I currently have 217 snippets in TextExpander. That’s likely not a big number for some people, but for my forgetful mind it’s a lot. To keep them straight, I use a simple nomenclature for my snippet abbreviations.
The general premise is to use a short group indicator followed by a more specific identifier. It’s kind of like tagging. I still use groups in TextExpander to keep them clean, but this helps me remember them.
There are some URLs that I type a lot. I use the links to Working with OmniFocus, OFScripts, this website, and my email accounts (Gmail) daily, so I added them to TextExpander. I use the group indicator link and an identifier like wwo to help me remember them. So I would type link.wwo to get https://tools.joebuhlig.com/working-with-omnifocus/.
All of my writing is done in markdown because I can get it into HTML so easily. It’s only natural that I have a few snippets to make this even easier. To help me remember them, I use the group indicator md.
A couple months ago I moved from WordPress to a static site with Jekyll. Part of the Jekyll environment involves “Front Matter” which is comprised of YAML. Every time I create a new article or podcast, I add this to the top of the markdown file. In my scenario, I also need to create the slug for the article. I’ve create the following snippets with the group indicator yaml.
I write a lot of code. I build my own websites and do freelance development. I use a number of languages, so I’ve created group indicators for each language: html for HTML, css for CSS, rb for Ruby, py for Python, and so on. And because HTML can get to be big, I broke it into groupings for individual tags as well.
Along with coding, I have a number of IP addresses to keep track of. I don’t like referencing a table somewhere or even looking them up in 1Password. I prefer to create shortcuts to them with ip as the indicator.
There are a lot of cases when I just want something short and it doesn’t have to be grouped because I use them so much. Formatted dates are great and so are a few scripts I run frequently. I simply use x at the start of the snippet.
When Smile introduced the new “Snippet As A Service” version of TextExpander, there was quite an outcry. To be completely honest, I was confused by and resistant to the change at the onset. However, if I look at the new version without allowing my previous experience to color my opinion, it is striking how similar it is to my other choices for software.
TextExpander and OmniFocus are two of the first tools I install on any new device, so it’s no surprise that the two work well together. You may expect some kind of Applescripting or shell magic, but I keep this extremely simple and only use true text expansion with OmniFocus. I run the scripts manually or behind the scenes with Hazel.