Here's a useful Basic Training tip for anyone in the bindery or pressroom. At first glance it may sound too simple to be effective but once you've mastered it, I promise, you'll use it forever if you’re working in any kind of bindery, pressroom or print finishing environment.
This is not a replacement for electronic counters. But when you need to cut a couple of hundred sheets of stock for the press, or you need a limited number of samples, or you've got a short-run job that needs to be distributed in certain quantities, this works great.
Counting in Fives Will Save You Time
Here’s how to do it...
Jog a convenient lift of stock.
Fan it out from the jogged edge.
Holding the lift with one hand, separate 5 sheets at a time with the thumb on your other hand. Resist the temptation to count 1, 2 or 3 sheets at a time. You’re going to train your brain to think in fives!
There are two easy ways to count in fives...5-10-15-20, etc. until you get to the desired quantity. Or count 1-2-3-4-5, etc for each batch of 5, and if for example you need 50 sheets, you'll count out 10 batches of 5. If you're counting out 100 sheets, 20 batches. Yes it takes practice, it's even awkward at first, but it's well worth the effort. Use whichever method comes easiest to you.
This was learned from a book bindery veteran nearly 30 years ago, and he had learned it about 40 years before that. So it goes way, way back to the pre-electronic age, when you often had no choice but to count by hand and to do it fast.