Everyday Tech Shortcuts

Today I’m sharing my top favorite everyday tech shortcuts that save me time and make life a little easier.

Text Replacement / Keyboard Shortcuts

I hate filling out forms on my phone and having to type things like my email address in full (and my name isn’t even that long!). A great trick around this is to save frequently used phrases or text as a text replacement in your phone, so you can type in your own custom abbreviation and then click on the suggestion from your phone. This will work in 95% of web forms (you will occasionally have to type one out). For example:

  • Your initials (xxx) as a shortcut for your full email address (xxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com). I made one for my personal email and another for my work email
  • Something like “addr” for your address or any instructions you send to others frequently
  • Things like your airline rewards number you have to fill in (DL = 123456789)
  • Alphanumeric wifi passwords. This lets you bring it up for new devices or to provide the password to others.

In iPhones, set your text replacements under Settings>General>Keyboard>Text Replacement.

Photo Albums

I use photos on my phone as a reminder for specific things and “Favorite” them so I can find them quickly if I take a bunch of photos. Examples of this include a picture of my license plate number (I’ve moved several times), my contact lens prescription, appointment confirmation numbers, or my parking spot number at a mall or airport. Some photos stay in the album, while I will add and remove more temporary items when I need them. The photos load faster for me than pulling up an email if your cell service is spotty or if you have a large inbox to look through. You can also make a separate photo album for this if you’re already using the Favorites. This also works for QR codes, tickets, or barcodes that don’t have any sort of save to mobile wallet option.

Automatic Email Filtering

Gmail didn’t always have those separate inbox tabs for “social” and “promotions.” But it’s possible to set up automated foldering for other topics or senders however you’d like. In college, I managed three separate emails through one Gmail inbox thanks to some simple foldering and automation.

You can make an entirely separate email account for email promotions and forward them to your existing account in a specific folder(s). Mine send to my primary email, but they automatically get marked as read and put in a shopping folder – kind of like my sale perusal folder. This keeps them from clogging my inbox and I can peruse similar emails all at once. You can do this by setting up specific filter rules. You can use the automatic filters to apply labels to emails from specific people or with specific phrases, so that you can simply hit “Archive” when you are done with the email and skip manually flagging it.