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Automate your Evernote Templates with FastEver and TextExpander

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Are you an Evernote Template user? Have you ever wondered why it isn’t easier to implement a template than cutting and pasting into a new blank note? Well, as I wrote here and here, I am both a heavy Evernote user and a user of Evernote Templates. And, I have definitely struggled to understand why this functionality is lacking on both the desktop and iPad versions of Evernote. I lived with this annoyance until a friend recently asked me if there is a way to use a text expander with Evernote to automate the creation of a template. What a great idea! So, with this idea in mind I set out on finding a way to make it work. In summary, it is very possible to automate your templates with Evernote…you just have to buy a few apps and follow about 12 steps. Read on to learn more.

Daniel E. Gold just finished up his Evernote Template Contest that turned out many, many cool Evernote templates for everything from planning a camping trip to the Meal Planning and Grocery List Template, the winning submission by Kate Ladwig. However good a template is, Evernote has no mechanism to automatically create a new note based on a template; you have to find your template, select-all/copy, create a new note and then paste the template into the new note. Not a lot of steps, but enough to make you long for something simpler. This post will explain how to combine TextExpander and FastEver XL to create a one step way to automate your templates in Evernote.

As you are probably know, it takes two steps to create a note in Evernote. You have to open the Evernote, click new note and then start typing. Several apps respond to this inefficiency by allowing you to start typing a new note immediately upon opening the App. My favorite app in this space is called FastEver XL. Not only does FastEver allow you to start typing immediately, it also allows you to define the notebook and tag(s) for the note that you create. Once you are done typing, just click Save and your note is sync’ed to your Evernote account in your defined Notebook and Tag combination. Another cool feature of FastEver is that it integrates directly with an app called TextExpander which unfortunately does NOT integrate directly with Evernote. TextExpander allows you to create text snippets that are inserted automatically by typing a series of letters. Check out this post on Daniel’s blog to learn the benefits of text expansion.

Here are the steps to combine these three great apps to automate your templates.

1. Install TextExpander ($4.99)

2. Install FastEver XL ($1.99)

3. Connect FastEver to your Evernote account and set your default notebook/tag you want notes sync’ed to

4. Launch Evernote and select your most used Evernote Template

5. Select the entire template and hit copy

6. Launch TextExpander

7. Select “Select/Edit Snippets”

8. Select the “+” at the bottom of the screen to create a new Group, I named my first group “Evernote Templates”

9. Click on your new group and hit the “+” again

10. Enter a small abbreviation in the Abbreviation field that you will name your template with. This is the text that will be expanded into your selected template.

11. Paste your template into the Content section. Unfortunately, TextExpander and FastEver do NOT support RichText. This means that you will loose any formatting you included in your template, including check boxes. This is a bummer, but a small price to pay for automation.

12. Click Done

13. Make sure Share Snippets is turned in TextExpander settings

14. Make sure the TextExpander is set to On in FastEver settings

Now give it a try.

  1. Launch FastEver
  2. Type your abbreviated text and hit enter
  3. Your template magically appears!

Once you are setup, all it takes to implement an Evernote template is to launch FastEver, type your character abbreviation and bang, your template magically appears! To add more templates just add new snippets to TextExpander.

Have you implemented any clever ways to leverage text expansion? Have you tried FastEver yet? Does the above process seem too complicated or is it something you would try?

Let me know what you think.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

About the author

    Chris Lee

    I am a healthcare administrator interested in being productive. I believe that the combination of a tablet (iPad Air 32GB) and a smartphone (iPhone 5 in my case) can drastically improve how we do work without adding too much complexity. The “how” of accomplishing this productivity is the focus of this blog. Here are just a few of the topics I hope to cover. Even though I use iOS devices currently I am in no way totally tied to Apple. I have used a Surface 2 for an extended time and am currently considering replacing my HP laptop with a Surface at some point, so keep reading to find out when this happens. Heck, I may even write a post some day on getting efficient with a Kindle Fire HD given that my daughter just got one for her birthday awhile back.


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