If you’re writing a lot of pinyin on the computer, and you’re not good with the numbers, you may want to try using something I call “diǎndiào”点调 (dot tone). It uses periods in lieu of tone numbers, like this:
- dian…diao…. = diǎn diào
As opposed to:
- dian3 diao4
Sometimes, in a chat, or an email it’s just quicker to type diandiao pinyin especially for a single word. Or, if you’re keeping a master list of your own personal vocabulary on the paper, diandiao is usually faster to type than the numbers.
Of course, on paper, there is no point in writing diandiao because it’s easy to just add those tone marks.