On my Mac, I use TextExpander all the time. For instance, when I set up the link to TextExpander, I typed in ;href and it spat out all the little HTML bits so that I could do it really quickly. I have little biography bits set up, so I can add them to guest posts. I have ones set up for people I reference a lot like Julien Smith or Christopher S. Penn (did that by typing ;jul and ;csp respectively). I automate bits and bits of my text efforts, because I write a lot and there’s no sense doing all that typing manually, if I can just set it and forget it.
To be clear, what I’m doing is this:
- I use software called TextEpander for my Mac (for the PC, it’s Texter, I’m told).
- It lets me put in huge chunks of text into a field. I can write paragraphs, code, whatever.
- Then, I assign that huge chunk of text a few characters. (I start all mine with a semicolon, so I don’t accidentally set things off).
- Finally, I just use it when needed. I type ; jul , and out pops Julien Smith’s URL, etc.
You can automate bits of emails that you find yourself sending, and then just personalize the important parts (I don’t do this much, but I do have a few choice paragraphs that I send over and over, mostly to people pitching me).
And there are many other ways to put this kind of thinking to work.
Automate the easy stuff. It buys you more time.