Fantastical natural input + Text expansions

There’s this app, Fantastical. It is an alternative to Calendar and one of its main selling points is its ability to create events with natural text input.

So I can open up its ‘create new quick event’ window

And start typing the event I want to create as if I was talking to myself or another human being rather than a machine. Here is one example of what one can write to make an event :

In here we created a breakfast event, two hours from now with duration of one hour and specified that this event’s calendar is food. Pretty simple and awesome. There’s only one downside to this that I found and that is, all this typing that you have to do. Fortunately a thing called text expansions exists and there are multiple apps that can do them for you. I personally love and use Typinator and is one I will showcase now but any app that does some kind of text expansion utility will do.

Well the trick is to cut down on the words we need to use to make the same phrase. Here is how you can write out the same phrase with text expansions:

So instead of typing the whole : ”breakfast in two hours for 1 hour /foo”. I just typed ”breakfast i2h f1h /foo”. And you can make these kind of expansions for every other kind of date you can get. Here is a list of expansions I have and use frequently:

  • trr = tomorrow
  • tfri = this friday (t for this, fri for friday)
  • nfri = next friday (n for next, fri for friday)
  • i2w = in two weeks (i for in, 2w for two weeks)

I hope you are starting to get a point in how easy it is to make these expansions to make sense phonetically. Here are some more that I use:

  • i30m = in 30 minutes
  • i1h30m = in 1 hour 30 minutes
  • t4p = till 4 pm
  • nwt = next week thursday
  • f6p = from 6 pm
  • f1030a = from 10:30 am
  • fn = from now (use it very often)
  • f1h30m = for 1 hour 30 minutes

And the list goes on. Write them out once in your favorite text expansion app and enjoy your saved time. It actually makes me use my calendar more often which is great.

You can install the Typinator Set that I use to make this expansions in a repository here alongside few other Sets I have made that you can read more about in an article here.

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