Using MS Onenote to manage bug and release information

The problem

Interruptions cause a real problem with lost time during software development. Jeff Atwood summarizes this nicely:

Even adding a single project to your workload is profoundly debilitating by Weinberg’s calculation. You lose 20% of your time. By the time you add a third project to the mix, nearly half your time is wasted in task switching.
As a software developer, I’m constantly trying to avoid getting distracted by production incidents, other bugs, and high priority features that need to get implemented. Don’t get me wrong – I think each of those things is a necessary (evil) part of software development.

The solution: taking notes

We’re already using the computer to program, I figure it makes more sense to take notes on the computer (vs pen and paper). After trying to use Evernote and getting frustrated with the lack of a decent print view or formatting options, I chose MS Onenote and haven’t looked back.

Why Onenote?

Using a template to ease your workflow

Let’s face it: Note taking is tedious. Somewhere after achieving amateur note taker status, you’ll either want to give up or make life much easier for yourself somehow – because taking notes on a bug every time will begin to feel very repetitive or even worse: a waste of time.

Templates make your life easier in MS Onenote.

Before creating a template, think about:

Next, create a note with the appropriate content to prompt you, then save as a template. Finally, use the down arrow by ‘New Page’ to select your new template. It’s just that simple.

Sample template content

My default bug fixing template has the following information in it (or if you already have Onenote, just download and unzip this sample):