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Best strategy on notes for your overall project?

This is not a question about LabVIEW projects in the development environment, but notes for the overall project.  I usually end up with an Excel spreadsheet with multiple sheets that eventually get hard to read because there are so many.  I use Excel just because it is there and I can type into as well as add screenshots when needed.  And then I also end up with a few different Excel files as well that can make it fun to piece all the information together at times.

 

It works, but I am wondering if there is a better way and how other developers track and organize their projects and notes in general. 

 

 

Bryan

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I use OneNote.  You can have a Notebook, and in that notebook is sections, and each section gets a set of pages.  So I have Personal Projects notebook, and then each project gets a section, then each section has pages.  From an Outlook meeting you can click Meeting Notes, and it will make an entry in a notebook and section, and from there I can take notes too.  You can make lists, bullet points, and paste pictures.  Not perfect but pretty handy.

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@Hooovahh wrote:

I use OneNote.  You can have a Notebook, and in that notebook is sections, and each section gets a set of pages.  So I have Personal Projects notebook, and then each project gets a section, then each section has pages.  From an Outlook meeting you can click Meeting Notes, and it will make an entry in a notebook and section, and from there I can take notes too.  You can make lists, bullet points, and paste pictures.  Not perfect but pretty handy.


Thanks for the information.  I was just starting to look at OneNote since I have Office 365 through my company.

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We use OneNote, but mostly for lack of alternatives. OneNote is so flexible, and there's no structure at all. So, if all members in a team just keep putting stuff in, a mess is guaranteed. I 'solve' this by using OneNote for reading only, I don't want to add to the chaos. Others have to point out where it is in the OneNote (and where the OneNote is), because there are tabs, lists, scrollbars that are hidden, and I really can't find anything...

 

We've used Redmine for issue tracking before. I liked that better, but I didn't have to add items. The interface is tedious if you really start using it. The Agile plugin (perpetual license!) did help a lot. Potentially, you can make your own interface, because there's a rest API... The same applies to DevOps.

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wiebe@CARYA wrote:

We use OneNote, but mostly for lack of alternatives. OneNote is so flexible, and there's no structure at all. So, if all members in a team just keep putting stuff in, a mess is guaranteed. I 'solve' this by using OneNote for reading only, I don't want to add to the chaos. Others have to point out where it is in the OneNote (and where the OneNote is), because there are tabs, lists, scrollbars that are hidden, and I really can't find anything...

 

We've used Redmine for issue tracking before. I liked that better, but I didn't have to add items. The interface is tedious if you really start using it. The Agile plugin (perpetual license!) did help a lot. Potentially, you can make your own interface, because there's a rest API... The same applies to DevOps.


Thanks for the reply.  So far OneNote seems like a lesser evil or at least different enough than Excel to give it a trial run.  I am the lone wolf at my company, so I am the only one responsible for the mess.  Every now and then the dog needs to learn a new trick.

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No amount of time spent in front of a computer documenting project status is available for actually advancing the status of the project!  Worse, it should be obsolete by the time you type it.

 

That doesn't mean that the PM shouldn't manage the project!  But, he should be walking around looking at the teams needs and anticipating problems.

 

Managers need to have a vision forward.   

 

Way back when I was in the Navy I had a great conversation with my division officer in front of his boss.  "Sir, don't come to me with solutions! Providing you with solutions is what the Navy trained me and my men to do.  Tell us your problems."

 

When the Operations boss heard that I was immediately escorted to the Captain's office and ordered to repeat myself.  The quote was posted in the wardroom and entered in the ships standing orders .


"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
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Okay you just reminded me of another tool that we sorta use for project management, JIRA.  It is a web based database tool that can be used in lots of ways.  We get test requests all the time, or asked to help out other groups.  We ask them to enter a JIRA with the details of the test they need and attach any needed documents.  Then my boss assigns the JIRA to someone to work on.  The nice thing about this is you can add comments, notes, or other documents as the issue progresses.  It really helps to look back months later when someone asks why a test isn't done yet, and you can point to all the setbacks that we were subjected to that were outside of our control.  We also use it for maintenance tasks, calibration tasks, basically bug and issue tracking.  For a single person it might be overkill but for our team it has cut down on the amount of unnecessary crap we've had to deal with when working with people from outside our group.

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@JÞB wrote:

No amount of time spent in front of a computer documenting project status is available for actually advancing the status of the project!  Worse, it should be obsolete by the time you type it.

 

That doesn't mean that the PM shouldn't manage the project!  But, he should be walking around looking at the teams needs and anticipating problems.

 

Managers need to have a vision forward.   

 

Way back when I was in the Navy I had a great conversation with my division officer in front of his boss.  "Sir, don't come to me with solutions! Providing you with solutions is what the Navy trained me and my men to do.  Tell us your problems."

 

When the Operations boss heard that I was immediately escorted to the Captain's office and ordered to repeat myself.  The quote was posted in the wardroom and entered in the ships standing orders .


Thanks for the insight.  Not that I really disagree, but how does that address my question?  I am just trying to see if there is a better way to do something that could make my life a little easier.  Besides, I was telling the forum my problem and looking for solutions.  (Sorry I could not help myself.  Way back I was in the USMC.)

 

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The last project I was working on we were working out of GitHub and we ended up with a pretty extensive wiki page for the repo. It's really easy to edit and the fact that it's living right next to the repo I think makes it more likely to be updated (our tech lead also made it a point to add tasks for updating the wiki when relevant).

 

We also ended up adding a lot of notes and pictures to issues and even had a "research" tag for some issues where the entire point was to just write down the findings in the issue notes.

Matt J | National Instruments | CLA
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@Hooovahh wrote:

Okay you just reminded me of another tool that we sorta use for project management, JIRA.  It is a web based database tool that can be used in lots of ways.  We get test requests all the time, or asked to help out other groups.  We ask them to enter a JIRA with the details of the test they need and attach any needed documents.  Then my boss assigns the JIRA to someone to work on.  The nice thing about this is you can add comments, notes, or other documents as the issue progresses.  It really helps to look back months later when someone asks why a test isn't done yet, and you can point to all the setbacks that we were subjected to that were outside of our control.  We also use it for maintenance tasks, calibration tasks, basically bug and issue tracking.  For a single person it might be overkill but for our team it has cut down on the amount of unnecessary crap we've had to deal with when working with people from outside our group.


I just signed up for the free version of JIRA.  It looks interesting and would be a better way to track multiple projects that are always going on.  Thank for the heads up!

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