We all type these days, don’t we? Phones, tablets, PC, and laptops it is all classed as typing as you are using a keyboard. As a virtual assistant it is a key skill and the foundation to our business.
I recently realised that it was 40 years ago when I first learnt how to type at secondary school back when I was 14, you can do the math! I learnt on a huge manual typewriter, they were perched on a wooden desk in rows in the classroom and we would bang away to get the speed. The qualifications we got then were City & Guilds and then later in college took RSA qualifications, and stage 2 meant you were certified at 45wpm, does not seem a lot now, but back then it was pretty good!
My dad went and bought me a typewriter so that I could practise at home and ultimately help with bits for his business! Not stupid my dad.
I remember the mess I got in when the ribbon had to be changed and putting it in the right way – one half was black you see and the other red. Now look at all the colours we can type in besides all the other features we can use to jazz up a document.
We also had to contend with carbon paper if you needed to keep a copy of what you were typing, e.g. Invoices. Then when they brought tippex in, waiting for it to dry when you had to cover a mistake before you could type over it.
Oh, the memories! The keys jamming if you went too fast, the huge return handle to get to the next line. Compared to then typing today is such a doddle. It is also one of my favourite things to do – especially audio transcription sticking your headphones and tuning out from the world while your fingers dance over the keyboard to put speech to paper.
Outsourcing this work to a virtual assistant would be quite valuable to someone who cannot type that quick or has difficulty with spelling. I must admit that I have Grammarly downloaded to my laptop to help with just that – spelling and punctuation.
Another advantage we have today, with manual typewriters, the paper that is typed has a limited life span and is kept for as long as that piece of paper is needed, not the unlimited span of cloud storage that is used today.
Here are a few fun facts about typing:
QWERTY keyboard, did you know that is what we use? But it is not the most efficient. Invented by Christopher Scholes in 1872 it is used universally, but the most efficient keyboard is the Dvorak being 12-20 times more efficient. The qwerty keyboard was designed in this way to slow down the hammers in a manual keyboard so that they would not jam
SHOUTING this is what it is called when you type in capitals!
STEWARDESSES is the longest word you can type on the qwerty keyboard with your left hand.
POLYPHONY is the longest word you can type on the qwerty keyboard with your right hand
TYPEWRITER is the longest word you can type from one row
Did you know that the old manual typewriters were considered a workout as they required more effort and strength?
SPACEBAR did you know that this key is the most used and the longest key and it is hit 600,000 times at the same time across the world
Did you know that your keyboard could carry more germs than a toilet seat?
One space or two? I was taught that at the end of a sentence and before you started the next that you put in two spaces, I think this is still debateable today as social media dictates that there should be just the one as some medias, such as Twitter will count this in the character limit so it is widely accepted to have just one.
Did you know that the first email that was sent just contained one word? Qwerty
Last fun fact – did you know that the bumps on the f and j keys on modern keyboards are for guidance for touch typists as your index fingers rest on these keys?
How fast can you go? There are lots of sites on the www so you can test your speed, as a touch typist they are a dream, so testing myself recently the fastest I got to was 71 wpm which is considered “fast” alas I can’t quite hit the pro mark ☹