How To Mentally Edit While Voice Writing

mental editing for dictation

Dictablogging or dictaphone writing can help a lot of writers explode their productivity.

Personally, I went from struggling with 3,000 words per day to nailing 24,000 words every single day.

In fact, my personal record is 80,000 words!

I’m sure, with the right practice and focus, a lot of people reading this can beat my record.

It really boils down to mastering the process of reading an outline and improvising on the different points based on what comes to mind. You then dictate your best expression of those ideas.

It seems awesome, but there’s one big problem (I kept running into this issue until I learned how to mentally edit while voice writing): when reading your outlines, dozens—if not hundreds—of ideas jump out at you! Each outline item attracts many different bits and pieces of information in your mind.

This can be very confusing and can seriously slow down your dictation writing.

You’d think of a few of these ideas, and you try to lose the rest. As you try to do that, you lose your place in your dictation.

If you have a very vague and badly written outline, you get thrown off track as you try to pick the best idea to dictate.

To fix this problem, I’ve learned how to mentally edit while voice writing.

As I go through my outline, many ideas come to mind but I quickly edit a lot of them out as I zero in on the best way to express the outline item I’m improvising on.

Here are some key techniques that I’ve learned over several years of dictation blogging.

Begin by focusing on your purpose

Before you start thinking about mentally editing effectively as you dictate your blog posts or articles, focus first on why you’re dictablogging.

This should be straightforward. You’re speaking out your content, instead of typing them by hand, because you want to get ideas off your chest. As they form in your mind, you want to get them out there as quickly as possible.

This enables you to move rapidly down your checklist of ideas. You’re able to write quickly because you don’t backtrack. The moment you say something based on an outline point, you move on to the next point, and the point after that. Your focus is to get stuff out, and then edit the transcript later.

Keep this purpose in mind when you’re mentally editing. Otherwise, you may fall victim the 3 common dangers you face when dictablogging.

Analysis paralysis

My first few years of dictaphone writing, I would come across an outline item and get stuck in neutral. I would just toss around the ideas and concepts about that outline item, hoping to come up with the very best version of it.

But, I was so afraid of saying something that’s not well-developed that I kept picking at these ideas flashing through my mind.

The only thing I was achieving by doing that is confusing myself!

Analysis paralysis burns up a lot of your mental firepower, only to produce very little. It’s driven by fear. You’re afraid that your improvised narration of the idea you are thinking of is defective. So, you’re constantly thinking of better ways to say it, but the more energy you put into it, the more you struggle.

The solution is to pick the most definite form of the idea and just get it off your chest. You can always edit the transcription later.

Shiny Object Syndrome

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re in the middle of dictation and everything is going smoothly. You’re knocking out each outline item and just saying the first thing that comes to mind. But pretty soon, the moment you express an idea, a similar sentence comes to your mind—but, this seems better, more tightly defined, and seems packed with meaning.

I call these shiny objects. If you allow yourself to mentally chase after these during your mental editing process, you end up going in circles because there’s always a better way to express the thought that you’re getting out.

And, if you’re not careful about the shiny object syndrome, your total output will drop dramatically. You’re spending all this time pausing your speech as you try to wrap your head around this “better” sentence or expression.

Crippling Perfectionism

Both the analysis paralysis and shiny object syndrome problems are manifestations of perfectionism. Let me clue you in on one very important fact: there is no such thing as perfect.

You might feel really good about your work because you put in a lot of time phrasing things carefully as well as laying everything out as best you could.

At the back of your mind, you know that there’s always a better way to say things. Don’t listen to that voice.

Focus on your primary purpose which is to get ideas off your chest. As long as they’re clear, they make sense, and they fit the context of what you’ve said and what you’re going to say, move on.

This might seem like you’re settling for mediocrity, but you’re not.

What you’re doing is you’re preventing yourself from focusing so much on getting things perfect that you defeat the purpose of dictation blogging.

Your overall strategy, then, becomes: fire, aim, and worry about everything else later. This is in sharp contrast to how people are supposed to do things which is to get ready, aim, and fire. You need to put the act of firing first because a lot of what holds you back is lack of confidence and emotional turbulence.

If you’re like me when I first started dictation blogging, you’ll be so afraid of picking the wrong train of thought and selecting less than elegant and precise ways to express that idea. But there is no such thing as perfect.

It’s much better to just do it, and then learn from what just happened and try to improve on the next sentence that you’re going to say. If you keep this in mind and you put in the work, each new sentence that you dictate will be better than what you said earlier in your dictation.

After you’ve dictated several hours of improvised content, this will become second nature to you. When you compare the transcript of your latest dictation with your earliest work, it would be like day and night. I know that is the case with me!

Now, with all that out of the way, here are the 14 steps that I follow to mentally edit while voice writing.

Steps #1 to 5 all involve mentally preparing for dictablogging or dictaphone writing.

Steps #6 to 14 focus on the actual mental editing.

You need to lay the proper groundwork so you must make sure that you nail down steps 1 to 5.

Without the proper frame of mind, it’s too easy to just drop the ball when it comes to fast-paced mental editing.

Remember, when you think, it seems that all these ideas are coming at you from many different directions at a rate of 1,000 miles per hour. It can get confusing!

To avoid getting thrown off track, lay the proper foundation by taking steps 1 to 5 seriously.

Step #1: Read your outline at least twice

Every time you read your outline, you become more comfortable about what you’re going to talk about. The ideas in your outline start to fit together. This leads to a big picture view of what you’re about to say.

The big payoff here is not some sort of intellectual revelation. Instead, what you’re aiming at is emotional confidence.

The more you read your outline, the more confident you feel that what you will verbally improvise will make sense and will be clear enough for most people to understand.

That’s all you need! You don’t need to sound like the second coming of Einstein.

You don’t have to be perfect. There’s no need to put that kind of emotional pressure on yourself.

Step #2: Understand the context of each outline point

When you’re reading through the outline, you start looking at each outline point as a piece of a larger jigsaw puzzle.

If you’ve ever played with jigsaw puzzles before, you know that the best way to put together that puzzle is to understand how the pieces fit.

By understanding each outline point’s context, you start to appreciate and understand the natural flow of the ideas that you’ve laid down in your outline.

You become more comfortable with what comes before, what takes place during, and what follows after each dictation point.

Step #3: Change the order of the outline until everything makes sense

As you go through your prepared dictation outline, there will be some items that throw you off-track.

Maybe they slow down your pace? Or they push you too hard and it seems like you’re just jumping from that point to the next point?

That’s your cue to change the order of those items until everything seems to flow.

Remember, the outline exists to serve you.

It is not set in stone.

Feel free to make whatever changes that you think will help improve your dictation.

Step #4: Change outline items until everything seems “natural” to yourself

In addition to the order of the points on your outline, feel free to edit the content of your outline.

Maybe an outline point is too vague or overly broad?

Maybe it’s just phrased awkwardly and you feel that it trips you up.

Again, your goal should be to feel extremely comfortable and natural when you read through the outline.

Don’t be scared that you might knock something loose or mess something up in the outline. Just read it again to make sure that everything flows and it seems that everything is in the right place. If something is off or awkward, change those items—move them around—until everything seems natural to you.

Step #5: Go through a physical ritual

Personally, I take several deep breaths before I dictate from my outline; I take several deep breaths from the diaphragm.

I put my palms right underneath my belly and I “breathe into” my palms.

This ensures a very deep breath that pushes your diaphragm downwards. Personally, this unleashes a deep sense of serenity that enables me to focus.

I follow this up with consciously blanking out.

I just stop thinking about anything; it’s as if anything goes dark in my mind.

I don’t think about stuff that happened in the past. I don’t worry about stuff that is about to happen.

I just focus on the mental blank space in front of me.

Once I’ve achieved that, I then focus on the silence.

This doesn’t have to be long (a minute or two is fine). What’s important is you are aware of the silence and you’re fully comfortable in it.

It’s as if it’s a thick comforting blanket that somebody draped all over you from behind.

Allow the silence to overcome you. There’s nowhere to go. There’s nobody to be. There’s no one to impress. You just are.

Allow yourself to be in that present moment.

Keep in mind that part of this is physical but, for the most part, that physical element just serves to trigger what’s really important, which is your mental and emotional state.

Believe it or not, from time to time, I would dictate at a busy Starbucks near where I live.

People are talking, carrying on, getting all excited—but I’m able to focus mentally because I’ve entered that space. It all boils down to my ritual.

Feel free to modify the ritual that I’ve just described. Maybe you prefer a different space or a different sequence?

Whatever changes you need to make, do them so you can enter into the right mental space to make dictablogging work for you.

Step #6: Read your outline and start improvising

Now that you have your outline in front of you—either on a Microsoft Notepad text file or in a word processor document—look at the outline, start at the top, open your mouth, and start talking.

By this point, all these ideas start flashing through your mind.

Things start to become clear and, just by looking quickly at the first item, you have an idea that you can verbalize.

Step #7: Pick the sentence that seems most complete and consistent with the outline’s context

When you read your outline at least twice, you arrived at an overall context.

With that in mind, as you quickly read your outline and ideas flash through your head, pick the sentence that seems most complete and consistent with what you know about the outline’s context. It seems that there are several ideas, but the sentence that would make most sense actually stands out.

If you are an organized and disciplined thinker, you would be able to zero in on one way of verbalizing the ideas that are triggered by the outline point you’re reading.

Step #8: Say the sentence slowly if you’re unsure

Usually, when I start my dictations, I talk at a very slow pace.

I’m still trying to feel out the sentence and how it fits what I said before and how it’s going to plug in to what I’m about to say.

But, once I become convinced that it fits, I start talking more rapidly. I’m able to do this because I’m ready to focus on a more definite idea and dictate that.

This only happens because I’ve spoken slowly, at first, so I know how to plug in what I’m about to say logically to what went before.

The more you do this, the more confident you become. You’re not speaking gibberish.

Once you realize that, you become even more confident because it feels good to finally break away from how people normally write.

People normally write in circles because they’re trying to correct what they just said and they get stuck in analysis paralysis as well as in shiny object syndrome. And it’s a mess!

It feels good to just say the point and move on to the next point.

The more you do this, the more confident you become because things start to flow and you can feel the sense of momentum.

Step #9: Use pauses in your speech to weigh different thoughts and compare them

This happens all the time: when you look an outline item, at least 3 different ways of expressing that point flash through your mind.

The good news is, when you speak, there are always natural breaks.

This is how the manual transcriber will figure out your sentences.

Take full advantage of these pauses to think about the things that you’re about to say and the different expressions that you can choose from.

This is not just a simple matter of picking the right wording because each wording takes you to a different place.

They each have a different shape and, depending on which you choose, they flow differently.

The key here is to compare them. “How do they fit with what I’ve said before? How do they look when placed within the context of the big picture that my outline gives me?”

Focus on what you’ve said before as well as trying to fit these different options and versions to the next item on your outline.

At this point, the fact that you have read the outline at least twice helps you tremendously.

Step #10: Vary the speed of your speech

When you speak really quickly in certain parts of your outline, that pushes you to enter a state of momentum.

How? On that outline point, you feel that you know everything there is to quickly say, it all makes sense to you.

You know just the right words and you’re not grasping for clarity or you’re trying to “shape” your thoughts on that point. That’s why you’re able to speak quickly.

But, this is also a signal to yourself.

When you’re speaking quickly, you’re giving yourself permission to be confident. But on certain points, you need to slow down.

This is where you can zero in on alternate ways of phrasing your next selected thought.

Maybe you’re not as confident, and that’s okay because you’re slowing down a little bit and clearly identifying the options in front of you.

Once you pick something that seems complete enough, select it, forget about the rest, and move on.

Step #11: Focus on thoughts that are more definite, clearly detailed, and easier to describe

I said in the point above that you need to select an item that seems the best and move on. How do you know which is the best?

Well, it has to look more definite, there has to be a little more detail in that idea, plus it’s easier for you to verbalize.

This is how you know which of your thoughts to go with. And, the good news is if you pick the right thoughts, you become more confident.

How do you know you’ve picked the right ones? You start speaking faster.

Step #12: If you make a mistake, backtrack by saying “scratch that”

As I’ve mentioned several times in this blog, use a manual transcriber.

I don’t even bother with software solutions like Dragon Naturally Speaking because they aren’t sensitive enough.

Software doesn’t pick up the nuances of my cadence and the pace of my speech.

A human being, on the other hand, is able to zero in on this. My transcribers are able to figure out the right sentence construction.

In many cases, they’re able to edit certain portions out to make the transcript more powerful.

Since I’m using manual transcribers, I can then just say ‘scratch that’ if I feel that I went down the wrong path.

Maybe I picked the wrong idea?

Maybe I followed up a vague sentence with a more awkward phrase?

Whatever the case may be, by just saying ‘scratch that,’ I mentally reset and I also put the transcriber listening to the audio on notice.

They then delete the past sentence, and I can try again.

Step #13: Keep repeating the same point until you’re confident of what you’ve said

The most common way I edit myself is when I repeat the same sentence seemingly over and over again. But my manual transcribers know what’s really going on.

They understand that when I repeat the sentence, there are actually slight changes at the end.

Maybe I used different words, or I put those words in a different order!

They know enough to pick the last repetition of that sentence because they know that that is the final version of the thought that I’m expressing.

Feel free to use this process.

Don’t think that you’re screwing up. Don’t think that you’re dumb or that there’s something wrong with you.

This is a part of the natural process of you discovering how to best express your thoughts and edit them mentally.

It’s as if you are editing your thoughts as you describe, express, and verbalize them.

It may seem awkward at first but the more you repeat it, the more you start seeing patterns. Take note of these patterns and be aware of them later on. Pretty soon, you start working with your verbal patterns to produce better results.

I know that, sometimes, I say more confusing versions of sentences after I’ve spoken really quickly.

I know that pattern about myself, so I work around that to dictate more clearly.

Step #14: Remember how you’ve expressed similar points in the past

When you’re reading your outline, you should also remember points that they remind you of.

Because when you see those similar elements, you can then repeat how you have talked about them or approached them in the past.

This is a form of mental recall and a great way to exercise your verbalization skills.

You simply just try to fit the new ideas to how you’ve mentioned them or approached them before.

Pretty soon, you are able to instantly express certain ideas in your own way, out of habit.

The final word on mental editing during dictation

Mental editing can be very confusing. Oftentimes, it may seem like you’re not getting the benefits of dictation blogging.

Don’t let your fears get the better of you.

Understand that everything in life has a learning curve. Dictaphone writing is no exception.

What’s crucial is you pay close attention to the steps that I’ve described, come up with your own variations, and improvise until you have come up with a system that you are fully comfortable with. The more you repeat it, the easier it becomes. And before you know it, you enter a state of momentum. This is the point where it’s harder to stop than it is to start.

The 17 most common dictation blogging outline mistakes and how to fix them

Let me be clear: outlines make or break your dictated content.

If you’re using dictation blogging or dictaphone writing to create blog posts, book chapters, short stories, articles, or what have you, you have to have a solid outline.

Outlines are crucial because they provide organization. You’re not just shooting off your thoughts and hoping that something sticks or makes sense. Your outline provides an overall shape to what you’re saying. It limits what you should say and prevents you from talking about stuff that doesn’t matter.

A good outline also sets the tone for your content. This goes a long way in setting the overall quality of your piece.

Finally—and, I believe, most importantly—a great outline sets you up to deliver on the promise of your content. Every single piece of content you dictate has a promise. Otherwise, people wouldn’t bother reading it.

For blog posts, you are promising that you will deliver whatever is promised by the keywords your readers used to find your content on Google.

Sadly, dictaphone writers screw up outlines all the time.

Sure, you can go from writing 3,000 words per day manually to dictating 50,000 words day after day. The problem is, quantity never replaces quality.

Dictation bloggers end up producing garbage because their outlines are trash.

Usually, this happens because they didn’t give themselves enough time to write quality dictation outlines. They end up with a very vague list of ideas, so they end up winging it.

When I “wing it,” I end up rambling! Sometimes I hit the bullseye, but most of the time, I’m just spitting out words.

Another reason why dictabloggers screw up their outlines is they don’t read it.

They don’t even read it once. They just write and, once the list is done, they start dictating. They don’t go over the list items.

They don’t try to come up with a big picture and see if all the items line up with the objective behind the outline. They just write it out and start dictating.

To help you come up with better outlines, whether dictated or handwritten, here are 17 common mistakes dictation writers make when preparing outlines.

