Productivity Tip: Data Entry Dos and Don’ts

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How to Enter Data the Right WayData entry sometimes gets a bad rap for being tiresome, tedious and oftentimes boring work.

Chances are you probably enter data on a regular basis and don’t even realize it!

Here’s a few examples:

  • Adding in a new client’s contact information to your address book
  • Tracking your daily calories with a smart phone app
  • Entering in data from a survey or study

There’s no doubt that data entry is a large part of our lives.

In this post, I offer a few helpful tips to help make your data entry productive, and hopefully a little less painful.

Let’s begin!

 

Do…

Break up data entry sessions.

Instead of slogging through many hours’ worth of data entry, do little bit at a time. You could enter in a little bit each day, say 15 minutes per day, or schedule a single data entry session each week. With regular and consistent sessions, you’ll soon catch up with your stack of data.

Have sufficient amounts of data to enter.

Having to stop what you are doing to search or look for more data to entry can both and inefficient and frustrating. Make the most of your data entry sessions by having enough data to enter at each session. Collect any papers, files or notes you may have before you begin.

Regularly save entered data.

There’s nothing worse than entering a large set of data and losing it because you forgot to save the information. While it is very handy to have a program auto-save information, you should also take it upon yourself to learn how to save data manually to protect your data.

Enlist help.

Sometimes it is more productive to ask for a little bit of help instead of doing something yourself. If you absolutely cannot stand data entry, consider enlisting the help of someone to do the task to save yourself time and headaches.

 

Don’t…

Wait until the last-minute to enter data.

A database is only as good as the data that is entered. There’s nothing worse than having to run a report and find out the data isn’t there for you to analyze! If you know you have to run reports on a regular basis, make it a point to enter data well in advance of your report running so you’ll have complete data to analyze.

Enter data when you are tired.

Human error is a fact of life, but you can reduce the chance of entering incorrect or incomplete data by not working when you are tired. If you’re feeling a bit dazed and are more and more mistakes, take a break and come back to your work later when you are more awake and/or refreshed.

Ignore duplicate information.

Duplicate information in a database can be a red flag; you might have incorrect or out-of-date data which may skew your final results. Dealing with duplicates in a timely fashion can save you from printing out duplicate mailing labels to saving your time dealing with people or issues that have already been addressed.

Forget to upgrade database software.

Database programs change regularly, so make you are working with most up-to-date version. Using a severely out-of-date database might spell trouble for you when you try upgrade or import data. Regularly upgrade software and applications on both desktop and/or mobile apps.

Now to you…what types of data do you record on a daily basis? What do you find is the most productive way to work? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.