LearnHow to improve your email productivity


writes on January 24, 2007

If you find yourself typing the same thing over and over again when answering emails, I’ve got a real time-saving tip for you.

I’ve found an amazing tool called Text Expander and it absolutely rocks. Watch the video below to see how it can save you time on when answering emails.

This is especially great for those of you who do tech support for your web app and get asked the same fricken questions again and again.

RSS readers, view the video here.


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0 Responses to “How to improve your email productivity”

  1. Ryan Carson on February 13, 2007 at 3:35 am said:

    Todd – thanks for stopping by. I’m a huge fan of SlideShowPro 🙂

  2. I’ve been using TextExpander (and TextPander before that) for the last couple of years for all my SlideShowPro support. I have about 30 snippets, or conversational fragments, that can be quickly mixed together to form a complete thought. It took a while, and a lot of trial and error, to get the collection just where I needed it. But now that it’s built I can quickly reply to support emails without sounding impersonal, or typing the same thing over and over and over. Worth every penny.

  3. b4 u shell out 30 bucks on TextExpander, have a look at the original text expander for Mac OS, first released in 1989 and still going strong 18 years on!
    download a free 30-day trial copy here:
    It’s $27 normally and only $14 for students/teachers.

    For Windows, check out activewords.com

  4. Found this one for Win: Yadabyte Subtext.

    Free, doesn’t need an install, portable. Trying it out now myself. 🙂

  5. Thanks for the tip and thanks Matt for those links to windows versions. I’ll check those out.


  6. What I had in mind for an update on Amigo was about your trademark, I remeber it was rejected, also some number like accounts created, your marketing strategy things like that.


  7. Ryan, The problem with these text replacement solutions is that you have to know your shortcut or have to type a similar response for it to replace, and if it replaces it with something you don’t want you have to delete it which takes more time than typing the response.

    I’m surprised no one here has mentioned this service yet, but I recommend Sproutit Mailroom: http://www.sproutit.com/mailroom

    Mailroom suggests customizable replies to all your incoming email. The more you use it, the smarter the suggestions become. Just hit reply and it knows the proper response. It also automatically assigns emails to the right people, based on your past actions.

    Mailroom’s provides the history of your conversation with that person. It knows how many times they talked with you, furnishes you a photo of your correspondent, and links to your Basecamp projects that involve that user. It even links emails into a conversation like Google so emails are not isolated threads.

    Its’ drop dead simple, nearly automates your replies and with the newly released version is lightning fast. See the preview here: http://www.sproutit.com/articles/bigact/2417

  8. Thanks Matt, ShortKeys looks good. I’m migrating away from Office and I also found something similar for Thunderbird.

  9. Ryan Carson on January 26, 2007 at 8:43 am said:

    It would be nice to have an update on Amigo.

    Hey Christian – what did you have in mind?

  10. There are a few windows versions that I have been able to find:

    ShortKeys – Lite

    Not Free:
    ShortKeys ($19.95)

    SureType ($24.97)

    FastFox ($39)

    If someone knows of any others (free) for Windows PLEASE post them here.

  11. Wow, that’s great! I’ll have to give that to my team. Funny, I just randomly stumbled here from MyBlogLog and found something useful immediately!

  12. Very, very useful, but what about us unfortunate Windows users? 🙁

    note: think I could save a load of time by ditching my annoying PC and switching back to Mac!

  13. Ryan Carson on January 25, 2007 at 3:14 pm said:

    I appreciate the tip, but it’s awfully old news.

    Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful 🙂

  14. supercrisp on January 25, 2007 at 3:11 pm said:

    I appreciate the tip, but it’s awfully old news. I’ve been using this trick since Thunder7 in the late 80s. And why the need to use the video bandwidth for a tip that could simply be “hey, if you type something a lot, it’s a good idea to assign a macro to it!” I mean, reinventing the wheel and then making a film about it is kinda dopey.

  15. Bit easier to create and yes the screens would be clearer BUT watching this it really struck me how powerful a non-screencast testimonial can be. Seeing a face and expressions on the video makes a big difference I think. Of course you could do a iShowU/SnapzPro recording at the same time and then edit them together but that’s even more work.

    I heard about TextExpander a while back but never tried it. Your video made me download it and I’m hooked already.

  16. Ryan Carson on January 25, 2007 at 11:29 am said:

    BTW, why not just do a screencast w/ SnapzPro or something similar? A bit easier no?

    Good point – might do that next time 🙂

  17. I’ve wasted days of my life, one email at a time, by not downloading this the first time I read about it, last year.

    BTW, why not just do a screencast w/ SnapzPro or something similar? A bit easier no?

  18. That’s great tool Ryan, thanks for the video review too, nice little spin on the standard review.

    Daniel, if you’re doing a decent volume of support emails, I definitely recommend a dedicated help desk tool. We currently use Helpspot (and love it), and could never go back to regular email.


    This sort of app is especially useful if more than one person is handling support, which is the case for Freshview.

  19. Ryan Carson on January 25, 2007 at 1:54 am said:

    Thanks for the tip Luigi!

  20. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for the useful post. I handle most of the support emails here at FreshBooks, so that tool will definitely come in handy. I typically reply with personal responses, but I can see how it would be useful when explaining procedures step-by-step.

    Now, to find a window’s equivalent…



  21. Luigi Montanez on January 24, 2007 at 7:24 pm said:

    For Thunderbird users, the extension you want to get is called Quicktext.


    It has both keyword and menu-bar functionality for inserting snippets.

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