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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 5 – TextExpander

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Day 5 – TextExpander

    Another day, another Lifehack Giveaway!

    Hopefully, over the past few days you have seen that we here at Lifehack aren’t screwing around this holiday season; we are hooking you up with some of the best productivity and lifestyle apps and tools to help you better yourself in the coming year. And, boy oh, boy is today’s giveaway no different with some productivity wares from Smile Software.

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    Before we get to the new stuff, let’s first congratulate yesterday’s winner of the NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guides, Mark Eldridge, with this inspirational health goal for 2012:

    My goal is to run the Marine Marathon in October with my 21 year old daughter.  I had been running for several years.  A couple of years ago my 20 year old daughter picked up the running bug saying I was her inspiration.  Since then she’s lost 30 pounds and just completed her first marathon.  A year and a half ago, I herniated a disk in my back so I’ve had to stay on the sidelines for a while. Now I need to lose 30 pounds. I’m just starting back and look forward to running with my girl.

    Mark, you just picked yourself up the three-pack of NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guides. Now, get to work on those fitness goals for 2012. Congratulations!

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    Today’s Giveaway

    Smile Software creates some of the best productivity apps around for the Mac including one of the apps that I could never live without; TextExpander. If you don’t know what TextExpander is let me break it down for you; if you type a lot of stuff over and over again, and you want to save time doing it, TextExpander helps you accomplish that goal.

    TextExpander brings you a way to create custom “snippets” that create large portions of text, run scripts, insert images and rich text, etc. You can enter these snippets system-wide on your Mac making TextExpander one of the most time-saving apps I have ever used. Here are just some of the things you can do:

    • Create commonly used text pieces like email signatures, responses to commonly sent emails, blocks of code, “boiler-plate” text, etc.
    • Automatically fix commonly misspelled words
    • Create snippets that allow you to reposition your cursor after expanding some text. This is great for inserting a ‘<a href=””></a>’ element and then positioning the cursor between the quotes or the chevrons.
    • Run custom scripts for all you hackers out there
    • Sync snippets library with Dropbox to use with TextExpander Touch on your iDevice
    • Many more things that you will come up with day in and day out

    I can’t live without TextExpander and two Lifehack readers can find out what I mean by winning one of the two free licenses to TextExpander from Smile Software. Remember, TextExpander is for Mac only.

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    By the way, why don’t you check out Smile on Facebook or follow them on Twitter?

    How to Enter

    In order to enter to win a license of TextExpander, you need to leave a comment below or on our Facebook fan page that answers the following:

    “What text expansion or automation from TextExpander will save you the most time and why?”

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    Leaving a comment on both our Facebook fan page and here at Lifehack.org will get you 2 entries, but you need to give us two TextExpander time-savers – no copying and pasting!

    The Fine Print

    Employees of Smile and of Stepcase (including current independent contractors of both) are not eligible for this contest. The two winning entries will be judged by the Stepcase Lifehack editing team and winners will be notified on the platform in which their winning entry was placed (either on the Lifehack.org Facebook wall or by email through our commenting system here the website). For those entering the contest with a comment on Lifehack.org, in order to be considered eligible, you MUST leave a contact email when leaving a comment (it’s the only way we’ll know how to contact you). Entries must be submitted by 10 am Eastern the following weekday and winners will be chosen by 12 pm Eastern time on the same day. The winner will be announced the same day on Lifehack.org, and will be notified beforehand.

    Good luck!

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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