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Stop Filling your Note Taking App with Code Snippets - Try This Instead!

Stop Filling your Note Taking App with Code Snippets - Try This Instead!

Last month, Microsoft Build was all things artificial intelligence (AI). But it’s not just Build— it seems like everything is all things AI. I can’t go to a family BBQ without discussing AI and listening to my mom talk about how Bard helped her to figure out her golf swing. It truly is everywhere.

Anyway… At Microsoft Build, Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, made significant AI-related announcements that showcased the company's dedication to AI as a part of its future vision. Key announcements included the introduction of Microsoft Fabric, Azure OpenAI Service, Bing Image Creator, the AI for Everyone Challenge, and AI Academy. These developments demonstrate Microsoft's commitment to accessible and impactful AI applications, and the implications for developers are huge.

We’re all excited for this glimpse into the next generation of computing. But, there’s one frequently used application that needs some love as the age of generative AI takes hold: our notes app.

An ordinary notes app being used during a Microsoft Build Keynote.

What’s Wrong with Using my Note Taking App with Code Snippets?

Nothing is wrong with your notes app per se… but if I told you that you could store code the same way that you do with your notes app and it would then be 100x more useful, would you be interested?

Would it be helpful to have titles, descriptions, related links, related people, tags, search capabilities, syntax highlighting, and interoperability from your browser, to your IDE, to your collaboration tools, all with the same simple copy-and-paste action?

If the answer is yes, then Pieces for Developers – the best notes app for programmers – is your new best friend for snippet notes.

Why Pieces for Developers is the Best Code Note Taking App

Almost every app that was shown at Build was AI-augmented. VS Code is AI-powered by way of Copilot X. Dev Home features Windows Copilot. But during the Dev Home demonstration pictured above, AI was missing from 40% of the screen. Despite Windows Copilot and a piped-up version of VS Code, the presenters used a sadly AI-free code note taking app. Not for long.

Below is an (edited) version of what the window could look like. Instead of the notes app for your snippet notes, try the Pieces for Developers desktop application. Pieces has a built-in copilot that allows you to use both local models and LLMs to do anything you want. Harness the power of ChatGPT and gain all of the benefits of enrichment directly in your IDE, too, all with Pieces for Developers.

Using VS Code and Pieces for Developers to eliminate the need for a snippet notes app.

For this example, I grabbed a screenshot of the text in the markdown from their demo and used Pieces’ code from screenshot capability to convert the image with OCR. Upon dragging and dropping that image into the Pieces desktop app, the app recognized the text in the image and that it was not text, it was code!

Pieces generated an accurate title for the snippet to help with organization and improve searchability. It is also noted in the title that the code came from a PNG image.

An auto-generated snippet title in Pieces for Developers.

We could stop there and the process would already be better than a traditional code notes app for programmers, but Pieces goes much further.

Next, Pieces generates a Smart Description and provides Suggested Searches to facilitate finding this snippet later, once you’ve saved hundreds of snippets. If you don’t remember the suggestions, don’t worry, Pieces also has natural language search capabilities.

The auto-generated Smart Description and Suggested Searches in Pieces.

Next, Pieces’ auto-enrichment generates useful tags. These can also be edited, as many organizations have their own tagging system. If you choose to edit and save your own tags, you will start to see them more and more as the model learns which tags you often use. Pretty neat!

Auto-generated tags in the Pieces for Developers desktop app.

Still not convinced that Pieces is the best note taking app for programmers? We’re not done. Pieces for Developers automatically gathers relevant links for every snippet you save. This can include the link to its origin, tutorials, GitHub repos… really anything that’s related to that code. (Pro Tip: This is also an excellent way to learn more about code and how to code for the students out there!)

Automatically collected Related Links in Pieces.

It doesn’t stop there! Pieces also gathers related people, if there are any, and identifies sensitive information in the code. This helps you avoid sending snippets of code that contain private API keys or other information that could compromise the security of your codebase.

Related people and Sensitive information in the Pieces desktop app.

Lastly, if you choose to be connected to the cloud, Pieces can generate a shareable link. This allows you to share the snippet along with all of the goodies we just reviewed.

If you want to try it out, here is the link to this snippet.

Your previously generated shareable links in the Pieces desktop app.

Pieces for Developers is an easy way to become more organized and access AI superpowers without changing your established workflow. You can still do the same copy and paste, but the outcome is so much greater!

Don’t use the notes app but do use Obsidian? Great, we just launched a plugin to bring your Obsidian vault the same Pieces for Developers superpowers.

The Pieces desktop app and our plugins & extensions are all loaded with a laundry list of capabilities, all to make your saved materials accessible and shareable. Try Pieces as your note taking app with code snippets today, and welcome to our growing community of developers! 🙂

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