Why type your notes manually when there are quicker ways?
PIM also has some incredibly intelligent features which will cut down on manual typing during an inspection. Using any or all of these features will not only save time and typing, but will also help to deliver consistent and detailed reports to your customers.
- Shorthand Words & Phrases
- Voice Dictation to Text (Using Siri)
- Checklist Text
- Pre-Populated Notes
Or watch the video through on our Youtube Channel - Faster Inspections with Shorthand Words in PIM
Shorthand Words & Phrases
That's right! PIM comes with a built-in library or you can build your own (Settings > PIM Admin > Shorthand Words)
But let us show you how it works.
Shorthand Phrases are linked to all notes sections of an inspection. and you can use them in two ways.
- Look them up from a list
- Type the abbreviation if you know it.
Use the List
Tap on the circled cross icon (1) on the right side to see the list of options. You can sort them (2) alphabetically by the Word/Phrase or by their abbreviations. If you have assigned phrases to specific Inspection Areas then tap Filter By Relevance (3) to see the ones which apply to the area you are working in.
Once you see the phrase you want to use, just tap and it will appear in your Notes area without you having to type anything!
Adding an Abbreviation/Phrase
If the phrase or shortcut you want to use does not exist, you can easily add one by typing your phrase, highlight it and tap the Add to Shortcut symbol on the keyboard toolbar (second icon from the left). If you wish to add the whole phrase there is no need to highlight the text you can just tap on the Shorthand Word symbol to add your phrase and assign it an abbreviation.
Enter the Abbreviation you wish to use and select if you want to assign it to This Area Only or All Areas
Using the Abbreviation
If you already know it, type the Shorthand Word abbreviation, i.e. "wm" (1) then the space bar. The word or phrase will appear (2) in the black ribbon above the text. Simply tap this phrase to add to your notes.
Other Shortcut Tools
You must first tap into the notes section to bring up the keyboard and these other keyboard shortcuts. Each of these are explained below:
(1) Displays the list of Shortcut words and phrases within the keyboard.
(2) Add a phrase to the Shorthand words and phrases list.
(3) Takes a photo.
(4) Drops in a location Lat and Longitude. Please note that this feature is exclusive to PIM Premium accounts.
(5) Lists all your Sub Inspection Areas within the Inspection Area you are in. Tapping one of these will quickly insert the same text in the notes section. Even if you don't tap one, they are still great as a visual reminder to scan key elements of the room during a Routine Inspection.
Voice Dictation to Text (Using Siri)
Why type when you can make Siri do all the hard work?
On iPhone 6SE or later, and iPads running iOS13+, you can use voice dictation to text without being connected to the Internet. Even use your AirPods to assist you in your voice dictation. Earlier models of iPhone and iPad require an Internet connection. Refer to our guide for how to Enable Voice Dictation.
This is a great option when you have lots of descriptive notes to capture.
Siri can be accessed by tapping the microphone icon to the left of the spacebar on your keyboard. (You must first tap into the notes section to bring up the keyboard).
Once the dictation screen appears, speak clearly, remembering to include the words"full stop" or "comma" to add punctuation. Once you have finished speaking, tap Done. If Siri did not type it correctly the first time, don't worry; just edit the part she got wrong with the keyboard. Siri will soon recognise your voice and the corrections you make resulting in better accuracy in the future.
You probably find yourself typing the same routine inspection notes from one property to the next. It all gets a bit frustrating and repetitive. Pre-Populated Notes might be a great solution as they allow you to assign default text to specific Inspection Areas (or Sub Inspection Areas) for all new inspections. This will also apply to first time inspections created through a data import.
We like to work on the 80/20 rule. If you type the same inspection area notes in 80% of your inspections, then Pre-populated notes may work for you.
You can always edit the text within the inspection if things are not ok, but at least for the other 80%, you don’t have to type a thing.
You can create your own Pre-Populated Notes in Settings > PIM Admin > Inspection Areas. Decide which Inspection Type your notes will apply to;
- Routine Inspections - Populates your Pre-Populated Notes in Inspection Areas or Sub Inspection Areas.
- Condition Reports - Populates your Pre-Populated Notes in Sub Inspection Areas.
- Cleaning/ Maintenance Reports - Create your Pre-Populated Additional Notes in Inspection Areas and or Sub Inspection Areas.
Depending on the type of report you decided to use default text for, you will now need to make sure PIM knows when to use them by using the Disable Pre-Populated Notes Toggles in Settings> PIM Admin. Use these images as a guide;
For Routine Inspection Pre-Populated Notes Only
For Condition Report Pre-Populated Notes Only
As you can see, we have lots of tips to help improve the inspection experience. Using a combination of these features can speed up the time taken to complete your notes without affecting the quality of your finished report. If you have any questions about these features, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org