Where do you store text snippets you re-use sometimes, but not often?

I have dozens and dozens of text snippets in TextExpander. Maybe hundreds.

There are a dozen or fewer that I use daily. Many more I use a few times a week, a few times a month, or a few times a year. Many others, I will never use again.

TextExpander is fine for the ones I use daily or even weekly. But for the ones I use less frequently, I find I forget they’re in there. Or I forget the text snippet. Inline search using the menu bar dropdown doesn’t work that well – it’s often covered up by another window, for example.

I’m wondering if maybe I should use another app for those infrequently reused text snippets. Maybe Drafts, Ulysses or even Devonthink, all of which I already use daily. (Though DevonThink seems like it might be a heavyweight application for that use.) How do you solve this problem?

Not for the first time, I’m thinking maybe I’d be happier not using TextExpander. It’s a fine application, and I found it invaluable when I started on the Mac in 2007, but I may not be its target customer anymore – other apps, such as the built in MacOS/iOS capability, might be better for me.

I use Paste (part of Set App) which is nice for those lesser used text snippets. I like it because it stores images as well.

I use custom lists in Copied. Particularly handy in iOS where the TE keyboard is a pain imho.

I’ve never cottoned to software like TextExpander where I was expected to remember mnemonics for text expansion - if I went on vacation I’d have forgotten them all, and if I didn’t use them regularly I’d forget them too.

I do have a dozen saved, starred snippets in my multi-clipboard app Copy ‘Em Paste, which hold a couple of email addresses I use and other things I paste on a daily basis, and to which I can associate a key combination to anything. (The app also lets you create custom saved lists of saved items, but I never use that)

Three points that I could offer:

1.) I had the same ‘issue’, but closer towards my having the same type of email response that I would have to send during a particular time of year, and only then.
It is frequent enough for my to want to keep the “boilerplate/template” of the answer, but not frequent enough over the course of the year that would warrant my even adding a trigger to the items (since I would in any event have to go and look them up again, when the time comes to use them again, every 11 months or so).

My “solution”? I simply created a group inside TE, and placed these types of ‘responses’ over there, without no ‘triggers’ loaded.
When the time of year comes around that I start needing those responses, I then either add a trigger that I will remember (assuming I need to use it several times a day – doesn’t happen often, but varies from year to year) for a while, or simply call up TE, and copy and paste from there.

This is by no means a ‘better’ solution, but I found that saving those types of responses elsewhere, simply saw me having to hunt through different apps/locations to find them. I then realised that I already have TE, and already use it for snippet expansion, so I may as well keep all my snippets in it (even if they are ‘trigger-less’).

2.) I’ve seen a few comments (here and elsewhere) about how it’s tricky to remember triggers that have been added. TE has the ‘reminder’ function, that pops up a notification to remind you of a snippet (and its trigger), if you type something you already have inside TE. It also suggests a snippet if you have recently re-typed a particular phrase/word over and over.
Whilst it can be a tad annoying sometimes, it generally does help me to remember – and, AFAIK, TE is still the only text-expanding app that does this.

3.) I also struggled to search for my existing snippets – or add new ones, since I mostly struggled to remember what shortcuts I had set-up to either do an inline search, or do a ‘general’ search of snippets in TE, or add from clipboard/selection/create new snippet.
My solution was to use KM, and cause a Conflict-palette pop-up when hitting Hyper-key+T…
Now, searching in or adding anything to TE is one shortcut away – which I find far more useful, and is consequently something I use far more frequently.

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You search TE from a KM conflict palette? How does that work? Thanks!

It’s quite a simple set-up – hope I haven’t explained things in such a way as to make this seem far more useful than what it really is! :sunglasses:

Below is the TE Preferences window, with all the shortcuts allocated to the different options, which I could never remember.

Over in KM, I have these macros, all triggered with the same shortcut:

Here is what the 4th macro looks like – all it does, is trigger the appropriate shortcut (the one I can never remember):

When I now hit HyperKey+T, the following Conflict Palette pops up:

I tap 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 – and the appropriate TE action is launched.

Really simple – but as mentioned – I was constantly having to reopen TE to remind myself what the shortcuts were, since I use them – but not that frequently.
Since taking this approach, I have removed one more pain point. And, I far prefer the ‘general’ search (which kind of drops down from the menubar), to the inline search. But sometimes the latter is useful too.

Regardless, after the above, I now only need to remember a single shortcut, as opposed to 5…

Hope this gives you some ideas!?


I just copy and paste it into iOS / macOS Notes and move it out of sight to a ‘Codes & Handy’ folder. Probably the least elegant and ‘pro’ solution here! I always hear about TextExpander on the podcast and need to get around to learning how to use it.

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Good tips. I need to make better use of conflict palettes.

If it works for you, it’s the most elegant and pro solution possible.

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