From Clunky to Convenient
What’s so useful about voice dictation software? You may have tried this solution in the past if you’ve spent lots of time typing documents or e-mails, or possibly for an accessibility need. Even five years ago, the one or two main voice recognition software options were expensive, awkward and difficult. Unless you were a die-hard or simply were forced to use it, you likely passed on that emerging technology.
Fast-forward to 2020, where rapid advancements bring convenience and time-saving apps are a commodity. Now, not only are dictation programs free or very cheap, their accuracy and ease of use has increased dramatically. Most popular apps offer immediate dictation without even needing custom voice training. You may already be using this technology to speak text messages to friends and family, or create quick reminders on the go so you don’t forget. So how can voice dictation help with your business?
‘Dictate’ feature in Microsoft Office 365 Apps
Which kinds of business programs can help the most with voice dictation? Answer: word processing and e-mail programs (though not limited to just those!). If you’re not the fastest typer in the world, consider trying voice dictation to help you draft these kinds of documents more quickly. You may be surprised at your ability to ‘let it flow’ since some people find it easier to talk what they are creating rather than typing. Creativity and voice may also come through more when spoken verbally. Time saved can be money saved, as well as another factor: your physical well-being.
Accessibility and Health Assist
For those requiring voice dictation due to being unable to type, modern technology is a boon. Even with a comfortable desk and natural keyboard, some users may suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, a repetitive strain injury or other ailments that typing can aggravate. Switching to voice dictation can help prevent lasting damage to hands and wrists and add extra years to your productivity.
Dictation on Various Programs and Platforms
There are now many of these programs available to try—some free and others subscription-based—that can help you save time and effort. All popular platforms have apps that give you the option to try your hand with voice dictation. Some wearable devices offer integrated voice dictation as well.
Most businesses use a PC and Office 365 for their office productivity suite; Microsoft has integrated voice dictation into their entire suite. Google also is a player in the space and offers the feature in their main office productivity apps. Here’s a list of some of the best/most popular voice dictation programs we’re aware of:
- Office 365 Suite (Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Google G-Suite (Web-based, platform-independent)
- Dragon (PC, Mac and iOS)
- Siri/iOS (Mac and iOS)
- Cortana (PC, iOS and Andriod)
Give it a Shot!
Make sure your microphone is working and try out an app that will work for you! Each program takes a bit of learning, and you will need to dedicate a little extra time using the spell checker to make sure the dictation was correct, but using this technology with your main programs might surprise you. You may be impressed with the result. Or, you may find you need to wait a bit longer for your perfect application.
At Philantech3, we thrive on learning new ways to innovate and make business tasks more efficient. If there’s anything in your business that’s slowing you down or causing frustration, we’d love to help. Reach out and we will be glad to assist!
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I have 14+ years in the industry providing sustainable technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. I personally thrive on making systems more efficient and I am continually interested in ways to innovate using technology applications. I enjoy working closely with colleagues and clients to collaborate and provide a best fit solution for all IT-related needs.