Trying Out Dictation

Trying Out Dictation

Trying Out Dictation


If you’ve read my newsletter recently, you’d know that I’m working dictation as a way to “write” faster. So far, the idea of voice recording myself is great. Only I need to pay to get it transcribed. Which I’m not unwilling to pay for, but I thought I would try some of the built-in dictation software first.


My first attempt was to play my recordings back and see if they would transcribe themselves. Yeah. Don’t bother trying that. It does not work.


This is a sentence

Attempt 1: Cut this

Attempt 2: This is a centre

Attempt 3: this is a sentence


Yay! I only had to repeat myself three times, in the exact same way, for it to listen to me!


Then I started to wonder if the Mac OS dictation software was a bit like Siri – basically if I say “Siri, take a note: We need peas” or something incredibly basic, it will always be wrong. But if I say “Siri, you are a fucking lousy piece of shit”, somehow Siri ALWAYS understands that!


Trying Out Dictation


You Fucking Stupid Llama Bean

you are flying llama being

you fucking stupid llama being



I’m studying a graduate certificate in social change and development this year, and for my first essay of the semester I ended up taking over my mother in law’s lounge room (long story) and I ended up dictating the entire essay. It was weird! I have never written a few thousand (academic) words in one day, and seen them appear in front of me. There was some editing needed but overall it turned out decently.


Have you ever used dictation? How did you find it?


18 Replies to “Trying Out Dictation”

  1. I have tried a free app but I find it hard to remember to say the punctuation!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I found that it really only works if I’m watching my words on the screen – which is odd but even so it really did work pretty well. I went back to typing for my second essay of the semester which then hurt my shoulder from cramming ALL THE TYPING into one day, which is only just healing now.

  2. I’ve never tried this software but I’d like to look into it, so thanks for the reminder and good luck with that first essay – your course sounds really interesting. Look forward to hearing more about it.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It’s better than Siri because you can download it and use it offline.

  3. That sounds great! I get RSI from typing so much – this is what I need. Good luck with your essay:-)

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      It’s worth trying – and could be great for reducing RSI.

  4. That’s an interesting way to do it. I don’t like the sound of my own voice, so it wouldn’t work for me 🙂 #teamIBOT

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I just focus on ignoring myself 🙂 I also don’t like the sound of my voice!

  5. I have used software to do dictation but I did have a job when I left school transcribing interviews with locals for the historical society. It was an extremely tedious job!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh I couldn’t do transcription for a job. I would cry and run away within 10mins.

  6. Ha, ha ha! Bloody Siri always gets the important things wrong 🙂 I haven’t tried it, but think it would save me so much time!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      The key words are always the ones that are wrong! I swear it must be deliberate.

  7. I have not tried it but it might be worth a shot!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Worth trying for sure.

  8. I am constant battle with Siri so I’m not sure how much patience I would have with a dictation app…

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Siri and I always disagree, but I found the one you can download on your Mac (if you have one) is much better!! I was surprised.

  9. Wow that would have been cool to do your essay like that! Did you have to keep stopping to add references though?
    I’ve tried dictating blog posts sometimes but they never sound right in the end.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Cool, but freaky! Yeah. I did have to stop a lot for references, but it was still quicker overall.

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