gets the job done, and if I ever need to formalize something, it goes straight to (ugh) Word or Google Docs.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt De Leon

Thanks for the amazing info. I find these posts have a lot of material. I can't wait to get a chance to impliment all these great posts. Thank you very much.

December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Warren

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