Have you ever received a written document in handwriting and had no idea what the person had written? This is a common problem for a lot of people who aren’t composing all of their documents by computer. Although you may be set up to type and print almost everything, every now and then you’ll fill out an estimate or similar form in your own writing. Can the client read it? Here’s how you can make sure they do.
Choose the Right Implement
There is a right pen for anyone. If you haven’t found it yet, it’s time to keep looking. Some people prefer pens with ink that dry virtually on contact. If you’re finding that your handwriting smears easily, you may need to take this route. Other people feel that cheap pens quit on them too easily or force them to press much harder than they would otherwise. In this case, a pen with free-flowing ink may help you to relax your grip and write with greater ease. Invest $10 or $20 in a handful of choices, and test them out for more than just a scribble. This process will help you narrow it down to a few options.
Take Your Time
If you look at someone’s handwriting, you can usually tell when they are taking their time and when they’re in a hurry. Someone who is writing very quickly makes more mistakes and may press too hard. Good handwriting takes practice, but it also takes focus. If you are trying to fill out a detailed page in only five or 10 minutes, it’s much more likely to come out looking like chicken scratch. Instead, give yourself the time to focus on the words and numbers that you’re writing, especially on the parts that require absolute clarity. Think about it as you would signing a deed or writing a check. Money may be involved here, so it’s worth the wait.
Relax Your Grip
Many people who struggle with their handwriting realize that they are holding onto the pen for dear life. Like any other tool you use for your contracting business, a pen is a device that you must handle correctly. If you’re gripping it tight enough to snap it in two, your hand will wear out and you’ll be more likely to punch through the paper. Instead, try a few different ways to grip the pen and not just the one that your primary school teachers told you to use. Find one that feels comfortable and natural to you. You’ll be able to keep going on longer forms this way.
Write on a Stable Platform
Practically everyone has had an experience of trying to write down some important information on a piece of paper against a car‘s windshield. This is not the ideal surface on which to write, which is why it’s not surprising that you may find information written in this way hard to read. You need a stable platform that isn’t likely to shift unexpectedly. Of course, writing at a desk is ideal, but not every contractor has this option. If you’re writing on the jobsite, consider asking to sit down at a desk or table to fill out the relevant information. If you’re writing in your car, look for portable writing desks that don’t require you to lay them across the steering wheel.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The best way you can improve your handwriting in a way that will stick is to build a habit. In order to build a habit that improves upon your previous handwriting, you’ll need to practice. Once you reach a point where your handwriting is consistent, clear and easy to read, continue working at that pace. Over time, you may be able to build up a little more speed. Since clarity is the goal, keep in mind that rushing your practice is more likely to re-introduce the bad habits you worked so hard to get rid of.
Having good professional communication can help you run a successful contracting business. So does a thorough grounding in the knowledge you need to pass your contractor licensing exam. To find out more about your options, contact CSLS today!