A high school class that has earned me a fortune

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I took a typing class in high school. I think we learned on Remingtons, ancient mechanical monsters that made typing a labor-intensive chore. The keys would get stuck, corrections were slow and frustrating, and typing line after line of “f-f-f-space, j-j-j-space” barked out by our instructor made the experience anything but enjoyable. But I learned to type.

Still, in my practice, I used a dictation machine and had a secretary do the typing. Even on a fast and forgiving IBM Selectric, typing was frustrating and it was better to let someone else do it.

Not anymore.

Today, with the computer I am able to type quickly and errors are no bother at all. I can get the words down “on paper” as soon as I think them. There’s no need to have someone else do the typing. In the time it would take to dictate, I can have it done myself.

I think that’s true of many attorneys today. But not all. Many attorneys never learned how to type, or if they did, they don’t do it well. If that’s you, I encourage you to do something about it. Take a typing class. There are many available online. Increase your speed and accuracy.

For the record, we’re talking about “touch typing” here–typing without looking at the keyboard. The two-finger jab, no matter how fast you are, doesn’t cut it.

The other day, I wrote about the value of practice for improving our skills. Typing is a skill with a huge return on time invested. The thought of spending 40 hours practicing typing may seem ridiculous when you bill $400 an hour, but it’s not ridiculous at all if it allows you to save 30 minutes a day for the rest of your career. You’ll be in the black in less than 90 days.

And, what if improving your typing skills allows you to lower your secretarial costs?

The idea is to “slow down so you can speed up.” Invest time to learn, practice, and improve. There is a cost, but there is a greater return.

I bought a new laptop last week and it arrived a few minutes ago. It’s my first experience with Windows 8 which I hear is not very intuitive. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll go online and learn what I need to know. I’ll take a class if I have to. Or. . . I might just trade that sucker in on a Mac.

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