Jason Rodrigues

Using GitHub Gists

I think Github Gists are among the most underrated tool out there for thinking clearly. Because it is GitHub, people associate it with codebases. But this is more than that. It is a utility for both technical and non-technical folks makes it a good place to document things.

I use it as a way to document my journey in learning code. Things are version tracked, making it great to head back and look at the journey of your understanding.

Since Google announced that Docs, Sheets, and Slides count toward your account storage, I've doubled down on Notion and like. You don't need to login in order to put together a gist. Just head to gist.github.com and start typing away.

Why Gists?

Among numerous benefits, these are why I've been using Gists:

Markdown - this is a good way to get the hang of moving fast with markdown. Why markdown? It's fast, easy, clean, portable, and primed for cross-platform usage. Read more here. To publish these rich text Gists (use markdown and save as a .md file).

Lists - excellent to track tasks and organize notes or bookmark links in general.

Anonymity - since you don't have to log in, it's a great place to write anonymous text. You can also write Secret gists.

Track changes - just like GitHub, it is version controlled - you can see how your thought process has evolved. Now you have backup, with versioning.

Sharing Snippets - it's really great to share code snippets, config files, .dotfiles. While I've not tried this, you can embed the code into a webpage as well.

Get Comments - helps to exchange/review info with others.

Blog/Webpage - use bl.ocks.org or gist.io to view a page out of the gist. Also, content can easily be repurposed onto a site of your own.

I think gists could very well becoming a part of my learning workflow. Try it!

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