Guest post by Dave Sherman
When I was in the 11th grade, one of my required classes was typing. No matter how hard I tried and how much I practiced, I could never get past about 30 words per minute. Considering that I was in 11th grade in 1978, I really never thought that my typing deficiencies would cause many problems for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It’s now 2013 and I spend more time hunting and pecking on a keyboard at my typical slow 30 words per minute pace rather than sending emails or writing documents. It was because of my typing deficiencies that I started using an amazing piece of software called Dragon Naturally Speaking.
In a nutshell, Dragon is a voice recognition program. I have been using this software since version No. 4 and I am currently using version No. 13. Without sounding too melodramatic, I could not live without my Dragon. All I have to do is speak and the words magically appear on my screen. After the necessary training, it is about 99 percent accurate and it will type as fast as I can speak. I use my voice recognition software for emails, articles, blog posts and just about any other time I need to write something longer than one sentence. In fact, I am writing this post using my this technology.
Now, if you are one of those people that can type 70 to 80 words per minute with perfect accuracy, voice recognition software probably isn’t for you. But, if you are one of those people that spends far too much time getting through your emails, correspondences, and any type of creative writing, this technology will save you time, effort and a whole lot of headaches.
For those of you that are ready to dive into voice recognition software, I recommend you visit the Nuance website, www.Nuance.com and search for Dragon Naturally Speaking Version 12 Home Edition. I know they also sell a premium edition, but I have never seen the need to pay double the money. It is possible that there are other voice recognition software's available but Dragon has been the leader in this industry forever.
You will also need some type of microphone. You have two options here: The desktop microphone and the headset. You can use either; I have used both but would probably guide you towards a headset microphone.
- Headset microphones: They are very convenient and the recording quality is the best. They can be purchased at any office supply store or online at places such as Amazon. There is no need to spend a lot of money on your headset. The ones I have used average between $20 and $30 and they work.
- Desk microphones: For those that prefer not to have something on top of one’s head, a desk microphone is a slightly less expensive option. Office supply stores and online stores sell an adequate desk microphone for under $20. If you want to get super fancy, you could spend well over $200 but, personally, I think that's ridiculous. You are typing, not singing.
If you are a slower typer, maximize your time and minimize wasted effort by using voice recognition software. The technology has improved immensely since its inception so you can “type” without concern that you’re suffering the effects of auto-correct.
Dave Sherman is the partner development manager at Infusionsoft. He educates their 2,300-plus partners to make it easier for them to refer business to Infusionsoft. He is also a professional speaker, trainer and best-selling author on the topic of networking since 1998.