Automate the stuff you do all the time

If you’re in a job like mine (which is likely if you’re reading this), you type. A lot. In fact, you probably type most of your day away.

Would it surprise you to know that much of the time, you’re typing the same thing over and over again? If you’re dealing with customers, talking to suppliers, or reaching out to media contacts, you’re probably either cut and pasting, riffing on a familiar pitch, or downright copying information you send from one person to an email you send to another.

I’ve been using TextExpander ( to save time. It’s only been a day, and it’s already saved me 30 minutes of typing.

Assuming that I type about that much every day, work 5 days a week (hah!), that’s 10 hours of time a month. 120 hours a year. Three weeks spent typing that I otherwise could be doing important things. Like thinking. (I know what you’re thinking – productivity arguments are tough to prove given the other shortcuts we would normally use – but isn’t it worth looking at something that could save you and the rest of your team that much time for only $35?)

So take a look at what you type. You can prototype a better set of next actions, make sure you’re more consistent with your introductions, or simply not have to remember the right URL to that important piece of information (for me, it’s “d-users”, which produces “Here are a few Gist users in their own words:“, and other snippets.) By the way, if you want a similar strategy for the PC, check out ActiveWords (


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