If you’re still using the standard clipboard that comes with your computer, you’re missing out big time! I haven’t used that anemic version of a clipboard in many years and I can’t imagine going back.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to copy multiple items – including rich items like images – and paste them somewhere? How about saving a set of snippets in a file for later? Or having all your copied bits available in your clipboard after you reboot your system?
A clipboard manager lets you do all this and more. Some managers will let you paste your snippets in a series using hotkeys.
I use a clipboard manager all day, every day. For example, when I generate my ezine, I’ll cut and paste the title, article body, and blog post URL from WordPress into Aweber. By being able to copy them all at the same time from WordPress and them paste them all at once in Aweber, it saves me from having to jump back and forth from one browser window to the other.
Other uses include:
- Storing and pasting boiler plate text
- Maintaining standardized answers for common support questions
- Storing common code snippets
- Noting thoughts
- Remembering text
- Filling in on-line forms
- Organizing information
- Storing often used text
- Manage “to do” lists
- Storing messages to refer back to (blogging, e-mail)
- Drafting messages or emails
The manager I use is Clipboard Magic, a lightweight, free clipboard manager and archiving utility for Windows. It can save anything from a single character to pages of text and save as many snippets as you wish. You can edit snippets, too.
I keep a small Clipboard Magic window open on my desktop, over at the side. It lets me see what I’ve saved there and lets me select the item I wish to paste. I can remove duplicates as well as save any set of snippets to a file to pull up and use later. I can even manually add text snippets rather than copying to get them into the list.
Another free Windows clipboard manager is Clippy Portable. Its list of items copied pops up from the system tray in a semi-transparent window.
Clippy Portable is not so lightweight, but has some neat options, like saving images, taking screenshots, and doing a quick Google search of any text in its clipboard. Also, the “portable” part of its name means you can copy it on any USB flash drive or other devices, and take it with you whenever you need to view the clipboard content on the fly.
However, I’ve seen some reports of Clippy being buggy which is why I don’t use it. If you try it, let me know how you like it.
Mac Clipboard Managers
I don’t use a Mac, so I don’t know a lot about the options available, but I did a little research and found these fairly recent roundups of clipboard utilities on a Mac:
If you spend a good amount of time on your computer, it will definitely enhance your productivity to start using a clipboard manager. Once you do, you’ll never go back!