Setting Up Snippets Based on Time of Day

Setting Up Snippets Based on Time of Day

So you’ve got TextExpander Snippets for your everyday basicsperhaps some quirky Snippets too. Next up: have you set up Snippets based on the time of day yet? If not, timely Snippets are for you.

We’ve covered how TextExpander Snippets benefit plenty of industries here on the blog, from sales pros to podcasters and beyond. Don’t miss our “Explore TextExpander” category if you’ve yet to do a deep dive in how to get more out of TextExpander.

Today, we want to highlight an arena of TextExpander you may not have considered: Snippets that relate to the time of day. The way we communicate – and the way we work – shifts from morning to night, but have you ever thought about setting up timely Snippets to reflect that?

If not, today’s the day. Don’t miss our Public Group that contains all the Snippets in this post, which you can subscribe to here. We’ll walk you through the Snippets we recommend most, in the hope you’ll not just subscribe to the group, but also get inspiration for the personalized Snippets that would be relevant to you.

As always, we love hearing your suggestions for Snippets and Public Groups over on Twitter, so be sure to follow us there and say hello if you haven’t already. Now let’s get into those time of day Snippets!

Setting Up Snippets Based on Time of Day

Start With A Timely Snippet to Say Hello

We’re starting with the very basics, because often these are the Snippets you’ll use most!

First, we recommend a couple of timely Snippets or a Pop-Up Menu Snippet to say, “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” and “Good evening”. This is entirely down to personal preference. Some TextExpander team members prefer a Pop-Up Menu Snippet where they choose the option they want from the dropdown. Others like individual Snippets for each answer. We’ve covered both in our Public Group. “;;gr” will trigger a Pop-Up Menu for you, while “;;gm”, “;;ga”, and “;;ge” will trigger “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” or “Good evening” respectively.

This is the example that Mike, our Director of Sales, gave when he suggested the idea for this post. He told us uses this Pop-Up Menu Snippet all the time. It’s simple, but effective.

Setting Up Snippets Based on Time of Day

Use A Dropdown Snippet For The Days Of The Week

This is another idea from Mike. He has a pop-up menu for the days of the week, which he says he uses all the time. We started using it while testing for this blog post and can confirm that the days of the week come up a lot! Make your life much easier with a Pop-Up Menu Snippet that will let you speed through the typing process. We’ve created the Snippet “;;wk” which gives you a dropdown for the days of the week.

Customize Your Replies To Work Queries With Timely Snippets

Now, it’s time to think about how you work and what answers you find yourself saying again and again.

Don’t forget that TextExpander does have Suggestions. This a feature where the text you write frequently will be suggested as a Snippet, so be sure to check if you have any waiting for you!

One area that we think benefits from a Snippet is acknowledging when you’ll look at a work query. We suggest a pop-up menu with a few options that cover you depending on when someone gets in touch:

  • In the morning, you could reply “Thanks, I’ll take a look today.”
  • Late morning, you could say “Thanks, I’ll take a look after lunch.”
  • Later in the afternoon, you could select “Thanks, I’ll take a look tomorrow.”

We’ve included these in the Public group, as a Pop-Up Menu Snippet that triggers with “;;qur”.

Setting Up Snippets Based on Time of Day

Use a Timely Snippet to Remind People When You Will Next Be Online

About to go on a break, or log off for the day? Don’t forget that Snippets can be handy here too. Why not set up some Snippets that let folks know when you’re back online?

  • “I’ll be back shortly” is great for a quick break of fewer than 20 minutes.
  • “I’ll be back online later” covers you in case you’re not sure when you’ll be able to respond fully to a DM or email.
  • “I’ll be back online tomorrow” will sort any late-night or last-minute messaging that comes through at the end of your working day.

You’ll see in our Timely Snippets Public Group that this is all put together in one handy Pop-Up Menu, with abbreviation “;;onl”.
Don’t be afraid to add some custom ones of your own, too.

Go All Out With Timely Snippets That Reflect When Your Reader Sees An Email

Last but not least, Mike highlighted writer Brett Terpstra’s Public Group on TextExpander, “Brett’s Tools.” One of Brett’s Snippets is a neat one that updates itself based on when the reader sees it, to say “good morning” or “good afternoon.” It’s great for opening your emails, if you’d like to add a little TextExpander flair.

Mike did emphasize that it had the potential to confuse the reader, who might look at the time your email was sent and work out that it wasn’t the morning when you sent it. It’s up to you, but we think it’s a fun thing to surprise the right recipient.

While we’re on the subject of him, Brett has also written extensively about TextExpander on his blog, if you’d like to hear more about the app through a user’s eyes!


  • We like using timely Snippets because they can infuse your team messages with more connection.
  • Start out with the basics. Use Snippets to pick from “Good morning/Good afternoon/Good evening” when starting a DM or email.
  • Make naming the day easier, with a Pop-Up Menu Snippet that lets you select from a dropdown.
  • Use a Pop-Up Menu Snippet to choose a work query reply that suits the time of day it comes through, as your answers differ from morning to evening.
  • Set up a timely Snippet or series of Snippets that will help people know when to see you back online.
  • Use Brett Terpstra’s fun, slightly more sophisticated Snippet to say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” depending on when an email is opened.

If you enjoyed this post, there are plenty more guides to getting more from TextExpander here in the blog: