Productivity Hack: Online Dictation to free up your mind
I find it hard to start blog posts sometimes. I just get stuck or I can’t quite figure out how to get started. But if you are a small business you are going to market your business online. For that you will have to write often so you need ways to get around this. Time is of the essence. You can’t wait for the muse to turn up. One productivity hack to deal with this challenges is to use dictation software.
Unfortunately dictation software is usually quite expensive for someone who is starting their small business. I’ve been using a piece of software on my iphone, but it has not been the easiest to work with because it only records short chunks.
One piece of software which is just brilliant to use with the Chrome Browser that you can find it at the Google Store for free (at least so far): https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/voice-recognition/ikjmfindklfaonkodbnidahohdfbdhkn
In fact, this is the app that I used to dictate the first rough draft of this review!
Review of Chrome’s Online Dictation software
What’s really fantastic about this software is that not only is it free, you can actually make updates while you work with a simply editor interface although you will have to know your keyboard commands since there is no me. The interface is simple: it has a button that says “start dictation” and your browser may ask if you will allow the application to access your microphone. You would select yes and then get to talk.
It get some words wrong which is to be expected of all dictation software. For example I use the phrase “it can” and it translated as “chicken”. But because you can see the words on the page as you go you have the option to quickly at it. Overall, I was pretty pleased.
A couple of caveats however: I use a mic good enough for podcasts so it may have understood me better than if I had used my laptop mic. And I am also used to speaking clearly because of the experience I have had with my iphone app. So for me the accuracy was pretty good. Not perfect, but acceptable. But even with the mistakes, it takes a lot of the work out of your national first draft.
Once you get used to it, it’s amazing just how much it can free up your ideas and your thoughts.
Plus you can use words like “period” and “comma” for punctuation, and it puts in the actual punctuation. This is important for editing later when you might not remember exactly what you were saying and some of the words are wrong. Best of all, it doesn’t stop listening when you pause like some applications do.
You might feel a little bit self conscious. But once you get used to it, it’s amazing just how much it can free up your ideas and your thoughts.
The downfalls I see is that it doesn’t seem to understand the command “new paragraph” and at one point I had a network error. You also have to keep giving it permission to use your mic every time you stop recording.
You can export the content to your google drive, to DropBox, or your computer, or even send as an email. I haven’t tried any of that – I simply cut and pasted it here. All in all, it’s a great piece of programming especially since it’s free. But I expect it won’t be free for very long!
Online dictation software can help you use a different part of your brain to get you unstuck. Now there is a tool we can use.