They say that you should work smarter, not harder and I think about that a lot. Having a full-time job and also writing a blog and working on other websites and everything else I do means that I have to do these things faster if I want to enjoy life on the side. One of the things that has made me work a little smarter and not quite as hard is something called Dragon Dictation for the iPhone. Here’s a quick demonstration video showing how it works.
Using the App
Dragon has a commercial app that you can buy for your computer but who wants to spend the money? And if you can get something for free why not. This article is about actually getting something for free that normally would cost you money and using it to help you work smarter instead of harder so that you can enjoy life more. What you say into your phone gets translated into text so you can dictate e-mails, jot down things you’re thinking about while you’re on the road or whatever else you would normally do that might require typing sitting in front of the computer. As an example of this I am currently dictating this complete blog post from my iPhone while I’m on the freeway driving home from work. I’m wondering if this will work as well as I hope for a lengthy blog post, and this should be a good barometer of that. The goal is to read through what is dictated and put it into my WordPress editor do a couple small edits in and fix any possible mistakes before publishing.
I have taken a couple peeks not really reading too much while driving but in the peeks that I’ve taken I have determined that it seems to be translating what I’m saying really well. If there’s minimal errors to correct, I’ll go grab an image and just dress up the post a little bit to make it look good. Normally, I would spend maybe an hour or two writing this post and instead I’m spending a mere five maybe ten minutes max while I’m on the road doing something that I have to do anyway. Instead of just listening to the radio, I’ll have gotten something more productive done on my ride home, provided you guys with something informative, hopefully, that you can use it in your business or your even in your personal life and I’ve made my drive home a little bit more interesting because I’m doing something not quite as mundane.
The only problem that I’ve found with the dictation app so far is that it only allows me to dictate on the iPhone about for a minute or so before it pretty much stops. The upside is that the app will allow you to continue where you left off and will combine everything for you. What happens is it stops so that it can process all the audio, shows you all the text that you have so far, and then it allows you to continue where you left off. You just hit the record button again.
This post was edited, leaving in some of my rambling, but fixing spelling and grammar mistakes as well as some mis-translated words. In the end, I found myself doing a lot more editing than normal, but I had to do a lot less typing. Looking back, the bigger hurdle to overcome, perhaps, will be how much I rattle on when I talk as opposed to my (hopefully) much clearer written communication. Free is pretty much unbeatable, though, so learning to speak like I write may prove a worthwhile experiment to help me get more done during my idle time. If you have an iPhone and could optimize your time a little, head to the app store and search for Dragon Dictation and let me know what you think.