Pheil: Stop hunting and pecking on your mobile phone’s keyboard |

Pheil: Stop hunting and pecking on your mobile phone’s keyboard

Erin Pheil
Time for Cake

There I was, in the middle of a meeting with a client in Denver. Boardroom, big chairs, big windows looking out at the mountains, big white board, and a gorgeous wood conference table.

Apparently, I had just said something very important. Extremely important.

The man I was talking with at the time looked up from his notepad, put down his pen, and said, "Whoa, it's absolutely critical I remember what you just said there at the meeting with Grant next week. Hold on just a second, let me send a quick email to myself."

I replied, "Sure, no problem."

I then proceeded to watch my client oh-so-very-very-very-slowly peck away at the mini keyboard on his phone. I sat and I watched him hit the keyboard's letters. one. at. a. time. with. his. index. finger … occasionally muttering "shoot" to himself and sloooowly tapping the delete key and then starting a sentence over.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think I may have had two or three birthdays as I waited and watched him intently type out this email to himself.

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Finally, I decided to say something.

"Roger, would you by chance be interested in learning about a much, much faster way to do what you're doing right now? If you're not, that's absolutely okay, I completely understand. Just thought I'd ask you, since you've shared with me in the past how important it is to you to be smart and efficient with your time."

Roger answered, "Yes, please! I hate typing on this thing with my fat fingers!"

He pushed his phone across the table toward me. I flipped it upside down (to me) so he could continue to see the screen just as he was looking at it before.

"See this microphone right here, down by the space bar, right here?" I asked.

"Yep," he replied.

"Well, watch this."

I tapped the key with the microphone icon and directed my next words toward the phone, "This … is … absolutely … amazing … I … am … composing … an … email … without … having … to … type … a … single … word … period."

A moment later, the sentence I'd spoke appeared on the phone's screen, complete with a period at the end.

I looked up and saw my client's jaw drop. "You're kidding me. Let me try that."

He grabbed the phone back and started testing the functionality I'd shown him that had been sitting there unused for so long. After a couple of successes, Roger suddenly became a very happy, happy man. And that was before we even got down to business and began talking about how we were going to solve his company's website challenges — which is, of course, what I actually do for a living.

The moral of the story today, folks, is that whether your have an Apple or Android phone, you should consider investing a couple minutes into learning how to use your phone's voice dictation functionality if you don't already use it.

Using your phone's built-in dictation functionality is incredibly easy (as in, push a button and start talking) and I personally guarantee that if you regularly send emails and texts from your phone, the functionality will save you a great deal of time (as well as hunting + pecking).

For more information and step-by-step instructions on how to jump into this right away, take a look at this great introduction and walkthrough offered here:

Erin Pheil is the owner of TimeForCake Creative Media—the Web Design & Strategy company voted #1 in Best of Summit. Visit her company's website at or email Erin at

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