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Home » Coding & Data, Enterprise Guide

SAS Enterprise Guide: 3 Ways to Use the Note Feature

Submitted by on 2013-01-09 – 11:03 AM 10 Comments

If you look at my desk, my addiction will present itself to you clearly.  I love sticky notes – any kind, color, or shape. My bottom desk drawer is full of notepads – some never used because I think they are too pretty to write on. The best Christmas gift I ever received you ask?  A box of 15 sticky notepads with my name on each sheet – it was paradise.

The reason I love my note pads – especially the sticky ones – is because I can record a quick thought or even a complete list and then attach it somewhere.  Super important notes find their way to my monitor.  If I’m reading a technical document, it probably has all kinds of sticky notes hanging on it. Some are ideas I want to remember and maybe one to just keep my place.

I am only making this confession so you understand why I love the SAS Enterprise Guide Note feature so much.

Get Your Own Virtual Notepad

To add a Note to your project, just select File > New > Note. The Note appears next to the object you had selected.  So if you had the Process Flow selected (or there is nothing else in the project) the Note attaches there.  If you  had a program file or task selected, it attaches there.   You can rename the note so it makes more sense.

Add a Note

 

3 Ways to Use the Feature

Here’s three ways I use this feature to help myself be more productive.

1 – Task Tracking

Usually I need to remember to do something the next time I open the project.  In a past job, each week the code would kick out orders that the auditor would think the code should have approved.  The note would keep the orders with the code. This may seem trivial but in this case I needed special code to  link to where the data was kept. The linking information changed weekly, so I would create a project to hold the information.

Notes Task Tracking

2 – Planning

When you begin to write some code, ideally you have a plan.  Use the Note area as a way to plan the code along with any tasks that you have to do.  For instance, you may need to call another developer for help or follow up on some information.  The note gives you a way to keep everything organized and in one place.

0113_Notes Plan

3 – Communication

If you need to hand off the project, then use the note as a way to communicate.  You can add details about how to access a server or what to do if something goes wrong.  There may be some follow up tasks you want the other person to complete – so it is a way to communicate the current status of the code.

0113_Notes Communicate

 

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Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.

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10 Comments »

  • Thanks for your kind comments Devid!

  • Devid John says:

    I admit I have not been on this blog in a long time however it was joy to find it again. It is such an important topic and ignored by so many even professionals! I thank you for helping to make people more aware of these issues. Just great stuff as per usual!

  • Oh that’s a good idea. I do that with code (and even get angry when others do not) but didn’t think about using it that way. Excellent!

  • Michael Tuchman says:

    I use a note before each task branch to explain the purpose of the branch. Each note links to the first “real” node in the branch.

    That is to say, the note is always the upper-leftmost thing you see for each process branch.

  • >> “potentially auditing/project requirements”

    Thanks for not saying people who cannot remember anything so they must need notepads all over their desk. 😉

  • Yasmin
    Thanks! Wow if you are running a job everyday I bet you have some EG tricks to pass along!

  • Yasmin Moledina says:

    Perfect. Thank you. I have to run a job everyday and make minor changes to it. Now if I need someone else to run it then I can leave instructions within the notes. What an awsome way to document as well.

  • Exactly! It becomes not only a way to document the EG project for potentially auditing/project requirements but also for users (including the project creator) to remember the reasons why certain tasks/SAS code etc were done as time progresses.

  • That’s an awesome idea! I sometimes have several EG files all with similar titles so that would help jog my memory of what I thought I was doing! 🙂

  • I love the note feature too! One way I use it and suggest others to use it when I teach SAS Enterprise Guide courses, is to create a Project Info labelled note in the top left corner of every Enterprise Guide project, perhaps in the Autoexec labelled process flow. This note is then used for the project description, containing details such as who updated the project, date and an explanation. It can be handy for people working in teams to have a record of changes within the project itself with references to service request numbers etc rather than buried in someone’s email, or requirements documents etc.

    I find it a great way to document the project within the project itself and for myself and others to know why te project was designed in such a way as time progresses.