Tired of Typing

Many years ago, I asked my IT Department for a program to dictate to. I was never very good at typing, so felt it would be easier for memos and powerpoints. At the time, they told me that the programs were not reliable and would require significant training. Now that Google and iPhone seem to do such a great job at recognizing every word I say, I assume that there are programs or websites that do as well.

Any suggestions? It would be great to be able to dictate and then cut/paste the words into MS Word or Powerpoint.

Back then, they were right. You would have spent more time typing to do the edits required because of all the mistakes it made, than you would have spent to just type it properly in the first place.

Take a look at Dragon NaturallySpeaking for speech-to-text. It’s been the go-to software for this for a while. They have special versions for doctors, lawyers and other specialties.

If you use Windows-10, you should already have that capability through Cortana.

About 12 years ago one of my managers developed a disability that made it difficult for him to type on the PC. I obtained Dragon Naturally Speaking for his PC and it made his life a lot easier. He could dictate several paragraphs and only have to correct a few items. He was quite pleased.

It’s likely even better now.

You also need a fairly quiet environment, as well as a good microphone.

If you sit next to a bunch of yappers at work, or someone playing a talk show at work, it can interfere with the dictation.

18 years ago, Dragon Dictate was working perfectly well for one of my managers who didn’t want to type. He had to train it when he first started: (an hour or so); it continued to learn over the first few hours of use: he had his own quiet office: his subject matter and vocabulary were no bigger than normal.

The process of giving dictation is different than the process of typing: the good typists I’ve know would never choose to give dictation. I can only assume that your IT people fell into that category.

You’re better off typing, to be honest. Our technology is not quite there. This is especially not helpful if you work in a loud area.

While I no longer have an office, I’m lucky that I have a conference room that I can bring my laptop to.

Wouldn’t getting up and going to the conference room get tedious? All so you can avoid typing?

I’m not a very efficient typist and my hands get tired when crafting management or board level memos. Wordsmithing typically takes 3 times as long as the original memo. And then come the edit requests. My conference room is only 30 or so feet away from my desk and I can unplug my laptop and get there in 30 seconds.

ETA: I don’t think the software is something I would use every day. Just for longer memos requiring several paragraphs.

I know you are looking for means of dictation, but if you are using a laptop keyboard, no wonder your hands get tired. Get a full-sized external keyboard. There are many varieties of ergonomic keyboards to choose from. I’ve been a huge fan of the Microsoft version they’ve been making for ever:


I type a lot for work and if I had to do it on a laptop keyboard, I’d die of carpal tunnel after one week.

I do have a full size keyboard, mouse and 2 monitors at my desk, along with a docking panel. I only detach the laptop to bring to meetings or when traveling.