Monday, July 22, 2013

Text Expander, Saves 50 work hours over six months

I am a very slow typist. Banging away at less than 40 WPM means my daily 750 word morning assignment took over an hour. With formatting, grammar and spell checking I used to spend up to three hours getting my thoughts organized and ready for the editor. For those of you who write professionally you know that a production rate of 250 WPH is not only unacceptable but a very quick way to go broke writing. The ROI for a writer is the ultimate rating for success regardless of talent level. Think of your favorite author and look at how many published  books, articles, screen plays they grind out every year. For each 1000 words they publish there could be as much as 10,000 words in the garbage or saved in draft form.

The point is writers, even a part time reporter like me, should generate thousands of words each and every day. So saving time and keystrokes becomes a numbers game. Saving keystrokes with automation scripts is something I heard about but never considered since I just write an hour or so a day. I found Text Expander by Smile Software on my employer's website as a suggested download. With a free trial and the encouragement of a few coworkers I quickly became very impressed with the product. Just using the built in snippets I was able to quickly insert properly formatted Headers and Signature blocks into any document with just two key strokes. Long phrases and company specific terminology soon followed as I added them into the easy to use "Snippet Library". Standard replies, email responses and HR compliant counseling formats soon entered my personal snippet library. 

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