It's not automated if that's what you are looking for. Some software (like Tekla) does some pretty crazy automating of details including dimension and tags, but other than that I'm not sure there is a faster way. I can offer some tips though:
- Use detail components wherever possible since they only require one click (or 2 if it's line-based).
- Use keystroke shortcuts for commands like detail lines, place detail component, copy, move, mirror, and dimension.
- Use symbols for things like weld callouts, elevation datums, etc.
Only thing that I will absolutely agree with you on is that text notes SUCK in revit. It's probably the top request at everyone's list to get fixed, but my opinion is that no one at Autodesk cares, otherwise they would have fixed it a long time ago when people started asking them to.
My biggest complaints are that the leader lines are fairly inflexible (I miss the spline ability like in AutoCAD), and I don't like how there are no Snaps to put the leader ends on specific locations.
Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes someone from Autodesk to get onto the Forum and ask US to put these requests in with THEIR development team?