The Inception App TEXT EXPANDER
I have decided to jump to my 5th point on email organization and make it number 2 because it has made such an impact on my time management and has saved my clients countless minutes off the billable time that I spend corresponding on their behalf.
The program I am referencing in the title is from www.smilesoftware.com called Text Expander and is available for Apple users (IPhone and Ipad too). Window users have plenty of programs to choose from too but the Apple version is the one I use in my Studio Momager business in multiple programs: Gmail, Word, Excel. As I learn more about Word Press (many thanks to the generous educators/creators of www.dontfeartheinternet.com), I’ll be using it for repetitive commands in that program as well.
This program is great if you are constantly adding the same information like your email, an introductory sentence, an entire email, your phone number, return instructions, and so on and so on.
I can easily create “snippets” of information and assign a 2-5 letter code for it. For example, I was writing this line a lot, “Hello (insert name)! My name is Donna, Jessica Hische’s Studio Momager.” Now I just type “ddon” (which is not a real word that will autofill but easy for me to remember) and a very cute and welcomed bubble sound pops and the entire line pops up in my email or word document with a fill in space for me to add the customer’s name. SO COOL! My hands aren’t cramping as much as “pre-TE”. I don’t have to copy and paste all the time now, I just type a few letters instead of many, many more. Customizing/personalizing anything is easy and I can even view statistics on how many keystrokes I have save by using the snippets I’ve created. As of this date, if a created a letter using all the snippets in my library, I would save 27.56 hours of typing at 60 wpm!
I can create a snippet for my address, a snippet for an entire thank you letter with open fields for names and items purchased, a signature snippet(can add scanned sig), pictures; Word Press instructions (minimize errors here for repetitive commands), a snippet for a tracking information letter with the open fields being the date of shipment, tracking number and the customer’s name, and so on and so on.
You can put a snippet inside a snippet inside a snippet not unlike a dream in the movie Inception only it’s far safer and a lot easier to fix if you screw up. Make a change on one of those buried snippets and all the other saved forms/letters/responses are changed immediately if they have that snippet in it. See, kind of like the movie!
Think of the power of this! If you had all your documents in Text Expander and used snippets for your email address in your thank you letter, confirmation letter, etc. All you have do is edit the original snippet and all the the letters or phrases you created in Text Expander with the email snippet embedded in them are updated at the same time! BAM!
Create snippets for all your auto response-like emails and all the verbiage you find yourself repeating. You’ll make fewer mistakes too, just make sure the original has been proofed a few times. When you set up the program, select the same font and font size in the default settings of the programs you’ll be using with Text Expander so that the TE snippets compliment the other text entries. Not doing this is a dead giveaway that it may be a form letter and you’ve just lost that personalized feel.
My golden rule for premier customer service is that everybody should feel special and nobody feels very special when they receive a form letter. Here’s an idea – insert a snippet in all your responses that can be updated daily. You can reference the day or season each day in just that one snippet and every response/letter you send will have that personalized/up-to-date comment.
I’m not the only fan of this program. Elliot Jay Stocks, an accomplished designer, illustrator and speaker, took the time from his design business to blog about the topic as well in greater length and includes some screen shots for your viewing pleasure: http://elliotjaystocks.com/blog/using-textexpander-to-conquer-email/
The program is very affordable, $34.95 ($4.99 for Ipad/Iphone app); you can try the demo for 30 days and take the very short tutorials that’ll have you up and running in less than 15 minutes, my kind of program!
I don’t work for them, I’m not receiving anything for endorsing them and I am actually losing money by using it in that it saves my clients billable time, but I can’t contain my excitement for those of us in the organization business. I love this program for personal and business use.