If you want to turbocharge your text output, and triple your typing speed, you need to know about a powerful tool called TextExpander. This is the key to text automation on steroids.
But first, let’s make sure we’re clear about some fundamental truths…
Automation that helps lawyers output text faster is the most useful automation. Because lawyers spend a lot of time writing emails, crafting documents like contracts and pleadings.
Snippets of text add up
Like all knowledge workers, lawyers type a lot of little snippets of text (i.e. our full name, email addresses, and regular addresses).
But we tend not to be aware of how much time we spend typing these little snippets.
I spend about 2 hours during a 5-day workweek typing little snippets of text and generating routine email responses.
I know this because TextExpander tracks how much time I spend typing these common snippets of text.
As you can see, it saves me at least two hours per week because it lets me generate those snippets of text automatically rather than having to type them.
I can’t imagine why any attorney (or other knowledge worker) would not want to automate the generation of these routine snippets of text, other than a lack of awareness that such a thing is possible.
Well, it is possible.
And I highly recommend that you discover how you too can leverage the power of TextExpander.
Let’s take a closer at the how and why…
Essentially, TextExpander lets you create macros that quickly generate small snippets of text, or…incredibly long text passages.
TextExpander calls these macros “snippets,” and these are the atomic building blocks of their automation tool.
Learning to wrap your head around what’s possible takes time, but is worth the effort.
Learning to use TextExpander is an investment that pays huge dividends every day.
But it’s more than about just saving time. It’s about several things, like creating better documents more easily. And it’s about discovering new opportunities for automation.
The snippets of text you create will start out being small things that don’t save you that much time, or don’t seem that significant.
After all, how much trouble is it to type your email address when you need to? Or your home address? No big deal, right?
Here’s the key
Once you learn how to create small snippets, you’ll learn how to create more complex ones, and that’s where the magic happens.
For example, when I practiced law, I had a snippet of text that generated my client engagement letter, which had 1,300 words.
If I were to type that out, it’d take me 26 minutes, assuming I knew exactly what I was going to type and didn’t make any errors while typing. Then I’d have to spend another 5 minutes at least to format the document.
Obviously. it makes no sense to retype an engagement letter. And most attorneys create word processing templates that allow them to pull up a pre-existing document that they then quickly change as necessary by replacing the client names and other key data.
The thing is, those templates only work for the particular word processing program in which they were created.
TextExpander snippets work in any place that accepts text input. Which means a TextExpander snippet is more versatile than a regular word processing template.
And the inputting of data is faster in TextExpander than using search and replace in a word processor. This is something that you’ll immediately grasp when you watch this…
Next action steps
TextExpander is a tool that you absolutely must start using. And the sooner, the better.
It works on both PCs and Macs (and even on an iPhone if you want to go that far with text automation).
But, let’s keep it simple. The next step you should take is downloading the free trial version and then spending 30 days learning what it can do.
Doing this will dramatically improve your practice in ways you can’t imagine now.
Endorsements from users
Michael Hyatt recommends using TextExpander in his Free to Focus book (see pages 132-33).
And others recommend it too, but people have trouble grasping its power at first. Even after they hear about it or see a video demonstration like the one above.
For example, here’s what Aaron Krigelski (a member of my Co-Pilot program) said about his epiphany:
“I’ve known about TextExpander for years but have never really thought about using it. Since I had a few days off last week, I decided to actually deep dive into it. Even took Brett Burney’s class.
I can’t believe I overlooked this program for so long. Just looking back at all the time wasted typing the same email over and over or copying and pasting from a template. Thanks Ernie for telling me about this program years ago – just can’t believe I didn’t take the plunge sooner.”
Brett Burney’s class, which Aaron referred to, is an online class designed specifically for lawyers who want to get the most out of TextExpander.
And there’s a 1 hour video tutorial of TextExpander by Brett in my Working Smarter course, if you’re interested in that option.
Once you try TextExpander you’ll appreciate, first-hand, the power of text automation in many areas beyond the ones that might occur to you now.
I have not told you about many of the amazing features of TextExpander. But I cover them in the Working Smarter course, and in my Co-Pilot program.
I don’t want to get into them now because I want you to go now and download the free 30 day trial of TextExpander, and start playing with it.
I guarantee you that this is one of the few things that will make a tremendous impact on your law practice. But you hause using it to make that happen.
If you get stuck or have questions, let me know by email.