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Keyboard killed the dictation star (but why?)

How would you feel if I had a magic wand that could literally save hours in your week?

Would you let me wave it?

More importantly, what would you do with the time you got back? 

If this sounds like an empty promise, it’s not, and I want to share with you one way of cutting the time you take to do some of the simplest of things by a factor of five.

In other words a 20% saving of time. Here’s the trick … 

(But of course, not without a super quick story first).

After watching the series ‘Mad Men’ (gender equality issues aside), there’s one thing they certainly managed to get right back then.

Have you noticed when it came to typing up letters, memos, they didn’t ask people who have never been taught to touch type to do it?

Fact Bombs!

  • The average person can talk at about 200 words per minute.
  • The average person can type at about 40 words per minute.

When you’re creating file notes, blogs, messages to the team, and using email to get that information out, that means you’re usually operating at 20% of the potential speed you could be.  

On top of that, if you’re using email to communicate internally (ie. with your team), well, you’ve got some pretty mixed channels there.

I use audio for everything from

  • messaging clients (especially when it’s an extended answer),
  • blogging
  • creating proposals
  • creating processes
  • designing lead magnets
  • creating email templates
  • and a lot more

but I want to focus on FILE NOTES because this is an area where backlog lives.

More often than not I’ll find myself in the first month of work suggesting to people one the program to embrace a tool like REV, Temi or Otter.ai to record simple notes about meetings, conversations, anything that come out of client contact, ready to transcribe and ready to put into your CRM.

There are two important things here that make this work:

RULE 1: This has to happen immediately after the meeting.

If you fall into the habit of delaying file notes for later, it will take you twice as long and the quality of information will be 50% less. Our memories are usually not as reliable as we think they are. You risk losing lots of juicy contextual information, which is where the real value lives.

RULE 2: You need a Framework.

I built two templates for my program members, then got them made into credit card sized prompters for their pockets.

The idea is that at any point when you need to create a file note, you whip out your prompter and follow the bouncing ball.

For example –

  1. Note the facts
  2. Context of the meeting
  3. Client circumstances
  4. Client objectives
  5. Client Knowledge

…and so on

The whole point is that when you have these in your pocket two things happen:

  1. You know what to say, the points to hit, the information to impart, and you know your file note is complete and compliant.
  2. The person listening knows the framework. Those of you who have watched ‘The Imitation Game’ will know the importance of having the cypher at both ends.

Frameworks give you and your team a language to communicate. This means common understanding, and your team pulling that file note out, actioning the actions and away we go.

Combine this with a smartphone and cloud storage and you have a serious piece of kit for making sure you never miss the information.

Your team can literally be jumping on this and actioning it before you’ve even finished.

The Take-Home…

The keyboard, whilst pretty and tactile, is not really helping you.

It’s created inefficiency.

If you are thinking, “I can’t do that. Writing is part of my process”, trust me when I (respectfully) say you need to challenge that. If I had a dollar every time I converted someone who’d said that, I’d have $48.

After jumping on a call, 15 minutes later (after the “I can’t” is a distant memory), we’re underway. Two weeks later they’re telling me they’re so far ahead it feels like cheating.

I hope you’ve found this useful. If you would like a copy of an older template, just email me and I’ll do my best to get them to you as soon as possible.

If you like this vlog, please feel free to share it. I’m always happy to connect with new people that we can help.

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