After experimenting with a Test Case Management application’s Session-Test tool, a colleague of mine noted the tool’s overhead (i.e., the non-test-related waiting and admin effort forced by the tool).  She said, I would rather just use Notepad to document my testing.  Exactly!

Notepad has very little overhead.  It requires no setup, no license, no logging in, few machine resources, it always works, and we don’t waste time on trivial things like making test documentation pretty (e.g., let’s make passing tests green!).

Testing is an intellectual activity, especially if you’re using automation.  The test idea is the start.  Whether it comes to us in the midst of a discussion, requirements review, or while performing a different test, we want to document it.  Otherwise we risk losing it.

Don’t overlook the power of Notepad.


  1. Marc Herdman said...

    This mirrors many similar experiences I've had. Within the last year I abandoned a fairly expensive, high overhead session logging feature of a larger test tool because of speed and reliability issues. It would routinely crash mid way through a session loosing all work to that point.

    I keep falling back again and again to notepad or a variant.

    I prefer Notepad++ due mainly to block tabbing, superior search/replace and automation features but its the same thing really.

    Simple free tools with low overhead that just work and mostly get out of your way letting you get on with thinking.

  2. Unknown said...

    I use Sublime Text and have a repository with all my projects notes (improvements, suggestions, etc.)

    It's very useful!

  3. Anonymous said...

    I am new to TFS Test case plan, and actullay I felt the same way.especially the text editor.. but also it has many benefits in my view.

  4. Amandeep Singh said...

    They say you should never give up on a needle when you get your hands onto a sword.. both can hurt but what a needle can do a sword can't... I like your take on the power of Notepad :)


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