An Ode to the Number Pad

Number Pad. By Tony Cuozzo
Number Pad. By Tony Cuozzo.

Everyone who doesn’t use their number pad is taking orders from someone who does.  Just placing your middle finger on that nub on the number-five key will increase your professional drive.  If you’re right handed, you’ll see that the thumb on your right hand is hovering over the arrow keys, allowing you to easily navigate your territory on a spreadsheet. Your pinkie rests on top of the enter key; moving onward after entering some numbers is effortless.

If you aren’t using the number pad as a course of habit, try a little data entry.  Maybe at home you can key-in a column of questionable expenses that you saw on your bank statement.  Or maybe there’s something from a web site or a PDF that isn’t cutting-and-pasting so easily.  Just find a good excuse to do ten minutes of data entry.

If it’s your first time using the number key, you’ll notice that your fingers will start to remember where things are.  Your speed will pick up, your accuracy will improve.  Even better, you’ll learn your own margin of error, which gives you the ability to control trade-offs between speed and quality.

With your hand sitting on the home row, everything you need is in reach.  At least, every number you need is in reach.  By contrast, it is the use of words that takes extra effort.

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