Keep these in mind when you are writing out your materials. Avoid these and you increase your chances of coming up with a solid outline that will produce a solid transcript.

Mistake #1: There is no central point or purpose to your outlines

If you fail to focus on the intent of the searchers for the keyword you’re targeting with your content, your text is going to be worthless.

Maybe you just come up with a list of points to cover that somehow has something to do with the keyword.

Maybe you repeat the keyword several times.

These aren’t good enough.

An effective blog post or online article addresses the intent behind the keyword that piece of content is targeting.

If you don’t do this, there’s no set purpose for your outline and its value suffers quite a bit.

Mistake #2: Wording your points so broadly you get confused

If your outline has very broad terms or your theme for your outline points is so broad, it’s very easy for you to talk in circles.

It seems that each outline item is broad enough to cover the point that came before and the point that will come after.

This is very frustrating because you basically find yourself repeating yourself again and again as you read each outline point.

You start to panic and try to come up with something different. And, this makes things even worse.

Mistake #3: Using outline points that are too similar to each other in content

If you write your outline in short sentences and the sentences are very similar to each other, you can end up confusing yourself.

For one, you might find yourself repeating the points that you made earlier because of the similarity of the outline items.

They do have some difference in terms of theme and context, but the way you wrote ended up confusing you.

You waste a lot of time trying to figure your current outline item apart from the one that you just covered. There’s a lot of dead time in your dictation, and this can increase your transcription costs.

Not only that, you may end up so confused trying to separate the points from each other that you fail to fully prepare for the next point.

You need more time to get your thoughts together and this creates more dead air during your dictation’s recording process.

Mistake #4: Your points are so narrow they choke you up

The whole point of an outline is to get your creative juices flowing. An outline must not be a fully written article or even the major excerpts of an article—that would defeat the purpose.

A great outline consists of a few sentences that are worded in such a way that they inspire you to achieve a state of mental flow.

Just by looking at the outline, you know what to say, when to say it, and when to end.

You then start up with the next point and repeat the process until you’re done with the article.

The problem is if your outline points are so narrow that there’s really only one way to dictate them, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. You’re so intimidated by the wording that you feel that you have to “make it perfect.”

This throws off your mental agility, and it feels like you put on a straitjacket.

Not surprisingly, a lot of dictation bloggers choke up; they draw a blank.

You have to widen your points a bit so you avoid putting unnecessary emotional pressure on yourself.

Wording counts for a lot. And, if you frame your outline points so narrowly that it seems that there’s only one “right answer,” you’re not doing yourself any favors.

Your outline is supposed to help you, not trip you up.

Mistake #5: Writing a mini-article instead of an outline

I get it. When you’re writing your outline, you are trying to freeze the thoughts that come to mind when you think about the central theme of whatever it is you’re writing.

But, just because you think about it doesn’t mean you have to write it down.

The whole point of an outline is to distill the main points of what you’re about to talk about so you can remember those prior insights.

When you were doing research for your article, you were learning a lot of new things and covering a lot of ground. You shouldn’t write everything that you’ve read.

In fact, you should just allow yourself to be emotionally comfortable with the material.

Try to remember the key points, but don’t pack them in all into your outline. If you do, you end up with a mini-article.

When I first started dictation blogging, my “outlines” were basically 75% of the finished blog posts and articles I was working on.

You might think that this is a good thing, but it’s actually a big problem. You don’t know which parts to add to, and you don’t know which parts to cut down on.

It leads to a lot of confusion, and the resulting transcript’s overall quality is uneven at best.

Focus on writing an outline. This means identifying the main points, simplifying them, and getting them down.

When you read the outline point, it should be so powerful and complete that whole “unpacked ideas” and examples flow naturally through your mind. That’s how an outline is supposed to work.

Mistake #6: Failing to include examples

If your outline is just a series of points with no examples that serve to explain those points, you’re writing a list—that’s not an outline.

It’s like you were simply whipping out a shopping list: each item is stuff that you’re going to shop for at your grocery store.

The whole point of an outline is to give you enough inspiration to tease out a set of well-developed paragraphs from your mind. This doesn’t just include the point that you’re trying to make but also examples of that point in action.

