I recently had the opportunity to speak at the AMC Institute’s Summer Conference in Dallas, just prior to the ASAE Annual Conference. My general session topic was on using technology in AMCs. We discussed a broad range of technology issues, but one area that I did not get to cover was the list of my Top 5 Favorite technologies.

So I’m going to cover each of those in these next five blog posts.

First on the list is macro software. Macro software allows you to put together a combination of keystrokes and/or commands with a single combination of keys or a single command. In my case, I work on Macs, so I use TextExpander and Keyboard Maestro.

TextExpander is software that allows me program larger chunks of text, phrases, and paragraphs, all of which I can call up with a few keystrokes. For example, I often end emails to my clients and others with the phrase “Please let me know if you have any questions.” With TextExpander, I’ve reduced this sentence to the letters “ppls” (without quotes), so that when I want to add that line to an email (or anywhere else I’m entering text), I simply type those letters and hit the spacebar, and the sentence appears. It’s an amazing little piece of software, and a great timesaver. There are plenty of options for both Mac and PC.

Keyboard Maestro is software that allows me to program multiple steps or actions, again triggered by a single set of keyboard combinations. For example, when I’m leaving my office for an extended period of time, I like to shut down all the programs I have open before I leave. I’ve programmed the keyboard combination ctrl-alt-q in Keyboard Maestro to close all open programs. (Of course, if something needs to be saved, a warning pops up before the program is closed.) You can program Keyboard Maestro to open programs, control volume, eject disks, and so much more. Again, a very nice time-saver.

Stay tuned for more of my favorite technologies, and feel free to add your own in the comments section.