A new way to save time with text message templates on Android

Stop repeating yourself for no reason — and start taking back valuable time in your day.

Text Message Templates Android
Maialisa / JR Raphael

If you know anything about me, you know that I'm all about saving time and making tech more efficient. And one thing that can always use a potent productivity booster-shot is the act of inputting text from our mobile devices.

Déjà vu? Don't worry: You aren't losing your mind. (Well, OK, you might be. But not on account of this, at least.) We've indeed talked about the time wasted with smartphone text input before — not that long ago, in fact, when we were getting into the subject of macros and advanced text substitution. As of this week, though, there's an even easier way to create and use templates for common phone-based responses, and it's built right into one of my favorite messaging apps.

The app is called Pulse, and it's one of the best texting tools available on Android today. I like it because it makes mobile messaging device-agnostic and universally accessible — the way it should be by default. With Pulse, you can view and access your messages from practically any device imaginable, including multiple Android phones and tablets as well as desktop computers. Your messages are always synced and available anywhere you sign in, and it's as easy to see or send a text from your laptop as it is from your phone.

But that's all old news. The reason I'm bringing this up today is because of that new texting template feature — something that popped up in Pulse's beta channel this week and made the productivity-seeking part of my brain light up with delight.

Here's how it works: When you're viewing a message thread within Pulse, you tap the attachment icon to the left of the text field. From there, you select the new template option that appears alongside the standard choices for things like photos, GIFs, and audio files. (It's that "Tt" icon at the far-right of the attachment menu bar.)

Text Message Templates Android (1) JR

That pulls up Pulse's new template menu, which lets you create any number of one-touch templates for common texting responses. You can make 'em as long or short, as simple or elaborate as you want. And once you have your list of templates made, using one is as easy as opening that same section and tapping the response you want to insert.

Text Message Templates Android (2) JR

Anytime you want to add a new template into the list, you just tap that circular plus icon and have at it.

Text Message Templates Android (3) JR

The keyboard-based text substitution and system-wide text expansion tools we talked about before still have their place — especially for the power users among us — but this setup's simplicity and ease-of-use make it an excellent alternative or addition for anyone looking to enhance efficiency. After all, why waste time writing the same stuff over and over when a feature like this can do the dirty work for you?

Before you get ahead of yourself, though, remember: The new templates feature is only available in Pulse's beta channel as of now. Once you have the app installed, you can switch to beta mode by visiting this page. Or you can just wait a few days until the feature makes its way to the main stable channel.

Either way, if you find yourself typing the same sentiments too often in text messages (and let's be honest — who doesn't?!), this new feature is something worth trying. And as a bonus, it's part of an app you should arguably already be using for an optimal texting experience.

And that, my friends, is what we call a win-win, productivity-style.

(The Pulse app itself is completely free to use on Android, though if you want to take advantage of its built-in backup and sync system — which is also what lets you access Pulse from other platforms and devices — you'll have to pay either a buck a month or $11 for a lifetime license. You remember our New Year's resolution, right?)

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