We love apps that can make you more productive, and help you get things done. One type of app that can give a tremendous boost to your productivity is text expansion software, such as Texter and Phrase Express on Windows, and TypeIt4Me and TextExpander on the Mac. With text expansion software, you create snippets of text, and then set up abbreviations to trigger the typing of those snippets. If you’re not sure how you can fit text expansion software into your workflow, read on for some examples of how to use it.
Try before you buy! And see what we have to say tomorrow, when we’ll look at our favorite text expansion app for Windows, and our favorite on the Mac, and how to get them to sync with each other so that you don’t have to manually recreate your snippets in each app.
Five Uses For Text Expansion Software
1. Save Time Entering Email Addresses
If you’re using desktop email software or a decent email web app, then your app probably autofills email addresses for you as you start to type. Older versions of Outlook web access, though, don’t have this luxury. When I’m in this situation, I use a few snippets to fill in my frequently used email addresses when I’m connecting remotely. Instead of typing “jAnderson@mycompanyemail.com” into the message, I can just type “.joe”, which is the abbreviation I set up to fill out the full email address. The full email address is then completed for me. I have snippets set up for other email addresses that I use frequently, such as my Evernote address.
2. Automatically Type Repetitive Phrases
I also use text expansion to type phrases that I use over and over. For example, I found that in a project tracking app I was constantly typing similar entries for phone calls, over and over. No longer. Now, for example, I can type “.rclvm” and the software will expand it to “I returned the call and left a voicemail message.” It took some time to commit numerous snippets to memory, but now I can fire them off without even thinking about it.
3. Send Fast Form Email Replies
Text expansion is also great for form email. Here at 40Tech, we receive many nearly identical inquiries, asking for such information as advertising rates, guest post guidelines, and the like. I now have form messages set up to reply to these kinds of inquiries, and can trigger them with a few keystrokes.
4. Quickly Sign Emails
I also use text expansion for email signatures and closing farewells. I found that I was ending most messages with “Thanks, Evan,” so I just set that up as a snippet, along with snippets for more formal signatures.
5. Fill Out Web Forms
If you find yourself constantly typing the same information, such as your city name, into web forms, you can save time by having that information set up as a snippet. I have my name, my street name, and my town all set up as snippets, and can now blow through forms rapidly.
These are just a few examples of uses for text expansion software. Do you have any to add?