Instructional Designers Need a Clipboard Manager (and So Do You!)

Sometimes a big part of the job of Instructional Design involves simply copy/pasting information from one format or platform to another. I’m working on a project now that has made me very thankful that I’m using a Clipboard Manager.

What is a Clipboard Manager?

It’s a desktop tool that lets me look at a log of the last few clips I’ve made to my clipboard and paste any of them (not just the most recent one). It’s very handy when you are pasting in repetitive text, or when you have to copy a few bits of information from the same page before pasting.

Depending on how powerful your clipboard manager app of choice is, you can have it remember text clips for weeks, search back through your clips, sync your clipboard between machines, and ignore clips from apps with sensitive data (like a password manager). It’s very helpful to be able to quickly call up a list of the last 10 or 20 things you’ve copied. It’s a superpower you didn’t know you needed until you experience it!

You can even create a list of “snippets”, or evergreen pastes that you use repeatedly that you’d like to have at your fingertips at all times — I have my email address as a snippet so I can quickly paste it with a keystroke.

Which Clipboard Manager Should I Use?

There are a variety of clipboard managers, free and paid, Mac/Win/Lin. I’m currently using the excellent clipboard manager and snippet features within Alfred 3 for Mac, which does everything I need with speed and grace.

I’ve also been dabbling with the free 1Clipboard for Windows/Mac/Linux, which actually allows you to sync your clipboard between machines by connecting your Google Drive storage. This has allowed me to sync my clipboard between my work Mac and a virtual Windows box in the cloud that I’m using for development. Using 1Clipboard makes them behave like one unified machine!

1Clipboard – A universal clipboard managing app that makes it easy to access your clipboard from anywhere on any device.

This guide from Gizmodo has more great options and tips for why and how you should rock a clipboard manager on your next project:

Once you start using one, you’ll never want to give it up….

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