I’m starting a new series on Instagram where I share one of my productivity shortcuts each Tuesday. Even though a lot of readers find me on the Tales of a Peanut Instagram page, I wanted to expound a little more about my tips over here on my blog. My hope is that they’ll help you start streamlining your days so that you can gain more balance in your life.
We have all gotten used to auto-correct and to hating it for butchering our text messages. But with text replacement, you can take the auto-correct technology and put it to good use.
If you’re on an iPhone you can go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> Text Replacement to take advantage of this feature. From there, when you click the + sign/add button you will see this screen.
You simply type in the phrase you want your phone to auto-correct and the shortcut that you want to use for it. Then whenever you type in the shortcut, in this case ‘toap’, your phone will automatically replace it with the phrase, in this case ‘Tales of a Peanut.’
I use this in a number of different ways.
Set up a shortcut for common phrases
For instance, I have a shortcuts for: Jennifer Elwell (JE), love Jenn (lj), love you (ly), Tales of a Peanut (toap), miniPeanuts (mp), etc. You can make them as long as you want so if you always close your emails with a phrase such as “Have a good day,” you can make a shortcut that is ‘hagd’ that will replace with the entire phrase.
Set up a shortcut for unrecognized local terms
There are bound to be local slang terms, favorite restaurants, names, or schools that your phone doesn’t recognize. While the iPhone should “learn” your vernacular, it’s sometimes quicker to just make these into shortcuts at the beginning. For instance, I have a shortcut that replaces yall with y’all, shortcuts for our favorite places that have different names, as well as shortcuts for my friends names that the iPhone doesn’t like.
Set up a shortcut for Instagram hashtags
Most anyone that is in business these days will know that Instagram hashtags are very important in getting your content seen organically. But remembering long lists of relevant hashtags can be overwhelming and tedious, especially if you vary your hashtags based on what type of content you’re posting (which I recommend). So you can set up a shortcut for your hashtag lists like I show below. One thing to note is that returns don’t translate in the text replacement and will be removed so that your replacement text goes into one line. So if you start your hashtags with the dots so that Instagram compresses them, you’ll have to manually add those in a separate step.
A few tips on using Text Replacement
- Steer clear of words that you will use often that you don’t always want to replace. For example, I had created a replacement for my Mamapreneur hashtags that took the text #mamapreneur and replaced it with my list. But my phone kept wanting to replace every instance of Mamapreneur that I typed with my hashtags which resulted in a lot of undo-ing on my phone until I renamed the shortcut.
- Returns/enters don’t translate in the text replacement so this won’t work for adding an email signature or something that you want to have on multiple lines.
- Like most automation experts say, if you do it more than once then automate it. So if you find yourself typing a phrase more than a handful of times, add a shortcut for it. It might seem like it’s not going to save you a lot of time, but those seconds add up to minutes which add up quickly!
If you use text replacement in a different way I’d love to learn about it in the comments! I’m always looking for more ways to run my business and life more efficiently!