Monday, May 01, 2006

The little Windows Notepad that Could....

Window's venerable Notepad application is normally the subject of derogatory comments whenever someone critiques Microsoft's OS. But one thing I do like about Notepad is a little known feature that I use quite often for creating log files that track conversations or lists of tasks relating to a specific project: The Log File Trick (there is probably some other more proper name for it, but thats what I call it).

The trick is this:

Step 1: Create a blank text file by right-clicking inside an open folder and selecting New...Text Document.

Step 2: Open that text file and enter the following in the first line of that file: ".LOG"

Step 3: Save the text file.

So where's the magic? Well, if you open up that text file again in Window's Notepad it will automatically add the current date and time to the text file. So each time you save and open the file, it will add another current date and time stamp automatically. This makes it very useful for things like logging phone conversations regarding projects.

There you go, a quick hack for Notepad for those of you who prefer to have many sharp well-defined tools under their belts.