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A reference guide by any other name

By stretch | Monday, August 11, 2008 at 7:27 a.m. UTC

When I first set about producing the collection of cheat sheets available on this site, I wasn't sure what to call them. Never expecting my work to grow as popular as it has, I decided to borrow the term "cheat sheet" from common slang, referring to a short document compiled of various details key to a certain technology or other element.

However, since publishing the cheat sheets a number of people have commented that they found the term to be confusing, or at least odd. Often I've considered renaming the documents to avoid any accidental confusion with less than reputable study aides, especially with the ever growing drama concerning certification integrity.

I decided to open the issue to the people who use the cheat sheets: you. You can vote in the poll provided here (RSS readers see the link at bottom) to have your say. The poll will run through Friday, August 15, and if you would like to propose a replacement term please leave a comment. Keep suggestions sensible; "Handy 8.5x11 Inch Network Technology Reference Guides" isn't very catchy.

Posted in Announcements


Maryam Ahmad
August 11, 2008 at 7:48 a.m. UTC

"Information Sheets"...or "Key Information sheets" when u say cheat sheets, it sounds like something you shouldn't know/use, but in this case it is about Information available to everyone/ anyone can find, except here it is presented in a very straight forward manner. :) Good work & Thank u

Mark Tucker
August 11, 2008 at 8:21 a.m. UTC

how about 'Aide Memoire'

August 11, 2008 at 8:42 a.m. UTC

I think Cheat Sheet is fine, but I think "Fast Facts" Fits

August 11, 2008 at 9:42 a.m. UTC

what about Concept sheets? but i also like what maryan said "Key Information Sheets" (KIS)... yeah!!

August 11, 2008 at 9:46 a.m. UTC

Although the term "cheat sheets" is very ear catchy, i would prefer something like "key sheets", "key facts" or the not so sonorant "synopsis sheets".

August 11, 2008 at 9:48 a.m. UTC

Also "reference guides" (which you're already using) or "key guides" seem good enough.

August 11, 2008 at 10:25 a.m. UTC

Cheat sheet is an industry standard term. Many applications include one in their own documentation. But as an alternative, how about Quick Reference Sheets.

August 11, 2008 at 11:53 a.m. UTC

QRS for those with CRS

August 11, 2008 at 12:47 p.m. UTC

Brain Stains

Hack Stack

I like the alliteration....

Amr Abu Sair
August 11, 2008 at 2:15 p.m. UTC

I suggest using : Network Guide Sheets,Fast Network Guide Sheets or Network quick list sheets

August 11, 2008 at 2:16 p.m. UTC

Variation of "Quick Reference Guide" sounds good..

René Jorissen
August 11, 2008 at 2:35 p.m. UTC

I like the term "Cheat Sheet", because the name exactly points out the usage for me. I use them because I sometime forget the simple detailed facts. After a quick cheat by looking in the sheets, I found what I was looking for.

No the name "Cheat Sheet" is good for me..

August 11, 2008 at 3:15 p.m. UTC

I like the "Cheat Sheet" name, although I think that it might have less of a negative connotation in Australia? Another alternative would be a "Crib Sheet".

Josh Crowder
August 11, 2008 at 3:57 p.m. UTC

Maybe Reference Sheets?

I still think Cheat Sheets is fine - but if you must change, then Reference Sheets is good...

August 11, 2008 at 4:07 p.m. UTC

If Cheat Sheets is too borderline with less than reputable sites you could always just use "Study Guides."

August 11, 2008 at 7:19 p.m. UTC

I think Cheat Sheets is fine - it may be a colloquialism but it's hardly cryptolect or argot. If you feel the need to be PC, I 'd go with Quick Reference like several others have mentioned. They are, BTW, absolutely fantastic - thank you very much for making them available!

August 11, 2008 at 7:49 p.m. UTC

I would say "Reference Sheet" instead of "Cheat Sheet"

August 11, 2008 at 8:40 p.m. UTC

I like the name cheat sheet because they are handy to use on actual cisco tests!!


August 11, 2008 at 11:02 p.m. UTC

I think cheat sheet's is fine but but I have thought up some wacky names in case you are bored how about PIM = Packetlife Information Module PSU = Packetlife Study Update argh now I am bored cheat sheet is fine if you really have to change it then quick reference sheet would be my next bet.

August 12, 2008 at 7:52 a.m. UTC

What about Smart Cards?

August 12, 2008 at 2:41 p.m. UTC

If people are confused about the name "cheat sheet", they need a new job/hobby/industry. Perhaps a name like "Dummy Summary" would be better for them?

Ron Arrendale
August 12, 2008 at 4:20 p.m. UTC

Hey, To add even more confusion, and stay within the spirit of Cisco speak, how about "Global Guide Sheet"....I'm sure the newbies will like that one......:).....

Steven Raymond
August 12, 2008 at 5:54 p.m. UTC

Definitely reference "PacketLife" in them. PLFastFacts? PacketLife Notes PLN?

August 12, 2008 at 7:55 p.m. UTC

lol, how about 'Reference Sheets'

August 13, 2008 at 10:51 a.m. UTC

I think "Study Guide" is enough.

August 13, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. UTC

What about simply "reference sheets"

August 14, 2008 at 6:46 a.m. UTC

Short Cutz

August 16, 2008 at 7:48 a.m. UTC

The US Navy term is Gouge. I don't know why but it is.

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