Voice transcription software makes writing your first drafts much easier. In fact they will flow as fast as you can speak. Plus, it's a lot more fun to sit down and talk to your computer (and have it type for you) as though you're speaking to a colleague or a friend. (And imagine what your family members will say when they find you talking to your computer for the first time.)
Although I've written an award-winning book and hundreds, if not thousands of articles, like a lot of writers, I still struggle to get those first ideas and sentences on the page. Actually, let's be honest: I ALWAYS struggle with my first draft. There's something about staring at a blank Word document that heightens my desire to procrastinate. This is exactly what makes audio transcription software so indispensable: it's much easier to say what you mean than write it because that tendency to edit as you're writing, no matter how accomplished and disciplined a writer you are, always gets in the way.
And that's the purpose of voice transcription software: to get the gist of the article down in your own words as quickly and naturally as possible without editing. Then you go back and polish it later.
Since I started using voice to text software on my Mac, I've measured an increase in productivity of a whopping 40% (don't worry, they have the same software for the PC). This is because as I've said before, it's much easier to speak than write.
Of course the other benefits of voice transcription software is that your words are much more natural because you're speaking them. For some reason, we tend to get stuffy when we write. Any good writer worth their salt will tell you that it's much better to communicate using commonly used words than it is to use those rarely used words from your writer's lexicon which show off your knowledge, but force your reader to pull out their five pound dictionary.
That said I think one of the greatest tools you can give yourself as a writer is one of the voice transcription tools shown below. Dragon Naturally Speaking is for PC users and Dictate is for Mac users. They are both built on the same engine and work in similar ways. I recommend you get the software with the microphone that is designed to work with it.
It takes no more than 10 minutes to set up the voice transcription software to recognize your voice and then, you'll be off and running, er, writing!
You can use the software for writing emails, documents, reports, articles and books and you can do it three times faster than you can type with almost 100% accuracy. You can also use the software to issue voice commands to surf the web. The program will work in Word, Excel, WordPerfect, Corel and most Mac and PC-based applications.
can even create voice commands to insert blocks of text (like your
signature file in an email) or images. Better still, the voice
transcription software can be used with mobile devices and a Bluetooth
microphone while on the road.
I highly recommend you also get the recommended headset.
Dragon Naturally Speaking works with Microsoft Windows.
Dictate works with Mac OS X.