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Tips & Tricks Tuesday: Add tasks super fast with text shortcuts and Smart Add

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by Andrew Conkling

If you spend a lot of time typing on a smartphone keyboard, you'll know that it can be a bit tedious when typing a lot of special characters. This week's tip, shared by fabian.hemmert, suggests using built-in text shortcuts to make typing much more efficient, whether you're in one of our mobile apps or adding a task via email or Twitter.

The Remember The Milk apps for iPhone and iPad are great, especially adding tasks with Smart Add. However, if you often use the same combinations of tags and properties, you might want to bring them to super-speed with this simple usage of iOS's text shortcuts:

iOS's Shortcuts allow you to enter a short text that will be replaced by a long one. Normally, this is used for addresses and the likes, but it works also great within the RTM app's Smart Add bar. For instance, I have created this shortcut:

thgt —-> ^never #thoughts !

This will automatically set the due date to 'never' (my default is 'today') and add the task to the 'thoughts' list (and not clutter my default list, the inbox). Using the exclamation mark as the shortcut's last character will also allow you to set the task's priority right after entering the shortcut, which may also come in handy (simply press backspace if you confirmed the shortcut by pressing space, which is the easiest way to do it).

I have found this particularly useful because it doesn't require me to switch to the special characters iPhone keyboard (for ^, # and !) or leave the regular keyboard (to tap the icons, which are great for more selective entries) while entering the task.

I'm sure it works also on desktop and Android, any text expander software should do the trick!

Thanks for sharing this tip, fabian.hemmert! You're our Tips & Tricks Tuesday winner this week.

Do you have a suggestion for our weekly Tips & Tricks post? Got an interesting set-up or idea? Head over to the Tips & Tricks forum, add a new topic, and let us know how you use Remember The Milk. Each week we'll give away a 1 year Pro account to the user whose idea inspires the Tips & Tricks Tuesday blog post for that week.

Posted in: Tips & Tricks