Holy Cow!! I’m Feeling Amazingly Productive!!!
— (No, that’s not too many exclaimation points)
Posted on 24 August 2011
Just today I started dictating into Dragon Dictate. I’m using the speech recognition software in order to type a blog post into my business blog and into WordPress. You’re reading dictation right now. This is actually a pretty incredible experience. I haven’t touched the keyboard a single time. I can see where, in the future, I could get my thoughts collected on scrap paper in the form of bullet point notes, and then spend a little time dictating.
It has been a long time since I previously tried speech recognition software on the Mac. I remember spending a couple of hundred dollars, and not being very pleased with the results overall. The problem with the old speech recognition I used was that it required stochastic speech. That’s. Where. You. Put. A. Pause. Between every single word. It’s extraordinarily frustrating!
A couple months ago I picked up a new iPad 2.0 and I noticed that one of the applications that was available for free, was a speech recognition program from Nuance software. While it will only capture one or 2 sentences at a time, I was really impressed with the accuracy of the speech recognition using just the built-in microphone of the iPad 2.0. Later I did a little bit of research on the web and read some reviews, and I decided to go ahead and give Dragon Dictate a fresh try.
I understand that this particular topic may not appear to have a direct relationship to the business content of this blog. However, it actually means that I will be writing a whole lot more blog posts. Especially when you consider that all I have to do is think about something, talk about it for a little while, and my blog post is done. In fact, I often think about all kinds of different topics, I even jot down some of the topics in my iPad, and then I just never have enough time to write the articles. This is my personal blog and I have so much to do at my day job that this is always where I have to sacrifice. With the accuracy I’ve experienced so far using Dragon Dictate software, I’m really encouraged that I’ll be able to crank out a lot more content!
So far all I’ve done is install the software package, go through the initial training, and then start dictating directly into WordPress. The entire process took less than 30 min., and the actual training only took 5 min. It looks like my productivity is going to increase even more once I spend a little time learning the idiosyncrasies and specific commands required by the software. On the other hand, if all I have to do is speak and have my thoughts instantly typed for me, that alone is a tremendous productivity booster.
So now you have a little peek behind the curtain here at my business blog. And if you find yourself reading one of my posts at some future point, and you see a word that looks just really bizarre in context, you’ll know that it was me not catching the mistake made by my dictation software. Or at least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
I’d be really interested to hear if anyone out there is using dictation software successfully. I’d like to know what projects you’re doing with it. I’d like to know if you like it as much as you did when you first started using it and it was a new toy. I’d like to know if you’re using the Mac version or the PC version. And I’d really like to know if you feel like your productivity has increased as much as you thought it would.
I guess I should also mention that Amazon sells it for $131 and Best Buy sells it for $150 (even though the sticker and shelf said $199). I opted for Best Buy so I could have a little immediate gratification, and I was thrilled to discover that the package version ships with a sweet USB Plantronics wired mic. One last thing… the Mac boxed version is only available as version 2.0 and the most current version is 2.5. It’s a free upgrade and since I was connected to the Internet during installation, the installer program asked me if I wanted to download and install the latest 2.5 version. That extra step took all of 2 minutes and I was working away!