“If you find yourself doing something over and over,” Omar tells me and the developers that work under him, “that is something you can automate.”
How often as teachers do we write the same comments again and again in feedback and emails? Maybe you have a document with common comments that you copy and paste from, but there is an easier way that will save time and allow you to give more detailed messages: text expansion. Mac computers have a built in text expander, but I use aText, which costs five dollars and is more convenient.
For a text expander, you enter codes and then type in the text that goes with it. I always use a semicolon at the beginning of my codes to distinguish them from ordinary writing. For example, I use “;topic” for the subject line of an email: “English 214: Feedback on Your Topic Proposal.” As soon as I have written the code, the expanded text appears with a satisfying click. I love that click!