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Productivity Hacks: The Best Text Expanders and Autotext Tools

Best-text-expanders-Productivity-hacks
Discover the best text expanders and autotext tools to boost your productivity and save time, essential for ecommerce sellers and online professionals.

Text expanders are one of the most handy tools any professional could have to increase communication efficiency and boost productivity. No matter which field you’re in, typing and sharing content is an elemental part of your job, and text expanders make this faster and simpler.

For the uninitiated, text expanders help people replace redundant writing tasks and repeated sharing of files, websites, or information with just a few keystrokes. You don’t need to write the same thing or add the same links again and again. Instead, you can simply type in a code or a prompt, and the tool will add them for you.

While several teams use auto text tools and text expander software, not everyone knows the best tools or how to use one effectively. So, in this comprehensive guide, we look at some of the best auto text expanders and share advanced tips and tricks to boost your productivity while using them. Let’s dive right in.

How Text Expanders Boost Productivity

Text expanders are a crucial tool for making the communication process seamless. They impact productivity in the following ways:

  • Time: The tools reduce the need to rewrite the same thing, thus reducing the time you spend on menial communications. Furthermore, several tools help you keep frequently accessed information at your fingertips, thus saving more time and making the process efficient.
  • Cohesiveness: Text expander apps offer templates for mail correspondence, designing presentations, and more. Using these templates, you can make your and your brand’s communication across channels cohesive. This not only brings uniformity but also sets you apart and increases your recall value.
  • Multi-Device Setup: You can save all your snippets, macros, and other customized settings on one device and sync them across different devices. This way, no matter where you are, your work remains standard.

These are the three major impacts of text expanders apps. Besides these, the auto text tools help you be more accurate, make text formatting a piece of cake, and streamline workflows across devices, people, and teams.

How to Setup and Customize Your Text Expander

Step 1: Install Your Expander

While some expanders work across MacOS and Windows, some are only browser-based extensions that work with online tools. Once you know the text expander you need, install it on your browser or system.

Step 2: Create Snippets and Shortcuts

Based on your purpose and usage of communication channels, create snippets and their corresponding shortcuts or abbreviations. For instance, if you’re applying for jobs on a daily basis, you will have shortcuts for your greetings, body text, email signatures, and more. If you want to make it more personal, you will also create variables that will hold the names of the companies you’re applying to. Thus, every email remains the same except for the company's name.

Step 3: Include Images and Links

Visuals are appreciated in several places, such as presentations or brochures. They will help you capture the viewer’s/reader’s attention, and you can also set shortcuts for them. This will help you save the time to copy-paste the links and take the images from the source every single time.

Step 4: Use Macros when Necessary

Macros help you retrieve elements such as dates, times, and texts from clipboards, placing the cursor at a specific place after using a snippet or more.

Step 5: Set Formatting Options

The formatting you use is specific to not only the kind of communication channel you use but what you’re communicating, who the receiver is, and what your brand language is. So, set your formatting options accordingly.

These are the 5 steps to set up and customize the text expanders you use. However, it’s not limited to this if you want to boost your productivity.

5 Tips to Boost Productivity while Using Text Expanders

Keep Simple Names for Shortcuts

The purpose of shortcuts is to save you time. However, to ensure you’re using the shortcuts right, keep the names of these abbreviations simple and easy to remember. For instance, your email greetings, along with the tool's syntax, can be named greet or greetings. This way, you don’t spend time searching for the shortcut name.

Update Your Shortcuts Regularly

Considering you’re consistently working and growing, several things might change in the way you communicate and in your work. As a result, it’s good to clean your shortcut lists, macros, and formatting settings. Ideally, you can check this once every two weeks (if you’re the tool’s sole user), every month (if you work in a small team), or every few months (based on your team size). This way, you remain productive and don’t get too entangled with the shortcuts.

Create Macros and Shortcuts for Inaccessible Resources

Macros are useful but mustn’t be used only for eliminating typing redundancy. You must also use them to retrieve information such as code snippets or website links that are difficult to find and access. This way, you won’t struggle to find the source whenever you need them.

Personalize Your Communications

Add a personal touch to your communications. This isn’t just about adding the recipient’s name but ensuring that your communication tone sounds, looks, and feels like you. So you must include your signature, add a valuable piece of code/text in the communication, your social media links, or more with auto text tools.

