Yours truly over at The Sweet Setup:
Most of us have a handful of emoji, emoticons, or special characters that we type on a frequent basis. Whether it be 🤣 when we’re having a laugh with our friends, ⌘ when we’re telling a family member about a nifty keyboard shortcut, or ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when we’re showing our lack of interest. But, typing these often requires switching to a third-party software keyboard or copy/pasting from the web.
I don’t have the emoji keyboard enabled on any of my devices because I don’t like that the keyboard switcher key shrinks the space bar. So instead, I’ve saved my most frequently used emoji and emoticons as text replacements. This gives me quick access to the special characters I use most without mucking up my software keyboard.