One Simple Tool That Will Save You HOURS of Planning Time


I have wasted thousands of hours lesson planning.

I’m not saying that lesson planning is a waste of time, but that I’ve lost days of my life typing the same phrases and language chunks over and over again.

You know what I mean – phrases such as ‘by the end of the lesson the students will be better able to … blah blah blah’. That, and detailed descriptions of activities. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve typed the instructions for certain activities.

Especially as the school I worked for insisted that we have full, detailed lesson plans (in case cover was needed).

I tried having a Word document that I used to copy and paste from, but it always seemed faster just to keep typing rather than opening a file.

The solution? Use a text expander program to turbo charge your typing and reduce planning time.

Huh? What’s A Text Expander?

Another way you can do this is to use a text expander program. My choice (because it’s free and easy to use) is called Phrase Express.

How Does it Work?

After setting it up, you type a short word or phrase, press a shortcut key and as if by magic, your whole chunk of language appears before your very eyes.

Example: in every lesson, when I’m setting my aims, I type ‘Aims: by the end of the lesson the students will be better able to’.

Now, instead of typing that sentence, I type ‘aims1’ and press space, and voilà! My entire phrase appears at high speed.

Why Use a Text Expander?

‘Cos it’ll save you a boat load of planning time. Honestly. The first time I had the idea and started using it, it blew my mind.


So, has anyone else used a text expander before? Can you recommend a good one for Macs?