That feeling you get when you just sent a report full of typos to your boss after hitting the “send” button is one of the worse sinking feelings ever. It’s happened to the best of us. You should take relief in knowing even the most dazzling writers make mistakes – and they make them often! The only difference is they have an army of proof readers, and you, well you’re an army of one.
There is two school of thought to solving this problem. The first is to rebirth your old English class teachings and take the proper steps to assuring your reports are error free. Option number two, use technology to help you to become the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer you were always meant to be.
The rebirth of your English class teachings
For many of use English 101 was a very long time ago. With the bad practice of texting, tweeting and FB posting we’ve trained ourselves to become bad writers. The consequence of these very bad habit forming methods of communication is that we’ve transitioned it into our professional writing.
A blog post I read on officeninjas titled; Help! I Suck at Proofreading My Own Work! provides some interesting steps you can try to elevate your error free written communication. They discuss five things you should put into practice before clicking the send button.
These are the 5 steps you can exercise for better communication:
1. Identify Repeat Offenders
2. Know Your Zone
3. Read Out Loud
4. Print it Out
5. Air it Out
Here is a link to the blog post “Help! I Suck at Proofreading My Own Work!”
Type Clear and Effective Writing, all the time!
It’s important to write clearly and with few mistakes. A clearly written document is a direct reflection of your professionalism. Today, there is technology that could help you write clearly, effectively and mistake free.
Grammarly is a great tool for those of us who need an on-demand proof reader. Grammarly is like having two pairs of eyes on everything you write. It’s free to try and will only cost you $29 per month for the full version. The cost is minimal compared to sending an embarrassing email or report.
Grammarly is available natively on Microsoft office for both Windows and Mac. It is also available as a plugin for Chrome browser and most recently Firefox. When you install it on your browser of choice it will automatically check your spelling and correct your grammar. Helping you improve the readability of your Facebook post.
The native installation for MS Office, will work on the entire office suite including Outlook. So those days of sending poorly structure sentences and misspelled words that got past the native spell checker are over. In my experience, Grammarly is much more effective at identifying misspelled words faster than the built-in spell checker.
Nothing beats a human proof reader. Chances are many of us work in silo environments and don’t have the luxury of another person who is able to take the time to look over our work. For those of us in this situation, Grammarly is a great alternative.