Organizing Snippets

If you have a TextExpander Organization, also see Organizing Shared Team Snippet Groups for extra tips.

Well-organized Snippets are easy to search, remember, and share. And if you can’t remember, there’s always search. Here are a couple of recommendations:

1. Gather topical Snippet Groups

Find the topics within your workflow that make sense for each Snippet Group.

  • Example: Freelancer or Small business owner
    • Client communication emails: responding to common questions, setting appointments
    • Meeting notes: outline for notes,  common topics to cover, common issues a client might bring up in the meeting
    • Links: send people URLs to learn more on various pages on your site, or other articles you reference
  • Example: Support team
    • Common troubleshooting answers for:
      • Accounts
      • Each platform
      • VIP specific
    • Links: send people URLs to learn more on various pages on your site, or other knowledge base articles you reference
  • Example: For Everyone
    • Your personal typos. Whatever words your fingers tend to garble, set that as the abbreviation, and the correct spelling as the content which will replace it.
    • Specific projects. Create Snippets for a temporary project, maybe a writing project or report which uses lots of specific terminology. Create a Snippet Group you can turn on and off when needed.

Keeping Snippet Group topical will help you find Snippets. It’s also easier to share Snippet Groups when they are already focused on just the specific topic you want to share.

2. Pick an abbreviation prefix scheme

Just a couple of characters in front of the rest of the abbreviation will help keep the abbreviations orderly. Set a Prefix for the whole Snippet Group. Pair the prefix to the topic of the Snippet Group.

  • Example: use “//” for a prefix on all URLs
    • //twitter
    • //companypage
    • //wiki
  • Example: Support team using app platform to for troubleshooting customer replies
    • mac.restart, mac.install
    • win.download, win.logging

You could also use special characters for the abbreviation. This is another way to ensure you don’t type an abbreviation by accident, or you could use delimiters to expand. You can also double the first letter of the abbreviation.

  • Special Characters
    • #home = home phone number
    • #work = work phone number
    • @me = your email address
    • @boss = bosses email address
    • **shrug = ¯_(ツ)_/¯
  • Double the first character
    • oopht = Ophthalmologist
    • ccac = Customer Acquisition Cost
  • Use a random first letter (this is easier to use on a mobile device)
    • jjemail = emai address
    • xxdate = current date

Tips from power users

Zack Holmquist suggests coming up with a logic for all your snippets so that you can better remember them. For example:

  • me.phone
  • me.email
  • mom.email
  • dentist.email

Assuming you work at Acme Inc. during the day, and as a DJ at night:

  • acme.web
  • acme.email.support
  • dj.web
  • dj.twitter

Luc P. Beaudoin discusses his preferred naming conventions, including those for citations and bibliographical references, which can get quite detailed. He has a neat way of keeping his contacts all sorted with their name, website, and email address.

Abbreviations for search

The prefix you choose also helps you when searching for Snippets. If you’re looking for a Snippet, you may just remember the prefix of the Snippet, and that will help narrow down the search results to help you find what you are looking for.