The Productivity Power of a Comma

If you’ve ever had to participate in a telephone conference call on your mobile phone, especially while on the go, you may have experienced the frustration of entering security codes to gain access to the call.

I’m probably on at least a dozen of these calls each week, and typically the calendar invitation has an 800 number to call, along with a notation that after dialing that number the participants need to enter a 6-9 digit access code.

So the invitation often looks something like this:

Call: 866-555-1212 Access Code: 1783256#

Clicking to dial the phone number on my calendar app is simple enough, but then I find myself flipping back and forth between the phone and the calendar app to remember and enter the access code before time expires.

I’ve been unsuccessful in this more than once, delaying the start of meetings, which of course wastes the time of everyone on the call as we’re waiting to get started.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this problem.

Here’s a tip I got from Greg Matthews in a meeting last week that can solve it. His invitation followed this format:

Mobile 1-click dial-in (USA): 8665551212,1783256#

The comma between the phone number and the access code is the key. With one click on a mobile phone, it enables all of the non-host participants to join the call without having to fumble for the access code.

Can we all adopt this convention, please?

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of seven, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

1 thought on “The Productivity Power of a Comma”

  1. Actually, on most phones a semi-colon would be better as it inserts a pause that prompts the user to enter the data automatically when the timing is right. Commas only pause for 3 seconds…

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