Nice and simple tip from Justin, but there’s actually a couple of other ways to do this if you don’t want to go the TextExpander route: the two I use are LaunchBar and Keyboard Maestro.
Dead simple, just activate
Clipboard History in your LaunchBar preferences and check the box
As Plain Text, setup your shortcut to invoke clipboard history and you are done. I am using
Command+\ on my machine — makes for copying and pasting plain text pretty fast.
Of course if you really want to be fast about it, you can use a macro in Keyboard Maestro that strips formatting. Actually this is a default macro that comes with Keyboard Maestro — not something I made. The shortcut I have set for it is
Shift+Command+V and boom, no formatting. In case you deleted the macro, just go to
File > Import to Macro Library in Keyboard Maestro, close the file chooser dialog that pops up and find the macro to re-add it to your library.
I think you’ll be amazed at how handy plain text formatted clipboard items really are.