Campaign top tip: set your autocorrection to whole phrases

Sony Xperia being held in front of someone

Pro-tip: email works best when you turn the device on.

A simple little efficiency tip: the autocorrect feature that comes with most smartphones and email programs is designed to turn a mistake such as teh into the. But it can do so much more.

You needn’t only use it to save you from the most likely spelling mistakes. I often walk past graffiti and report it. It’s much quicker with the assistance of autocorrect: grf autocorrects to graffiti, whilst sgr autocorrects to Stroud Green Road, for example. Small things, but when you report as much graffiti as I do the time savings and convenience add up very quickly.

The trick is to pick a short text string which you wouldn’t otherwise type and which is easy to remember.

But you needn’t either only use this for short phrases. You can use it for long phrases, sentences and even whole emails.

impt for example could expand out to the full legal imprint that should go on political emails during an election and nhspet could expand out help save our local hospital by signing our petition at http://bit.ly/Lydybd.

Or mysig could give you the full works of best wishes, name, petition exhortation and legal imprint. Stepping up again, 38nhs could be the full standard draft reply to a voter who has raised an NHS issue via a 38 Degrees lobbying campaign.

When you are getting into such lengthy chunks, it can be better to use a different feature from autocorrect, namely the ‘canned messages’ or ’email templates’ option. Some programmes, such as Outlook, have an email signature option – and that signature can be a whole email.

The point at which it makes sense to switch from autocorrect to signatures/templates depends on the details of your own setup, and in particular the relative easy of each feature and any length restrictions.

Whatever pattern best suits you, one thing is common across the board – this is a great way for everyone to make handling email quicker and better.

Hat-tip for the original inspiration to start doing this myself: Daniel Brown.

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