Using a phone or other mobile device to input large amounts of text can be very frustrating and time-consuming. Small screen, even smaller letters that fat thumbs seem to miss constantly resulting in auto correct madness and constant clicking back to correct mistakes.
There is, however, a handy feature that you can use to massively speed up writing on mobile devices which can augment your productivity.
It is called dictation.
Applied in the right way and with a couple of other ideas (which I will get to in a moment) can increase your productive output tremendously.
The Art Of Dictation
I began experimenting with the dictation feature on my iPhone a couple of years ago after listening to a podcast by Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.
A quick google search (listing multiple sources) implies that the average person speaks at somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute. Contrast this with average rates of keyboard typing between 38 and 40 words per minute. Qwerty keyboard phone typing is even slower though this itself could be improved by using text replacement combined with GBoard (a future post to come on this).
So this data shows that it is in the realm of more than 4x faster using talking vs typing or texting. That’s a massive time-saving.
From a writers perspective, it’s also often easier to talk about the information that you are trying to convey. It is much harder to get those exact same words onto a paper page or onto the screen. The flow of your own voice is just, well, natural as you have to pre-arrange your thoughts before the words come out. This results in (usually) coherent ideas and information.
Faster content generation (with time saved) combined with effective ideas equals a foundation for success across many uses.
Using Dictation On Mobile Devices
The concept is simple, open your relevant note-taking app, hit the microphone icon on the keyboard and begin to speak at your phone in a clear, steady controlled voice and your speech will be converted to text.
The accuracy is still a work in progress (in my opinion) but it is getting much better over time. It is a form of machine learning software after all. I’m not even sure if the AI for the dictation gets better with me using it or people, in general, are using it.
What I do know is that it’s far quicker for me to dictate the bulk of an entire blog post then is to sit down to type it, far more natural too. I have dictated 90+ per cent of this entire blog post while walking around my living room simply talking to my phone.
Welcome to the future.
Augmenting The Effectiveness Of Dictation
Creating content at a rate of greater than 4x typing writing is brilliant, but there will be errors along the way which will need fixing.
Consistently having to go back and fix errors though can quickly ruin your creative flow.
By combining a couple of other techniques it is possible to skip some of the error checking (initially at least) and thereby increase one’s productivity output while using the mobile device.
An Example Of Creating This Blog Post
I use my phone primarily for notetaking and writing have been using an app called Bear Notes for this purpose.
I will use dictation for my blog post ideas to create outlines and the bulk of a draft blog post content within this app. Obviously being mobile I can do this whenever a great idea or concept pops into my head.
While using dictation, I will not bother to fix any errors as afterwards I will switch to my PC to finish the post (which is my preference).
I copy all dictation text from Bear Notes and send this to my email.
Switching to my PC at some time later, whenever convenient, I then copy and paste the draft into a new blog post in WordPress. I have the Grammarly Chrome Plugin installed so as soon as I do this all of the errors are immediately highlighted to fix. What I love about Grammarly is that it picks up sections of text which don’t make sense, not just simple spelling mistakes. Sometimes the dictation translation gets it quite wrong so this is important! Microsoft Word is also a good alternative to this.
This might initially seem counter-intuitive after all I am adding additional processing steps and using a PC, however, the additional time required is minimal and the end output overall is much much faster than trying to type the whole post on my PC from scratch.
So Many Applications For Dictation
How to get the most out of dictation will be your choice, anywhere you can type something on your mobile device dictation can likely be used, text messages, emails, comments on social platforms.
If you have never tried doing this before I suggest giving it a go. I am sure you will be amazed at the potential ways it can help you become more productive.