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Five Dictation Apps to Boost Productivity

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One of my favorite productivity hacks is using dictation apps. Dictating is an underrated tool for getting more done. It’s really helped me curb procrastination by making it easy for me to quickly send out text messages and emails. Video can also be a powerful productivity tool but there’s something to be said for straight up audio as well. 

When I started working from home, I needed to make some changes to my work style to get my home office up and running. Using dictation software was one of those little things that really connected with my productivity style. It helps me stay on track while I’m working remotely.

You can send messages so much faster by dictating them, and I find it easier to get my point across when I can just speak naturally. Same goes for leaving audio or video messages.

Plus, dictation apps let you stay focused on your main task while also taking care of little things that pop up. I love not having to go through the hassle of typing anything out — I just speak and send! (Sometimes I do have to change a word here or there if it’s not 100% accurate.)

I have an iPhone and a Mac, so I sometimes use the dictation features included with those devices. You can learn how to set up dictation on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac here

But if you don’t use Apple products or you want to try one of the great dictation apps out there, here’s a rundown of your options: 

Diction.io 

This is a perfect starting point for dictation if you want to try it out before committing to buying anything. Diction.io is completely free and web-based, and it uses Google Speech Recognition to translate your words to text. You can save your text as a file or copy and paste it into an email or text. You can get started with it here

Google Docs Dictation

This feature on Google Docs is another simple way to start dictating. It’s free and easy to use. You can copy and paste the text into an email or text message if you want to, or you can use this to brainstorm if you feel more creative when you’re speaking rather than typing. And if you’re already using Google Docs, this is a seamless addition that can help you jumpstart your productivity while writing. You can learn how to set it up here. 

Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is a great option if you want a comprehensive option with a software component. It’s very accurate and allows you to perform a bunch of actions, including searching the web. You can integrate Dragon Dictation with your apps so that you can compose emails directly (no copy-paste needed!). It is one of the pricier options, though. Dragon Dictation has versions for Windows that start at $150, or a mobile app version that works with Apple or Android products that costs $150 for a yearly subscription. You can find out more about it here

Speechy

This app is available for iPhones and iPads, and it has a bunch of great features. You can easily share, translate, and edit the text. Plus, it records your original audio too. And doesn’t time out if you’re talking for a long period of time! There’s a free version and the premium one costs $9.99 to download. You can check it out here. 

Speechnotes

For Android users, Speechnotes is a simple, functional option. One useful feature is the punctuation keyboard, which allows you to press a button to insert punctuation instead of having to say “comma” and “period.” And it’s free! You can take a look here.

I hope these suggestions help you get started with dictation. It’s a little unconventional but it’s made a big difference for me.

Are there any dictation apps or websites you like to use? I’d love to hear about them.

BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

Video is a Productivity Game Changer

So many things have changed in the last few months.

When it comes to working from home, one of the biggest changes is video  — video meetings, video conferences, video check-ins. 

All this video means you need to adjust your productivity habits. Being productive and efficient over video is different from working with people face-to-face. 

I’ve been working from home for the past few years, so I’ve been conducting all my meetings via video for a while. Plus, I train people on how to do it better. And using video can actually make your life more efficient!

Video has the potential to help you connect meaningfully with your coworkers, friends, and family.

Seeing someone’s face creates a bond that just can’t happen over text or email. Plus, it’s so much harder to capture your tone when your audience can’t see your face. 

Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, video is a fantastic tool that can help you be more efficient and save time.

MEETINGS

In-person meetings can often be really inefficient. You have to wait for people to arrive and get settled. And the actual presentations can drag on and on!

But over video, things can be a lot more efficient if you do it correctly.

It’s harder to keep people’s attention over video, so you have to get right to the point. If you’ve found yourself drifting off during Zoom meetings, you’ve experienced video call fatigue. 

Video meetings have to be more succinct. 

You need to be intentional about keeping people interested in what you’re saying. Staring right into the camera, eliminating filler words, and adjusting your makeup are all great ways to elevate your video game. 

I also have some tricks to help you sound more natural over video — you can check those out here.

WORK 

Live video meetings aren’t the only way to incorporate video into your life. Video can also help you get more productive in other areas of your work. 

Recording videos to convey ideas or do tutorials is very time efficient and helps you connect with people.  

I love using Loom to explain my ideas. You can also record your screen at the same time as you’re recording yourself. According to Loom, you talk six times faster than you type. Just think of how much time you’ll save using video!

I also like to use Vidyard when I’m working with clients or want to get a message across more easily. I can shoot a video that will convey how I’m feeling and what I really think. It’s much more efficient than writing one more email!  I was a guest speaker on their virtual summit talking about ways to be more productive using video. 

PERSONAL LIFE

Video can also make your life more efficient in other ways. Leaving people video messages is a fun and effective way to stay in contact with friends and family.

I like to use Marco Polo, which is an app that lets you record video messages.

You can send short, sweet messages that have a bigger impact on people than a text message or an email. It works great to say happy birthday from afar. 

I hope these tricks help you incorporate video in new ways. It’s a great way to get more productive that many people overlook — but it’s even more important now in the age of remote work and virtual connection.