It wasn’t until I experimented with PhraseExpress, a text expander app, that I recognized the real power of productivity. PhraseExpress allowed me to use abbreviations―predefined snippets―for my name, address, and much more that unfolded into complete text. That was the first time when I refused to type my name. But I didn’t realize that what I found was only the tip of the iceberg.
I quickly grabbed the concept of AutoText and created snippets for my email templates, frequently used links, email addresses, and much more. It was Christmas morning every single day.
Recently I listed PhraseExpress, along with the three musketeers, as one of my key assistants in productivity. In this post, you’ll discover how you can supercharge your productivity with a text expander tool so that you won’t type your name anymore.
PhraseExpress: a multiplatform text expander tool
In what way, you might ask, does a text expander tool differ from the email signature feature in your email client? While the latter allows leveraging text in your email client only, a text expander app works across all your device and provides a more diverse automation portfolio.
PhraseExpress, a big competitor to TextExpander, was initially launched for Windows, but it offers now a multiplatform service for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Its power goes way beyond simple AutoText. It’s a powerful automation tool that supports using date and time functions, forms, and much more. You can, among others, execute applications, open webpages and folders, and create emails, all with personalized keyboard shortcuts.
Upon building a diverse snippet portfolio, you’re more than welcome to export and share your snippets.
Your text expander tool aids teamwork by providing a shared snippet library thereby fostering
You’re certainly eager to figure out how a text expander tool might assist you both within and beyond your nine to five. After all, this blog is about to address such questions. Let’s see some flesh-and-bone examples.
What do you think, how many times you enter your name or email address on a single day? If you use your email address as a username, I guess that’s a lot. I bet your estimated number is above 20. And what about your frequently used phrases such as “Sincerely yours,” “Looking forward to hearing from you,” “I hope you’re doing well,” and the like?
What if you could create snippets for all those phrases and then let PhraseExpress do the heavy lifting?
The anatomy of a snippet is simple:
- Description―the title of your snippet
- Phrase content―this is the phrase you want to code within your snippet
- AutoText―this is the snippet or abbreviation that triggers the execution of your phrase (unfold the text)
When it comes to executing your AutoText, you have multiple options: immediate execution upon entering your snippet and execution after hitting the space button are the main options. And here is the trick: to ensure that a common phrase won’t trigger immediate execution, begin your snippets with a special character like “x.” For example, if your name is John Doe and you’re writing a document with mentioning your first name, you don’t want it to be executed as John Doe. So you define your AutoText as “xjohn.” That’s it. By the way, you can indicate whether your AutoText is case sensitive.
Now that you learned the basics, it’s time to build folders in PhraseExpress to organize your snippets. Common links, email addresses, and email templates are nice candidates here. Folders work the exact same way in PhraseExpress as they do on your computer. For example, I keep a dedicated folder for my blog with snippets for my blog’s URL, email address, about page, freebie, etc.
We ain’t done yet, my friend. The real power of text expansion lies in its advanced functions.
Organizing complete email templates as snippets is a big timesaver. You can, however, go even one step further and customize your template with a dropdown menu to select the appropriate recipient. What’s more, you can add the current date or any preferred date to the end of your email by leveraging the date/time function.
Executing applications was never easier. Create a new snippet, select automation, and assign a shortcut to your most frequently used apps. Opening web pages, files, and folders works in a very similar fashion. Just assign a dedicated hotkey or snippet to all those stuff.
You can do much more including but not limited to calculate expressions, generate random numbers, create macro loops, and insert checkboxes. Honestly, PhraseExpress delivers such a diverse automation portfolio that one can hardly exploit the majority of its functions.
What we’ve covered in this post was only scratching the surface. A text expander tool might be your best friend over the long haul. You can, too, refuse to type your name anymore. Use it for a week and you’ll be proud of yourself how productive you are.
You don’t have to stick with PhraseExpress; there’re a number of apps on the market. TextExpander is certainly the most popular one. What I particularly like about PhraseExpress, however, is that it has a decent price tag (lifetime license, by the way) and it offers a portable version. Immerse into the world of snippets!
Don’t forget to share this post.
Your one takeaway: Find your text expander tool, create your first three snippets, and refuse to type your name anymore.