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Don’t underestimate typing and transcribing requirements

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The skill, time, effort and general proficiency required to do professional transcription or typing is often underestimated by those who have never done it. If you are planning or are currently busy with a project that will require these, or will stand to benefit from them, remember to include estimations for them in your timelines, whether that is for doing it yourself or for outsourcing it. Depending on your skill level, outsourcing will be faster, and you can then spend more time on your project itself. Some people opt for doing it themselves, often finding out in the process that it’s not as easy or quick as they thought! As you are calculating your timeline, feel free to contact to estimate the time it will need to complete the transcription or typing side of things. With 16 years’ experience with our own business and 10 years prior to that in the corporate world, we’re well equipped to assist you with the planning of your project.

The first dictations I transcribed were recorded onto a microcassette and played back with a dictaphone and footpedal. I did at least type them onto a computer – WordPerfect, I think! In that job I also had to stop every time the phone rang or someone came into reception, to attend to them – and still people would ask why it was taking so long. People who hadn’t tried it themselves. The guy used to record it in his somewhat noisy car going home – and that’s one thing that hasn’t changed – the challenging locations where people record audio!

I was faster than they would have been. I had learned to type, in 1994, on an electric typewriter, the old school way. I can touch type without looking at my fingers to a high level of accuracy. One of my favourite party tricks is to transcribe pages with my eyes closed. I may look asleep, but I’m not really.

In 1994 knowing how to touch type wasn’t such a big deal – everyone who attended a typing class could! Nowadays it’s different with different kinds of input technology – and thumb and finger typing! And typing falling by the wayside for other more glamourous classes. Conversely and unjustly, in those days people with titles of ‘Secretary’ or ‘Girl Friday’ tended to be both dominated by women and looked down on. However, touch typing is still a skill that is important. It teaches you the fundamental basics of typing which sets you up with document formatting, creation, tabbing, spacing etc. It may even touch on how to sit properly, how to hold your hands. It puts you ahead in any job hunt. I highly recommend that anyone starting out as a virtual assistant or in any position that requires typing learns to touch type properly with the correct techniques. It’s a skill that stands you in good stead for life. And while there may still be more women in those fields than men, it’s not unusual to run into our more masculine counterparts. Attitudes HAVE changed, but could certainly change a bit more.

If you’re a business owner, student or professional, who doesn’t have much time, hasn’t learned to touch type, isn’t very comfortable with technology – or simply isn’t interested in typing or transcribing – then sending it out to a virtual assistant or transcriber saves you time and money. You can send it to us here.