Data entry can be a tedious and painstaking task. It also needs to get done to keep an accurate record of your inventory, customers, or employees. There are many ways you can save time on data entry tasks.
This blog post will discuss methods that you can use with success over the years in data entry. You will find them both practical and easy to implement for any business! Check on the list below.
Use a Spreadsheet to Track Your Data
It is recommended to use a spreadsheet for data entry tasks. This way, you can easily track your inventoryand know if any items need to be stocked or ordered. If something needs reordering, you will have that information right at the top of your list!
You should also make sure to keep all sales receipts organized so that you can easily find the information needed for invoices. It is also important to learn how to manage your spreadsheets, especially if dealing with similar spreadsheets.
If your business is in a brick-and-mortar location, investing in an inventory management system such as Point of Sale software or an Enterprise Resource Planning System would be wise. This will help streamline and automate many data entry tasks related to stocking supplies and ordering new products.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology has made data entry more efficient than ever. Many apps can make your life much easier when conducting research and entering information into the company database. Besides this, you can use preloaded thumb drives or flash drives to transport data from one computer to another. This process ensures you can transfer the data without the risk of malware or spyware.
A common time-saver when it comes to data entry is the use of dictation software. You can dictate information and have it transcribed for you in a matter of seconds! This will allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard while also saving time spent typing out the information yourself.
Create Templates for Repetitive Tasks
If you have repetitive tasks that you must complete regularly, it is recommended to create templates. This will allow you to save time by copying and pasting the information into your document or spreadsheet instead of typing out each entry individually.
For example, if you are sending out invoices for products sold at your business, it would be wise to set up a different template from the one used for customer orders. You can also create templates so that when data entry tasks need updating, you will only have to change specific areas of the document or spreadsheet instead of rewriting all of it.
Additionally, if you have certain information that is the same for each entry, such as phone numbers or email addresses, this can be updated in one place and then copied and pasted into your document to save time! The use of templates will streamline data entry tasks by enabling quick edits without laborious retyping.
When data entry tasks are repetitive, there is a possibility you may be using the same words over and over again. This can take up valuable time that you could otherwise spend on other things. Enter shortcuts!
For example, if you have to type out your address repeatedly for each customer order, try creating an abbreviation that will allow you to type less. You can also set up shortcuts for common words, such as “ct” to represent the word “customer.”
Similarly, if you use numbers in a spreadsheet and have to type out each one separately or use formulas that involve complicated mathematics that take time to complete, try creating shortcuts with simple math problems. For example: “=a*b” would be the same as “=(A-B)/A.”
Automate Where Possible
Data entry tasks can be a time-consuming and tedious process. Use automation as often as possible to save your sanity! If you are inputting customer orders, use a template containing the most common information to avoid having to type it out each time. It would be best to look into having this data automatically uploaded from your Point of Sale system or ERP System into your customer database.
Similarly, if you have to enter data about orders from a warehouse into the system that handles inventory and distribution for products, automate this process with an app, so you don’t have to input each order manually! When setting up any automation programs such as these, it is best to consult professionals in the IT field to ensure everything is set up correctly.
Create Macros for Repetitive Tasks or Steps in the Process
Macros are another way to automate data entry tasks and other time-consuming processes. A macro is a program or series of commands that you can repeatedly use without the need for any input from a user!
For example, if you have to perform a tedious task such as entering information into several different spreadsheets with repetitive headings, you could create a macro to do this for you.
Additionally, macros can be used as shortcuts that replace complicated formulas with one simple command! For example: “=a*b” would equal the sum of multiplication between A and B instead of having to input it all on your own. However, it would be best to consider how often you will use a macro before deciding to make it.
Create a Conducive Environment for Data Entry
When data entry tasks are completed, many people often find themselves struggling with boredom or fatigue. To avoid this, try finding an area for your desk that is conducive to work. Some things you may want in the area include a comfortable chair and/or desktop surface (ideal height), plenty of lightning, ergonomic seating if possible, and a clean desk surface.
Additionally, make sure you are focusing on the task at hand by blocking out any distractions (turn off your phone!) or getting up for brief stretches every so often to rest your eyes. Having other tasks in progress will also help prevent boredom! This is especially true of data entry when there may be breaks between entries.
Data entry is a necessary evil for many occupations, and it’s no exception when you’re running your own small business. It can be time-consuming to enter all of the information by hand, but there are ways to save yourself some time on this task. You might want to consider using spreadsheets or other technology tools that will help automate data input; templates (or macros) that allow you to use shortcuts during repetitive tasks; and creating an environment conducive for data input.