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This tip on my Ask Anything series today is a FAVORITE quick tip of mine to save TIME–and, it is a tip that is great for NON-business owners also!  It for anyone who loves social media!  It all starts with my macbook, which I LOVE!  It is so easy for me to work on, and I just love a full keyboard- due to growing up in the instant messaging years, I am a really efficient typer.  So sometimes typing on my phone can get really cumbersome.  That being said, my iphone is often where business- and personal- social media happen, based on ease (and, as a working mother, phones are easier for the “OMG the kids are actually playing TOGETHER happily–let’s get that Instagram post up”… can I get an amen?!).  But sometimes using social media, especially hash-tagging on Instagram, can get REALLY annoying on phone keyboards.

So I have made use of something that has drastically changed my social media use on my phone…keyboard shortcuts!  They are so easy to make, and they cut down my typing time big time! You can make keyboard shortcuts for ANYTHING! So if you are a mom (or puppy mom!) and you use a specific hashtag for your kid to group those photos, like “#BestBoyBrian” or whatever it may be, you could make a keyboard SHORTCUT for that so that you only have to type a couple of characters (for example, “BBB”), and it would appear! Or maybe you are a photographer and are constantly typing in the same string of hashtags for your business or area (which you definitely want to be doing!)…little keyboard shortcuts can make it SO easy!

The other use I have found that has changed my world is for blog comments! I love to comment on fellow photographer’s blog posts, and this often happens from my phone. But often, you have to fill in your email address and website if you have one as a part of the comment registration process…and on a phone, that requires you to switch between multiple screens! Not anymore! Now, I just type “web” and my full website appears! I type “Jemail” and my email address appears! It is amazing!

So how do you do it? It’s SUPER simple! These are iphone instructions since I am a Mac girl, but I’m POSITIVE you could do it on any type of cell phone (from the last few years! :))!

Step 1). Go to settings. Press “General”. Scroll down to “keyboard”. Press “shortcuts”.

Step 2). Decide what all you want to use! I have a shortcut for my regular business hashtags, for my wedding hashtag, for my publishing hashtags, etc.

Step 3). Plus the + in the upper right corner. Under “phrase” you write what you want to auto fill (so for example, for wedding hashtags I want #jillgumphotography #jgpweddings #jgpcouples #springfieldweddingphotographer #midwestweddings – so I put that all under “phrase”

Step 4). Under “shortcut”, type what you want to type instead! So instead of ALL of those things up above…I type “Whash” for wedding hashtag. That’s ALL!  That is 5 letters instead of 80!  It is AMAZING!

Step 5). Press “save” in the upper right corner, and you are done! The next time you start to type your shortcut- Whash for example, ALL of those other phrases appear!

Some people may have better luck than I do with autofill, but the hashtags I regularly use only sometimes would show up, and never for the blog shortcut use- so this saves me TONS of time!

One tip: Make sure the actual shortcuts you WILL type in (“whash” in my example) aren’t phrases you usually type! For example, when I started with the blog comments shortcut, I just used “email” to autofill…but I found that I typed the word “email” a LOT in other conversation, so it was autofilling in my actual address where I didn’t want it to! I went back through and changed it to “Jemail”- which I would never regularly type- problem solved!

I hope this is helpful- I have found it to be SUCH a time saver!!! Enjoy using your new shortcuts!!

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  1. Candi Leonard says:

    I love using those! Total time saver! Great post!!

  2. Nicole Salter says:

    I’ve been doing this for a while now and its a LIFESAVER!

  3. Misty Adams Christensen says:

    I never knew this!!! Definitely going to use this for IG hastags!

  4. Melissa Lee says:

    Awesome!! Did not know about this either! Thank you!

  5. Cinnamon Ruvolo Wolfe says:

    I’ve done this a little bit but I need to get better at it. I totally see the benefit and time saving aspects, I just need to sit down and do it one day! (and then remember it after that!) ha!

  6. Lee Mitchum says:

    I use keyboard shortcuts all the time!

  7. Leslie Hogenes Lejcar says:


  8. Krista Jones says:

    This post is amazing Jill!! I had no idea all of these shortcuts existed!

  9. Jenny Storment says:

    This has been the biggest time saver for me! I love when another shared this tip about the keyboard shortcuts with me!

  10. Bethanne Arthur says:

    Brilliant! Great post!

  11. Sarah Larson says:

    I never knew this!! Thank You!!

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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

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You're in the right place!  As a past high school teacher, educating others is my life's work and a HUGE part of my business!  I have been teaching moms and hobbyists how to use their camera from first purchasing it all the way to coaching them into businesses of their own, and I'd love to help you as well, wherever you are (and whatever camera you have!).

I'm so glad you are here!  Teaching Photographers and other small business owners how to run more joyful, successful, and profitable businesses is one of my favorite parts of my business!  I specialize in working with photographers to make their goals a reality (or figure out what their goals should be in the first place!).  

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