Write “tech notes”

This tip has completely changed the way I work.

A Technical Note is essentially an informal written report.  The idea is that you can publish a tech note on any topic you choose, whenever you like, with no review process and no bureaucracy.

For me, they have replaced having a lab book to record day-to-day working.  It may take an extra ten minutes to write a calculation or design up into a report, but it is a hundred times more useful when looking back a year later, and much faster to find.

Over the last ten years I have written over 300 technotes ranging from half a page to 30 pages.  When someone wants to know how something works, most of the time I now just have to say “read tech note TY-055” rather than spend hours trying to remember what I did and explaining it to them.

Setting up a technical note system for your company is trivial.  Just make a single shared folder for people to put tech note PDF files in.  Everyone issues their own tech note IDs in ascending order, prefixed with their initials.