Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Simple Notepad Snippet Store

When I'm working on my computer, I often need to temporarily store a snippet of information such as a web link, a reference to another document or just a reminder to myself to check into something later. There are a number of ways such a "snippet store" can be implemented, including the use of "Sticky Note" programs, some of which are quite sophisticated.

However, if you like to keep things simple, you can use Windows Notepad to create a quite functional snippet store.

Here’s how:

1. Open a new Windows Notepad document, name it “snippit.txt” (or whatever you like) and save it to your hard drive.

2. Locate the file and create a shortcut to it on your desktop.

3. Right-click the shortcut on your desktop and select "Properties". Use the "Properties" dialog to select a new icon for the shortcut and give it a suitable name.

4.Drag the shortcut to your Quick Launch bar.

Now, any time you want to rapidly store some information, you can simply click the snippet icon on the Quick Launch bar and add your snippet. Naturally, you can use the same procedure with other applications such as a word processor if you want more advanced formatting options. However, the advantage of using a Notepad file is that it will load very quickly and will only consume a small amount of your computer's available resources.

You can even "network enable" your Notepad snippet store. I've saved my snippet file in a folder that is accessible from either of my networked computers. Both machines have Quick Launch shortcuts to this file with identical icons. Thus, regardless of which machine I'm working on, I can save my snippets in the same file for future reference.

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