Text expansion and failure with Merlin Mann

5by5.tv podcast station is one of my favorite podcasting networks. Since they produce a lot very good content it’s not always possible to listen it all and keep up with all the shows. Last week I was catching up on two shows that were sitting in my queue both featured Merlin Mann who is a bit of a hero in the productivity sphere whether he accepts this title or not.

Lets start with Back to Work episode 108 was a great introduction to text expansion. If you haven’t heard about it before or you’ve heard about it before but don’t know where to go this episode is for you. Merlin’s advice is very simple every time you find yourself typing or accessing something more than two times set up a key phrase for that. Things that immediately spring to mind are signatures, email addresses, canned responses etc. Beyond that is launching common documents and websites. Merlin goes even further describing how he uses two three letter key phrases to search his gmail etc.

On Mac OS the default choice of software is Text Expander, on Windows there are few choices like TexterBreevy or my preffered tool PhraseExpress.

Second podcast worth listening to is Systematic where Merlin and Brett talk about failure and it’s place in the creation process. It’s a great conversation that goes in all kinds of directions and still gives a lot food for thought on failures that lead to success and seemingly perfect plans that end up as big flop  Do give it a go and think about your own failures and successes.