Tuesday, August 30, 2016

"Who Knew That Typing Would Be This Important?"

If we go back in time a decade or two, not that many of us probably considered that we would ever need to be that good at typing. We might have to type an occasional note or label, but we largely wrote longhand, dictated, spoke, or had people that we employed or services that we used to type documents for us. 

Thinking back to high school, if a typing class was offered as an elective there always seemed to be something better to take. Why would we need to know how to type except for something that we wanted to prepare ourselves because of the sensitive nature of it?

But, this is now. Typing is such a part of our everyday lives - regardless of whether we are working with a client, communicating with someone from our office, or talking with a friend or relative.

When we are sitting in someone's living room or at their kitchen table with them, we are asking questions and taking notes (typically with a pencil or pen) before we go back to our office and prepare a proposal or scope of services to present to them - in a typed format.

It's not just proposals that we type. We conduct assessments and evaluations - often with the aid of a checklist that we have prepared in advance (that we typed to get it into that format) and then we present a narrative of our findings by typing them for our clients and strategic partners.

When we meet people that we determine might be useful for our business - including potential clients or strategic partners, we either exchange business cards with them or jot down their contact information so that we can reach out to them again in the future. Then we take those cards or notes and type that information into our database - unless we have someone that does it for us. Many of us actually do this for ourselves, however.

There are so many ways that we need and want to communicate with people that involve using the computer to prepare our message. Thank you notes, confirmation memos, letters or understanding, proposals, agreements, invoices, and more are what we prepare as part of our business. It's really hard to imagine how we might compete in the business world without having the ability to type - if we had to prepare everything by actually writing it on paper with a pen.

It's not just our computers - both desktop and laptop or notebook (both terms are used to refer to a portable computer) - but tablets and smartphones also. Think of the number of times throughout the workweek when we send emails or text someone - all by using a keypad of some sort, and all by typing.

Some of us have websites that we update and maintain, all by typing relevant updates and changes. Then, there is social media. To post anything on any site requires that it be typed. There is no other way to enter it. Even uploading a photo into a text, email, or social site requires some amount of typing.

Knowing how to type - regardless of how well or how fast we do it and whether we touch type, hunt and peck, or use just one or two fingers or thumbs - is how we communicate today in a very large sense. Everyone types. No longer is it considered anything special to be able to type.

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Steve HoffackerCAPS, MCSP, MIRM, is a licensed Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist instructor and best-selling author of universal design books. To learn about this and other programs for aging-in-place or universal design, visit stevehoffacker.com or call 561-685-5555.