Bring Your Team Up to Speed

If you work with a team, onboarding your other team members is important. The tool is meant to boost the productivity of individuals and teams. Thus it is important for everyone to go through a quick workshop to learn the technical know-how and get the hang of the text expander.

Top Text Expanders for Windows and Mac Users

  1. Phrase Express
  2. Magical
  3. TextExpander
  4. OSlash
  5. Rocket Typist
  6. Typinator
  7. TypeIt4Me
  8. Alfred
  9. JitBit Auto Text
  10. Espanso

Phrase Express: A Comprehensive Text Expander for Windows

Phrase Express is a comprehensive auto text tool. While the tool is mainly used for Windows, the new version, v16, supports MacOS and iOS as well. What truly sets this tool apart is the Open AI integration in the latest version. With AI (Artificial Intelligence), you can customize the tone of communication, convert passive sentences to active ones, perform advanced grammatical checks, and more. Let us dive in to understand the different facets of the tool.

Features

Fundamentals:

  • The tool comprises elemental features such as spelling corrections, automatically completing sentences with one word, and adding snippets with easy-to-use shortcuts.
  • The snippets can be organized in folders that follow a hierarchical structure.
  • You can trigger phrases with phrases, desktop menus, hotkeys/abbreviations, and more.
  • The UI is modernized and relevant to current design standards. This makes the user experience smooth and straightforward.
  • You can restrict phrases to individuals, applications, teams, domains, and more.

Customizations:

  • You can include frequently used links, bullet points, and more with just a few keystrokes.
  • Individuals can also include personalized forms for users comprising different types of input data: Text, radio buttons, checkboxes, and more.
  • You can have custom formatting for the elemental content, such as date, time, week, etc.
  • People can also perform date and time mathematics.
  • The tool also saves the edit history and allows contents from your clipboards to be saved.

Technical Support:

  • Phrase Express is supported by AI and SQL Servers.
  • Thus, tonalities of communication can be altered, and if you want to retrieve data, it can be done easily.
  • The server support is also increased in the latest version, and the usage is accelerated tenfold.
  • Automation is an integral part of the tool wherein you can trigger phrases based on time, change keyboard language schemes, nest macro functions, branch based on input criteria, and much more.

Overall, these features make Phrase Express a comprehensive text expansion or auto text tool for Windows.

Phrase Express (Windows) vs. TextExpander (MacOS)

Features Phrase Express TextExpander
Pricing

$95.13 to $237.92 (Based on Type of Usage).

$3.33 to $10.83 (Based on Type of Usage).

For Enterprise Level Subscription, Consultation is Required.
Platform Support

Windows, MacOS, iOS

Windows, MacOS, iOS, Chrome Extension

Languages

Multi-lingual Suppor

t

MacOS/Windows/Chrome Extension has Multilingual Support.

iOS Version has English Only.
Integrations Open AI Integration

SQL Server IntegrationMS Office IntegrationClipboard Integration RichText IntegrationHTML and CSS Integration

Built-in HTML and CSS Allows Invoking of Multi-platform JavaScript, AppleScript, and Shell Scripts

Allows Import of Snippets from Other Text Expansion Apps

Allows Clipboard Integration

Spelling Correction Yes

Yes

File Structure

Hierarchical Folders

Groups

Date Calculations

Yes

Yes

Synchronizations Across Devices and Environments

Yes

Yes

Benefits Robust set of features
Intricate Design
Simple and Straightforward UI
AI Integration
Enterprise-Friendly
Relatively Limited Features
Better Pricing
Engaging UI
Simple Design
Beginner-Friendly

Conclusion

Overall, this is everything you need to know about how text expanders for Windows and MacOS can help you be more productive. These tools are crucial, irrespective of the job you do, as they play an important role in fields such as HR, sales, marketing, and more.

Written by:
James Mew
Selljam Founder | Head of eCommerce

With 18 years of experience in the eCommerce industry, I have successfully launched and grown multiple e-commerce businesses, the 2nd one hit 7-figures in revenue within its first year. In 2022, I joined a European food technology equipment and IT service provider as their Head of E-commerce, overseeing 14 eshops across Europe and South Africa. Selljam is where I share all those ecommerce tips, tricks and hacks learned along the way that I hope will also help you on your journey to success. 

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