You spend all day on your computer and you type thousands of phrases, but did you ever think about how many of those phrases and keystrokes are actually repetitive? Zack demonstrates how to use the app TextExpander to outsource and create hot keys for some of your most commonly repeated phrases so you can save time in your day.
- [Instructor] If you can't already tell, I love to geek out about productivity. So far, we've covered a lot of cool tips and cool apps as well as larger systems that you can put in place to become a productivity machine. Now, I'm going to demonstrate a must have app that I can't live without that's called TextExpander. In my opinion, this app is a jaw dropper. TextExpander is similar to apps that you can use to program multiple commands or macros. But, imagine being able to apply that to any phrase or keystroke that you can come up with.
And the length of what you type is infinite. Let's dive right in. So you'll see with TextExpander, it's a very simple interface. And what I've also done is I've opened up a very simple text edit document so I can demonstrate how the process works. Unlike keyboard macros where it's just going to be a specific string of keys that might be hot keys or commands, with TextExpander, the options for what you can create are virtually limitless. So I'm going to show you the basic theory behind how this works. All I'm going to do is create a new snippet and first of all, I just want to put what is this content going to be.
So we're going to start very simple. I'm just going to say it's going to be my name. I want to give this a label. Going to call it my name and you'll see that that's going to show up under the snippets as my name but now, I want to give it an abbreviation. Now the standard abbreviation that you use with TextExpander because you're most likely never going to type this in any regular keystroke command is starting with a semicolon and then getting it a shortcut. So I'm going to call this name. Now, what I'm going to do is create another new one.
I'm going to create just my first name. And I'll call this first then I'll do it again. We're going to call this last name. And of course call it semicolon, last and then I'm going to create a couple more. Let's call this my address. So we're going to say 123 Fake Street in Springfield, Illinois 12345.
That's not actually where I live by the way in case you want to send me fan mail. Let me call this address semicolon address. Now, let's say that I have a couple of email addresses that I want to put in here. So let's do email one at gmail.com. Going to call this email number one. And say E-M one. Let's do one more of these. Email two, gmail.com.
Call this email number two and semicolon E-M two. This is just to get started to show you how this can work. One more I'm going to actually put in here is going to be a phone number. Say this is my phone number and just put semicolon P-H. And I'm going to show you how this works first in a text document. Then I'm going show you how quickly you can fill out a form. Then I'm going to show you how you can go much much deeper with this feature.
So you can see all of these different abbreviations. All I have to do is type the abbreviation that I have over there on the left. So semicolon name, it populates. Semicolon first name, last name. I want my whole address. Type it in there. Autofills everything automatically. So email one, email two, and phone. So now, I'm going to go to a Google form and I'm going to show you how quickly you can fill this out. Why I think this is so important, if you're thinking hey, I already have autofill set up in my browser, you don't need auto-fill in your browser which number one, I believe it can be a security concern but number two, you can do this with any form that you need to fill out.
So rather than doing this manually, I can just say, first last, I would skip all these for now but then I go to phone number, email one and that's it! I'm done. I mean obviously, I haven't filled out the password or the other email address. But that's how quickly you can fill out a form. So that's just the beginning with what you can do with TextExpander. The next thing you can do is start to fill out common phrases or links. So if I wanted to take all these and put them in a group, I can call this group basic info and I can just take all of these and drag them into basic info.
Now let's say I want to make a new group of common phrases. One example would be every time that somebody emails me and I don't get back to them as soon as I would like to I want to send them a very nice polite apology so I can say, "I'm so sorry I'm "just getting back to you. "my work schedule has been hectic, "but I'm now catching up with your email." I don't want to have to type that 55 times if I've gotten behind on my email.
All I want to do is have to type a keystroke and do it over and over. So I'm going to call this email, apology and I'm just going to do semicolon A-P-O-L for apology. So now, instead of having to type this over and over, I just go to my text document, semicolon A-P-O-L, done! Now imagine doing this with entire email templates with email signatures, you can do it with any information that you can possibly think of. One other feature that I want to show you that's also very very cool is you can actually repopulate certain areas of this.
So let's say for example, I wanted to add somebody's name to this. So instead of it just being, "I'm so sorry." I want it to be, "I'm so sorry Bill." So what I would do is I would put in a comma here and then I can tell it that I want to position the cursor here. So it's going to put this little marker here and now, imagine that this is a giant block of text. When I put this in and say semicolon A-P-O-L, my cursor automatically goes back where it needs to and I can say I'm so sorry Bill that I'm just getting back to you.
That's basically it. You now know how to use TextExpander. I probably have between one and 150 snippets that I have in different categories to autofill, URLs, to autofill entire emails, large paragraphs if I know that it's going to be a standard email response. This saves me a ton of time. And what's really cool is I can actually statistically see how much time it saves. So based on the statistics just in this tutorial, we expanded 13 snippets.
We saved writing 313 characters and so far, we saved .01 hours. But just imagine doing this over the course of time over days, weeks and months, you can actually save entire work week's worth of time just by using TextExpander. One further one that I want to show you that's specifically applies to post production. Time code. If you are so tired of typing a one colon 0, 0 colon 0, 0 colon 0, 0, all you have to do is say timecode hour one, semicolon one and guess what? You are never going to have to type in that time code again.
All you have to remember is semicolon one. So like I said, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can write thousands of words and repeat them with a single keystroke. And the coolest part is like I've already said is that TextExpander is ultimately going to keep track of all of the time that you saved that shows you how much more productive you've become.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.