Writing has traditionally involved pounding keys on a keyboard or inscribing by hand on paper. But dictation devices can free up your hands and allow you to write more fluidly.
Dictation software is available for a variety of platforms. Newer laptops have speech recognition technology baked into the operating system, and standalone dictation software like Nuance Dragon Home (v15) is available for a one-time purchase or subscription.
1. Dictation Apps
Dictation apps are great for jotting down notes or tackling smaller writing projects from your computer or phone. Some have the ability to transcribe speech and turn it into text, while others are more like virtual assistants that let you control your computer hands-free. Either way, these tools are a great way to save time and increase productivity while you’re writing. They can also be more accurate than typing, which means less need for editing later on.
Most newer computers come with built-in voice recognition technology, but you can also buy standalone programs that work for different operating systems and devices. Some are free to use, while others cost a one-time fee or operate on a subscription basis.
For example, the Microsoft Word dictation app is free and integrates into the software, so you can just click on the microphone icon to begin recording. This is a convenient option, especially if you already have a Word subscription. It can even transcribe multiple voices and languages, such as English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. But it’s not foolproof, and you’ll still need to edit after wards.
If you want a dedicated program that works on a PC, Mac, or smartphone, you can try Nuance Dragon Home (v15). It has advanced voice-recognition technology that can triple your typing speed with 99% accuracy. However, it can be expensive if you’re on a tight budget.
Another popular dictation software is Speechnotes, which has a simple interface and is easy to use. It can recognize more than 20 languages, including Spanish, French, and German. It can also create tables, include punctuation marks, and set up custom commands. It’s also available in a browser extension for Google Chrome, so you can dictate on-the-go and don’t need to worry about syncing your device with a cloud service.
Finally, Apple Dictation is an excellent choice for writers who own Mac devices and use iCloud. It can handle short dictation sessions up to 30 seconds, which is perfect for jotting down quick notes or sending text messages. It can also detect your accent and adapt accordingly, making it a great choice for authors who write in different dialects.
2. Dictation Software
Dictation software is another great tool for writers to use for a variety of reasons. First of all, it can help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by allowing writers to write without having to type on the keyboard or trackpad. It can also save time by allowing authors to create notes and documents with just their voice. Finally, dictation software can help writers keep their eyes healthy by reducing the amount of time they spend looking at their computer screens.
The best dictation software programs are easy to use and have a user-friendly interface. You simply open the program or enable the dictation feature and start speaking. It is important to speak clearly so that the software can pick up your words accurately. If you have a hard time getting the software to understand what you’re saying, try enunciating more and trying to sound more natural.
Many of the best dictation apps are mobile-friendly and can be used on the go, so you can continue to work even when you’re away from your desk. For example, the free Dragon Dictation app is available on both iOS and Android devices and allows you to quickly jot down notes using your voice. It has a user-friendly interface and works well in most environments, though it may have trouble recognizing voices from some accents.
Some of the more advanced dictation programs can even translate your spoken words into text. They can also recognize commands, such as adding punctuation or starting a new paragraph. This can make it easier for authors to get a feel for the writing process and can help them improve their overall accuracy.
Lastly, some dictation software can be integrated into word processors or other applications, making it more convenient to use. For example, Microsoft OneNote for Mac now has dictation support. The app is free, easy to use, and supports a variety of languages. There are also other dictation apps that can be used on desktop computers, including Rev and Braina.
Dictation technology is advancing incredibly fast, and there are now many different options for authors to choose from. For example, many newer laptops have speech recognition and dictation features built in. In addition, there are dedicated dictation programs that can be purchased for a fee. Some offer a one-time purchase price, while others operate under tiered pricing plans.
3. Dictation Hardware
A dictation device can help you create written content quickly. It allows you to capture fleeting thoughts while freeing your hands and can save time that would otherwise be spent typing or scribbling notes. Dictation can also help reduce RSI or other physical ailments caused by typing and writing for long periods of time.
Dictation software uses advanced speech recognition and translation to convert your spoken words into written text. You can use it to write anywhere, even while jogging or driving. Dictation apps have many other features that can make your writing process more convenient and productive. For example, Braina’s dictation app offers voice music player control, custom voice commands, AI-based speech recognition, teaching your own custom replies and more.
Alternatively, you can purchase a professional digital dictation device that can be connected to your computer. These devices are typically portable and include microphones with built-in speakers. They can be used with various applications, including word processing and spreadsheet programs. They can also store large files and can be shared between multiple users. They can even support telephony, allowing you to dictate and receive transcribed messages without a computer.
In addition to improved productivity, digital dictation systems offer increased security and can provide a clear audit trail of all dictations and transcriptions for each individual user. They can also integrate with workflow management software to automate the entire document production, approval, and filing process.
The best dictation hardware depends on your needs and budget. For a small budget, you can purchase a Bluetooth headset, which will allow you to record and playback your dictation. However, it may not be as accurate or responsive as a dedicated microphone. A better choice is a gooseneck microphone, which can be adjusted to suit your needs. It has the benefit of being lightweight and portable, so you can take it with you on travels and to meetings.
If you want to maximize the performance of your dictation device, choose a quality microphone that can be adjusted to fit your head size. You should also look for a model with noise cancelling technology, which reduces background noise and focuses on your voice.