How to: save time typing on your phone

I don’t know about you but I type on my keyboard so much faster than I can text on my phone. So let’s look at three tips to avoid that slow and clumsy thumb typing.

1. Preset quick responses on your phone

Many of the things you need to text from your phone are perfunctory or repetitive. ‘I’m running late, start without me’ or ‘I got your voicemail and will respond by the end of the day’.

So instead of typing these from scratch each time, set up some of the most common as pro forma responses. The instructions to do this will vary depending on your phone but a quick google should allow you to find ‘quick responses’ in the messaging part of your phone manual.

Also worth looking up is ‘schedule responses’ as this allows you to schedule your text response / email response to arrive at a more reasonable hour. Great if you are catching up on messages late and don’t want to have to remember to send a reply in the morning.

2. Speak your text / Requests

Phones have got so much better at speech recognition. If you use an assistant app then you will be used to the benefits of this.

If speaking to your phone in not something you are used to then a good place to start is to speak your google search requests. We often use our phones to look up information on the go and so not having to type this up is great. Use the google app and hit the microphone button.

Using the microphone will also be an option in other apps. Start with the apps you use for texting, emailing and Word documents. These will be where you type most often so find out how to access the microphone option. Anytime your phone brings up a keyboard for typing, there should be a microphone option to speak instead. If one app doesn’t have this, you can create the text somewhere which does and then copy and paste the text over.

Copying and pasting is one of those things I didn’t do for ages on my phone but now it is as intuitive as copy and paste on a PC. Again consult google for the directions for ‘copy and paste mobile’ applicable to your phone. This should help if you have an Android.

3. Connect your phone to your pc

Microsoft’s app Your Phone companion allows you to connect your Android phone and Microsoft 10 PC (sorry iPhone users, Apple doesn’t allow this sort of connection). Then you can type your text message from your computer instead of on your phone. It works whenever your phone is on the same wifi as your PC so it is perfect whenever you are working at home/the office.

This app allows you to access and use some of the apps from your phone from your computer. It is not syncing the two devices, it is just sharing some functionality whilst the two devices are proximate. You can send and receive text messages, look at your last couple of dozen photos, and receive notifications.

I have been using this app for most of this year and I really appreciate the ability to type my text messages on my PC instead of using my phone. I feel it is so much quicker. Another benefit of seeing a project related text msg conversation from your PC is that you can screen shot it and file in your project folder.

One word of warning with this companion app, many people do use it seamlessly but some do have glitches. This could be from particular pairings of PC and mobile perhaps. Sometimes a text will show as having been sent from your PC but it actually has not been sent. So if you give Your Phone companion a go, just monitor it to check that it is operating smoothly for you. You don’t want to think an important text has gone out but actually it hasn’t.

So in conclusion, our technology these days gives us flexibility about how we input information to our devices. So don’t get stuck in old patterns which aren’t efficient for you. Make a conscious decision on how to best interface with your devices. Commit to trying one of the new options above for a day or a week and just give it a go. Importantly then try it again the following week. New habits take time to form but are worth it. Say no to tedious thumb typing.

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