I get asked all the time how I can get so many things done. One of my favorite tools to help get things done is a text macro program on the Mac called TypeIt4Me.
Everyone who sits in front of a computer for extended periods of time or who answers a number of emails should have a text macro program. The idea behind a program like TypeIt4Me is that you type a short macro and it expands into a entire paragraph, letter, article template, etc.
So for example. For the Amateur Traveler I exchange email all the time with people about coming on the podcast. “What kind of questions do you ask?” is the most common query. My answer to that question is always basically the same. So in my email I type “atp-questions” and that expands to:
I do interviews by either phone or Skype (you need a computer and a headset). Generally an interview is about 30 minutes.
The kind of questions I usually ask
Why should someone go to XXX?
What were the highlights of your trip?
What should you see?
What do the guidebooks recommend that you think are a waste of time?
What do the guidebooks / tourists miss?
Where should you stay?
What should you eat?
How do you get around?
What side trips would you recommend?
What was the biggest surprise?
What I am looking for is travel information, but also personal travel stories that lend color commentary, that give us a flavor of a place.
If I want to mention press citations I type “atp-press” and it expands to:
• 1.5+ million travel podcast downloads in 2010
• The Chicago Sun Times included the show in their list of 10 “Best travel sites”.
• Oxford University uses the Amateur Traveler to teach English as a second language.
• Men’s Journal says: “One of the 4 best adventure travel podcasts”
• Best Life Magazine named the Amateur Traveler one of the 10 best podcasts on the internet.
• Nominated for a People’s Choice Podcast Award in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
• Popular Vote Winner for a Lonely Planet Blog Award 2009 in the Podcasting category
• Named by tripbase.com as one of the 10 best looking/most accessible travel blogs on the internet
• Named in a study as one of the “50 Most Influential Independent Travel Blogs”
I don’t have to type this yet again and as a bad typist and lousy speller I only have to proof-read my template once… or maybe twice.
I have macros for my site name, site url, email address, mailing address, a short bio, an Amateur Traveler episode post. The second time I need to type the same paragraph of information I make it into a macro instead.
There are other programs like Text Expander which have pretty much the similar functionality as TypeIt4Me. Both get good reviews, I use TypeIt4Me because it is the older program and I have used it for years.