Using phrase express to create bookmark keyboard shortcuts

Hello all,

Phrase express is a macro program (there are others of course) which can have a huge impact on workflow speed (e.g. You can get it to spit out today’s date / time (or e.g. 1 hour, 1 day from now) in either a tag or dynalist format instantly with a single keyboard shortcut).

A very handy use case I found recently was turning dynalist bookmarks into keyboard shortcuts. This requires three steps to be entered into the macro:

  1. Ctrl + o
  2. The unique name of your bookmark e.g. @Inbox
  3. Enter

These three steps can be automated and assigned to a single keyboard shortcut (my first five bookmarks are assigned to alt 1-5) - This works really fast, and is extremely robust - even when I’ve clicked the wrong one and clicked another bookmark mid load it has worked.

Pro tip: As well as your more stable bookmarks like your inbox, if you create a macro which goes to a bookmark called @temp1, @temp2 etc then you can assign different temporary bookmarks to those names for e.g. Projects you’re currently working without having to change the macro



Awesome tip, thanks @Stephen_Dewitt!

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this is a really cool idea I think I’ll implement into my system. Not using any of those hotkeys at the moment

alt 1- > that days notes @day, which will change everyday. so i can write without any obstructions
alt 2-> @week that weeks notes and todo/waiting on / project management. changes weekly
alt 3 → @temp1 Project priority 1
alt 4-> @temp 2 project priorty 2
alt 5-> @temp 3 project priority 3

I’ve revamped it now so its more powerful:

I have put a reminder what the shortcut key is, and what the shortcut is for

  • altl @tasks
  • alt2 @day
  • alt3 @week
  • alt4@temp1
  • alt5@temp2
  • alt6@temp3

What’s great is that my current system, each shortcut page looks completely unique.

  • Tasks is highly colorful with black text (looks like pastel color style),
  • daily log is black with an almost “zen-style” color feel to it, and
  • week has more of a hierarchy categorical style of easy to read notes,
  • temp1 temp2 temp3 on master document is super easy to see what notes I have for what relevant projects

i wrote more notes here discussing my GTD system


I can’t figure out what settings to use on phrase express

I have tried this:

but unfortunately my phrase express just brielfy pops open the search window and closes it

what does your phrase express key look like


EDIT Nevermind I figured it out:

For robustness, I only enabled it EXECUTE ONLY IN SPECIFIC PROGRAMS with rules below:


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Great, thanks for the show and tell Vincent - I also have enter (return) at the end of the macro - on phone only so can’t do screen shot - are you pressing that manually with your setup? I am using the desktop app on Windows also not chrome so possible minor differences

No I didn’t need the (enter/return) keyfor some reason. Everything you see above is exactly as I have it

I literally just press ALT+1, ALT+2, ALT+3, etc and it does the rest of the work

I didn’t press {ENTER}

A little addition: You can of course use the same macro technique to make keyboard shortcuts to move items to often-used places.

I have been doing this, using the same phraseexpress functions and just changing bookmark locations / retaining bookmarknames

Also, this is my new general workflow:

ALT1 @Task → (by the week)
ALT2 @Week → (can access daily logs quickly here)
ALT3 → TempProject1
ALT4 ->TempProject2
ALT5 ->TempProject3
ALT6 ->TempProject4

I have decided to omit shortcuts for each day, since its too time consuming to change that everyday. Now I only change shortcuts, once a week, and then based on project needs (which are very slow changing as well)

So on sunday of everyweek, I read, analyze, and compile my notes through the week for about an hour, and also subsequently write weekly blog posts on things I am working on (not through dynalist, via wordpress and

Throughout the week, nothing on my system is changing, and I am following all the rules I outlined for myself in previous posts

Also, another note. You can press ALT+(LEFT ARROW KEY) and ALT+(RIGHT ARROW KEY) to quickly flip back and forth between pages too

Also, I have generally named some shortcuts like ALT+3 or ALT+4 so I can add some notes on the shortcut, should I access it through the bookmarks panel


I decided to make ALT+3 a location where I make something similar to “Evernotes Tag Pane”, so I can search through what project tags are where, nest different tag structures, what my tagging naming conventions are, etc. This list will grow over time, for now I will be tracking only a handful of tags. Each tag I am tracking is going to be a uniquename that is not super generic, so conventions stick better.

E.G. If I am working on a wordpress site I wouldn’t tag it @wordpress site since there could be many of them down the road, but rather @[specificDomainName] would be the tag I would use


Also, this is where I do searches for specific tags. I no longer will be typing “search for tags” in the searcbar because what happens is is constantly guessing what I am typing in search, thereby severaly lagging up my notetaking systems. As documents get bigger, and more tags are available, it starts bottlenecking searches by a few seconds.

See example below


I started incorporating markdown syntax to inline images for general folders / categories, so its easier to narrow down and find things

ALT1 are tasks
ALT2 are weeks
ALT3 are all my tags(and nested nag) relationships for project tracking / shortcuts list panel / links to other locations in my master doc
ALT4 is a quicklist to all my wikinotes
ALT5 is a breakdown list of all my coursenotes
ALT6 is my SOP (Standard operating procedures) manual I defined for myself, since there are so many rules & ideas I have to remember/follow to ensure my notes are easily referencable in any situation in any format, and all the manual integrations into other platforms (e.g. treat evernote as a journal, treat onenote as a backup, how often I have to do manual backups for things that do not have backup systems (shareX), least # of steps involved to do task tracking, etc), move images to album on phone right away with specific folder naming conventions, task lists are found in XYZ at house, etc, DIY household organizational tricks, workflows for capturing ideas and cataloging them, stickynote locations, LifeProTips from reddit / ones I made myself, etc.

Because if I don’t regularly use my system I might forget what things are best (e.g. go on vacation for a month, come back, forget what rules were best, waste time relearning and retracing steps. E.G. move to a new city), etc.

My SOP manual on “ALT6” shortcut, is essentially why bloggers create personal blogs. But these notes are all private though by default. Its a privatized version of

EDIT I also edited my settings for more readability, I think Calibri + Compact is the easiest to look at , plus you can also fit more stuff then the standard “Cozy / Whitney” default settings. Its commonly said that Calibri, Arial, or Helvetica are the overall best fonts too