Extending: Copy & Paste

Extending: Copy & Paste

Using copy and paste is a very straightforward operation and most people don't think about it much but it can be improved. Well, I'm here to teach you a way to super-charge your copy & paste workflows by using clipboard history managers.

The Problem

Copy and paste works well but you can only copy and paste 1 thing at a time and if you copy the wrong content you will only know that you copied the wrong content until you paste it. This is a total time and risk sink if you are using copy and paste over an extended period of time -- especially when working with numerical data.

Let's look at 2 simple scenarios:

  1. You have to create 5 social posts, each with different assets (headline, description text, link and each on a different social media platform).
  2. You are copying and pasting data results from a spreadsheet into a proprietary data analysis tool.

How do you complete these tasks using only the base copy and paste functionality?

Yes, you could possibly automate these tasks (hehe) but that's another topic for another day.

The solution

Improve the power of copy and paste in your operative system by installing a clipboard history manager application and adding more features to copying and pasting!

Clipboard history managers can:

  • create a history of the things that you copied
  • provide you with a user interface that lets you: list, search, and paste any of the things that you copied
  • let you configure hotkeys for pasting a specific copied element based on its position in the queue
  • provide you thumbnails of copied images on the lists

Please find below my go-to clipboard history managers for Mac OS and Windows 10 but feel free to download, install, and explore many alternatives until you find one that suits your needs. This is a big decision as once you are comfortable with the extended features, you won't go back!

Now think about the 2 scenarios we discussed before, how different is our workflow now that we have these extended features?

By installing and using clipboard history managers we improve and extend the base functionality of copy and paste and we reduce the risks and amount of time we spend on copy and pasting tasks. This results in a direct increase in available time for other tasks, and naturally, we improve our value and workflows.

Thanks for reading! Share your thoughts below.

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