THE PRODUCTIVE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO DICTATION is the book I wish I’d had when I started adopting this skill. In summary, this guide gives you an overview of available software and hardware for dictation, as well as a four-week plan of drills for becoming more comfortable with dictation.
These exploratory exercises go over major commands users of Nuance’s Dragon software should focus on, both because it is the most popular dictation tool on the market and because it packs enough features to serve as a conceptual baseline for other programs you may opt for instead.
While focused on how to dictate fiction, this guide can be applied to non-fiction or academic writing as well.
More specifically, you get:
· A four-week (24-day), three-stage system for mastering dictation skills while finishing 55,000 words in your work in progress, in about two hours per day! (estimated, each person’s learning speed varies)
· 26 dictation drills to mix and match according to what works best for you in three areas: General Commands, Verbal Storytelling, and Creative Flow
· Prompted and unprompted dictation passages from classic literature (from works of Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, James Joyce, Lewis Carroll, and others)
· Overviews of voice assistant, speech recognition, and transcription software options for Mac, Windows, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, including dozens of mobile apps
· Overviews and comparison tables of transcription hardware accessories including digital recorders and external microphones or headsets
· Overviews of hiring and working with a human transcriptionist, should you decide to go that route instead
· Overviews and links to more information on dictation features within note-taking apps like Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, and Google Keep
· Tips for dictating web searches, email, word processed documents, spreadsheets, slide shows, notes, social media updates, and more
· Links to where you can find more in-depth guides and resources
· A stray pep talk or two (while learning dictation is absolutely worth it, you’ll need them!)
You may also be interested in my productivity articles as About.com’s Office Software Expert.