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Mark Hurst reviews "Typeit4me"
Merlin Mann | Sep 25 2004
This is a bit of a milestone day for 43 Folders. In addition to our new 43folders.com domain name more or less working (finally), it’s also my honor to present our first guest post, brought to us today by Mark Hurst.
Mark Hurst first appeared on my radar screen about 4 years ago when I happened across his brilliant “The Good Easy,” a very practical—but polemical for its time—manifesto on setting up your OS 9 Macintosh. It turns 5 next month. “The Good Easy” was my first exposure to a UNIXy, streamlined approach to using a Mac—to strip away unnecessary cruft and uber-apps to increase productivity and simplify workflow.
Mark’s done a lot since then, including his outstanding “Email Management Report” and the thought-provoking essay, “Bit Literacy.” You probably know him best for the instructive and often hilarious "This is Broken." He’s also given me a little bit of back channel on some upcoming stuff he’s working on that I know will make you guys all giddy, but for today, let’s have a look at his review of Typeit4me, an OSX productivity tool I’ve just recently started using again myself (used to love it back in the day on OS 9).
Review of Typeit4me
By Mark Hurst - http://www.goodexperience.com
If you're not an avid, constant user of typeit4me, you're not really getting things done. I'd go further and say you're hardly using your computer at all until you include typeit4me in your daily computer usage.
Typeit4me (typeit4me.com) is a Mac-only shareware app - it costs $27, 25 euros, or £16 for a single user. (For Windows users, ActiveWords - www.activewords.com - offers similar functionality, though I haven't used it.) Typeit4me works across every application, OSX and in Classic mode: BBEdit, Safari, Finder - even MS Office apps bend to its will.
Here's how it works: you define abbreviations and associated expansions in typeit4me. When you type an abbreviation and then hit the trigger (usually the space bar; or any punctuation mark, depending on your preferences), the abbreviation instantly gets replaced with the trigger. For example, if I type "cg" and hit the space bar, "cg" instantly turns into "Creative Good". The abbreviation-expansion function is all typeit4me does, but that one function has enormous ramifications for every computer user on the planet.
Consider the many uses of typeit4me:
The key to typeit4me is to start slow - define a few abbreviation-expansion pairs each day, and see what "sticks." Which do you naturally remember? Which do you use a lot? It takes some time to get really effective with typeit4me, but like any sound investment, the returns compound over time. I have been using typeit4me for over nine years now, and my file has 1,167 expansions inside. I use most of them every month - whether through a misspelling, a URL, a password, or any other reason. My typing is fast
But here's the key: I still add new expansions, almost every day. I am determined to continue getting faster, more accurate, and more efficient in my bit-creation at every opportunity. Typeit4me isn't a shareware that you install, define a few things in, and then call it a day. No. Typeit4me is a bit-lever - one essential component of bit literacy - and as such it requires an ongoing commitment toward mastery. Efficiency isn't something you accomplish in a day; it's something you grow into. It's a way of life.
Finally, a word of warning: if you use Typeit4me diligently for a few weeks and begin to realize its benefits in your efficiency, you will NEVER - read me, now - you will NEVER want to go back to a machine that doesn't run it. You will curse every Internet cafe PC that stupidly requires you to type every character; you will mutter under your breath on your friends' machines; you will be spoiled for life. But you will have seen the light - isn't that worth it?
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