I'm proud to blog about this in public for the first time, and
you get it here first at EuroStar blog ;).
For the past months I've been polishing a personal tool for
exploratory notetaking called Rapid
Reporter, a tool that was used successfully for
Session Based Test Management (SBTM) within my team and by
Today it reaches version 1.0 (versions are date-based so we're
actually at 1.10.09.12) and is ready for public
If you are not acquainted with exploratory notes, let me brief
Exploratory testing relies heavily in taking comprehensive notes.
As you advance uncovering new (or rediscovering old) areas
you take notes of what you learn and observe, and these notes help
you make sense of the software or problem. With this information
you can decide on your next area to test and the next strategy:
Simultaneous test design, execution and learning. Learn more about
exploratorty notes here.
In Session Based Management, these notes are further used together
with a peer or leader or manager to analyse the tests done in one
testing session and pick the desired area to test (called a
charter) in the next session. Learn more about SBTM here.
I'll cover SBTM in more details in a future blog post at
SBTM has a suggested format for the notes, and there are a few
tools that follow the format strictly. However, we found out that
leaving the note formatting to the application instead of the
tester works much better.
My personal experience is that by removing features and adding
ease of use, the notes are of more value.
The application is free and open
source, why don't you give it a try? (note: Windows
only, .NET 3.5 required).
This is how Rapid Reporter works:
- Download and run from your working folder (no installation
- Enter a tester's name and a charter.
- Start entering notes. You can change the type of the note
easily by pressing the up/down arrows on the fly.
- Add screenshots by pressing the 'S'
- Add persisten extended rich text notes by pressing the
That's basically it. All the note handling and organization is
done by the software behind he scenes, and you can manipulate it
Very easy, right?
If you need more flexibility, the application still lets you
change the session time (right-click context menu), the
names used for note types (just add yours as command line
arguments) and other functions that you can see at the
user guide and the
first steps tutorial.
Give it a try
and let me know your experiences.
I've setup a download page at my
website that will have the latest version of the app
and documents available constantly.
Good luck and I hope the tool empowers you to take better notes
and make better tests! :)