Case Study: How Crysta saved 10+ hours of time

In this case study, you'll be hearing about how Crysta saved herself 10+ hours of tedious and soul-sucking repetitive work on The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants — a yearly guide featuring the best 150 survey-rated restaurants in Malta and Gozo (Europe)

dgg%20logo

The tasks you REALLY hate

Repetitive tasks are tedious and take up a ton of time. You might think they’re inescapable. But they’re not.

Let’s say you have an email you send out regularly to different recipients.

Here’s how you're probably doing it.

  1. You have the email saved somewhere on your computer
  2. You look for the email
  3. You highlight all of it with Ctrl+A (Command-A on Mac)
  4. You copy it with Ctrl+C (Command-C on Mac)
  5. You paste it into your Gmail, Outlook or another email program with Ctrl+V (Command-V on Mac)
  6. You find the email address and fill it in
  7. You customize the email by filling in the name and maybe some additional details to make it more personal.

It doesn’t look like much, but that process can take up to 5 minutes, and it’s really easy to make mistakes (especially when you’ve been doing the same tedious task for a whole hour, right?)

A simple task that eats up 12 hours of time


Crysta D, Production Assistant at RestaurantsMalta.com, had a very similar process.

Every year, when it’s time to start collecting data for the yearly edition of The Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants, she and her team send out around 150 emails to their list.

Here’s what she says:

“We need to email every restaurant owner from the previous year’s edition to collect updated details about their restaurant. Since we’re not very technical, we do it manually.

We customize each email with the recipient’s name and the restaurant name. It takes around 5 minutes per email. We split the the list between three people, and —given we don’t have any interruptions— it takes us around 4 hours each to finish the job.

I love the project, but I absolutely hate doing this part.”

That’s 150 emails x 5 mins = 750 minutes (a bit over 12 hours)

How Text Blaze saved approximately 10 hours of work (and lots of tedium) for the team behind the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants

Our team approached Crysta with a proposal.

We said, "Let’s create a Text Blaze snippet for you, and we’ll see how much time you can save on this tedious task."

Here’s how we did it:

  1. We set up a Google Spreadsheet where Crysta could input the names, email addresses and restaurant names for each recipient.
  2. We created a Text Blaze snippet with the contents of Crysta’s email template.
  3. For the “customizable parts” (recipient name, email and restaurant name), we inserted a {formtext} command in the snippet.

Now, Crysta just needed to highlight the three spreadsheet cells with the details for that email, and run the snippet in her web Outlook account.

Text Blaze automatically fills in the contents of the email, and pulls the “customized” details from Crysta’s clipboard.

Click «Send» and it’s done.

That’s a 5 minute process brought down to less than 30 seconds.

So now, 150 emails x 0.5 seconds = 75 mins (1hr 15 mins)

Here’s Crysta’s reaction:

“I can’t believe it! With all the stress and tight deadlines we have with the Guide, this takes a huge weight off our shoulders.”

You can use Text Blaze too to save a ton of time and frustration, just like Crysta

Text Blaze is super easy to use. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Download the Text Blaze extension from the Chrome Web Store (it’s free)
  2. Install it in your Chrome browser with the click of a button
  3. Click the app icon
  4. Click «Create New Snippet»
  5. Give your snippet a name, fill in the contents and customize your snippet shortcut
  6. Run your snippet by typing in the shortcut anywhere in Chrome

Here’s a sample snippet to get you started

Since you’re just starting out with Text Blaze, we wanted you to hit the ground running. So we've prepared for you a template based on what we did for Crysta.

Let's start with the actual nuts and bolts first. This is what the "engine" looks like.

The "engine" of the snippet

{formtext: name=var1; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[1]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=var2; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[2]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=var3; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[3]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=var4; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[4]}), "")}}

This is the bit of code that works with the copied data. You don't need to worry much about this part. But if you need further explanation, you can ask in the comments and we'll be happy to go into more detail.

The snippet pulls data from your clipboard. So for this snippet to work, we need to have a simple spreadsheet with data in it.

Here's what that would look like:

Spreadsheet with data

The headings in Row 1 can be different, and they're just for your reference. Your data goes in Row 2 and subsequent rows.

You just highlight the row containing the content that you want to use, and run the Text Blaze snippet.

Done.

Here's an actual implementation of the snippet:

{note}
{formtext: name=name; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[1]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=company; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[2]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=item; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[3]}), "")}}
{formtext: name=date; default={=catch(({=split({clipboard}, "\t")[4]}), "")}}
{endnote}

Dear {=name},

Thank you for purchasing "{=item}" from {=company}.

Please be advised that we will be shipping your order on {=date}.

{formparagraph: name=notes; width=50; height=5}
{note}This is where you can add any extra instructions to the recipient. If you leave it empty, it just won't show up, so it's totally optional. P.S. This note will never show up in the end result.{endnote}

Thank you.

Support at {=company}

(Don't worry if it's showing jibberish. Right now, it's pulling whatever you have in your computer's clipboard.)

To import a copy of the template into your Text Blaze and customize it to your needs, click on the «Copy to Text Blaze» button at the top right of the snippet preview above.

By the way, the text fields at the top enable you to edit the data on the fly, in case you want to change something at the last minute.

And here it is in action:

Spreadsheet:

Rendered Snippet

There’s so much more you can do

Text Blaze is packed with functions. But you don’t need to be a tech whiz to work with it.

The bottom menu makes it super simple to create snippets and automate things such as:

  • Posting the current date and/or time in multiple formats, or even posting a future date. See an example here.
  • Create drop down menus with multiple options. See an example here.
  • Toggle sections on and off (for when you have optional parts). See an example here.
  • Use formulas and calculations to work quotations etc. Read more about that here.
  • Simulate keystrokes. See an example here.

Additionally, we have a community that is always sharing new and helpful snippets that you can learn from and adapt to your own needs.

Get Text Blaze for free today

The basic version of Text Blaze is free. There are also some Premium functions, but you can still use them up to 5 times per day with the free version.

To try out Text Blaze today, click here. You can keep using it for free, for as long as you want.

But, if you decide you want to support the project and unlock the whole array of awesome features, the PRO version only costs $35.88 per year.

Think about it. If Text Blaze can save you even just one hour per week for a whole year, wouldn’t that still be a great deal?

You can get the PRO version right here.

Text Blaze keeps getting better all the time

@scott, founder of Text Blaze, is active every day in the community, helping out users and collecting feedback.

Because of this, Text Blaze is being updated regularly with new and helpful features. Got a question? Suggestion? Feature request? Ask in the forums! We’re listening.

Try out Text Blaze today.

Install the free version.

Or, if you're already a happy Text Blaze user, you might want to consider buying Text Blaze PRO for just $35.88 per year. There's so much more Text Blaze can do to make your life simpler :slight_smile:

Get Text Blaze PRO today.