Typedesk vs SwiftReply – and things to consider when choosing a text expander app

I had a quick discussion with a member in the AppSumo official group about the 2 tools.

I mentioned that I’d still prefer Typedesk with the new limits (limited number of members) because the features in Typedesk are more thoughtfully built out, and they don’t rush releases just to impress the users. Also, their mobile app is in the work.

Check out Typedesk here

What kind of thoughtful features does Typedesk have?

  1. Aside from Variables (the things you replace the text holder fields with, eg: first name, email, etc.), Typedesk also has Variants, which are basically different versions of the entire templates.
    • For example, you might need different answers to the same question of “How are your products made?”, since you might have more than 1 product and each of them has a different process.
  2. There is a Notes section inside each template. This is easily overlooked but can be very important. Eg: Say you have a folder specifically for discount codes. You can add notes to explain to your team members which code is for which type of customer, when to use template A, and when to use template B.
  3. No desktop app (yet). I understand that this is currently in progress from Swiftreply, but to me, it shows how the 2 businesses prioritize things differently.

One makes you feel they want to conquer 1 platform at a time, and the other makes you feel like they want to check as many boxes as quickly as possible.

Chrome extension works for sure, but a lot of times we don’t do things via a Chrome browser. Eg: using an email client (you know, where our team replies to emails from our customers every day).

The SwiftReply mobile app is functional but was super barebone when I talked to the founder. Not sure if he’s updated it but I remember giving him a bunch of feedback.

These are a few things that I can think of from a quick glance.

Other things to consider when buying a text expander app

In another thread in my group, Erin Billy shared some really important questions below:

  • Can it paste formatted text? (Most cannot.)
  • How fast is it?
  • How advanced is it? Can it generate current date, for example? Does it have variables? Can it include more than one entry from your clipboard history?
  • How are shortcodes/snippets managed? How easy is it to find the snippet you want?

My answers to him were:

  • Yes it can paste formatted texts. There is also an option to disable this.
  • It’s pretty fast as you can see in the GIFs I included in the article
  • Yes it has variables, and automatic fields such as your name (first/last/both), date in different formats with addition/subtraction (eg: 3 days from today) or hour
  • I haven’t tested the clipboard feature extensively, but I believe it only pastes the latest (need to double check)
  • The search box is pretty good as it includes the content inside the commands and not just searches within the command names.

Great variable options

The screenshot below shows the available variables on Typedesk

Typedesk has a good number of static and dynamic variable options

In the GIF below, you can see that even in the Date & Time variable, there are a handful of available date formats and rule to add/remove day so it would automatically calculate the date for you, eg: 2 days from today (and it’ll grab the current date & time to work out say, Monday + 2 = Wednesday).

Check out how many different formats Typedesk has for the Date & Time variable alone

This makes it incredibly powerful opens up a wide variety of use cases when using Typedesk.

I hope this short article has provided you with some further insights on some important features to consider. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment below.

Check out Typedesk here

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