Mistake #7: Failing to follow a logical sequence

Please understand that if you want to be a successful writer, whether you dictate your content or type it out manually, people have to get value from whatever it is your produce.

It’s hard to do that when your outline doesn’t follow a logical sequence.

It’s as if you start at the end, then you bounce to the beginning, then you talk about something that happened in the middle of the process, then you go back to the end.

Not only is this hard to follow, but people will have a tough time gaining some value out of it.

Remember, people are reading your stuff because they have problems to solve.

They’re looking for an experience. Give them that experience by making things smooth and easy-to-follow.

You start at the beginning, work your way to the middle, and then you conclude with the end. This way, people can actually take action on what you just said.

If you wrote an amusing blog post, then they’re more likely to remember because it fits a logical sequence that is similar enough to a lot of the other stories that they remember.

Mistake #8: Including outline points that duplicate other points’ themes

It’s a bad idea to include outline points that are so similar to each other that they trip you up.

It’s also a bad idea to do the same thing but using different wording.

Let me put it this way: you can come up with an outline that may seem that it has different outline points (they’re all worded differently). But when you read them, they actually talk about the same themes.

Or, the themes that they cover are too closely related to each other.

If you do this, you end up confusing yourself.

Again, you are in danger of repeating the same materials until you figure out that the themes are too similar to each other—so you try to edit yourself verbally.

You spend too much time and effort trying to do this while you’re in the middle of dictating your points. And, if you’re faced with this problem again and again as you read through your outline, it can get very tiring.

Also, you might not do a good job separating and distinguishing each outline item enough. When you get the transcript, it seems that you’re just talking about the same point in slightly different ways again and again—not exactly the hallmark of quality content.

Don’t include points that duplicate or come very close to other points’ themes.

Mistake #9: Using overly vague outline points

Just as it is a bad idea to use outline points that are so narrow that they choke you up, you can’t go to the other extreme either.

If your outline points are so vague that they don’t really push you to zero in on key concepts that you’ve thought about when you were researching your content and writing your outline, vague outline points are sure to make you draw a blank.

This is bad news!

A sense of panic starts to set in. There are gaps in your dictation as you mentally scramble for things to say. Your mental gears are grinding against each other as you try to mentally define each outline point.

But, it’s too late. You should have done that when you were writing your outline.

The best way to fix this problem is to read your outline from the point of view of somebody who doesn’t have a clue about what you’re going to talk about.

You will instantly spot vague points. Clarify these on your outline.

Mistake #10: Using outline points that have logical gaps

I get it. When you are writing your outline, you are so pumped up because you are going to be dictating your blog post, article, or novel chapters.

You’re excited about going from 3,000 words per day to maybe 20,000 to 50,000 words daily.

But, the problem is if you are so excited writing your outline, you may focus on key points and fail to break them down.

You make key assumptions that you shouldn’t be making.

When you end up reading your outline, you go from point to point, and there’s a logical gap in between.

Remember, whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, your outlines should be logically tight.

They should walk the reader through whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. And if you assume that each point is so clear and convincing, there’s a good chance that you might make logical leaps.

The workaround to this is to assume that people don’t know what you’re talking about.

You have to walk them through the process so things make sense to them. They should get the feeling that everything is falling into place.

Don’t just assume that the reader, by finding himself or herself on your website, would automatically know what you’re talking about.

Mistake #11: Failing to break down answers to search intent

If you’re writing a blog post or article that you’re going to be publishing online, keep in mind that you have to deliver value to the reader of that content.

Usually, the main reason why the reader is even checking out your content is because they entered a keyword or a keyphrase into Google. They have a clear intent when entering those terms.

Deliver on that intent. Your outline must break down the answer to that intent.

You can’t just say it in passing in one outline point—that’s not going to cut it.

Your whole outline should be a break down of all the parts, arguments, and details that make up the answer to the visitors’ questions.

Mistake #12: Your outline points refer too much to each other

If your outline points keep referring to each other, you end up confusing yourself.

You have to keep in mind that dictation blogging involves a high rate of speed. You’re talking at 100 words to 200 words per minute.

And if you keep running into an outline item that refers to a previous point that you made, you can end up confused. You may have forgotten what you have said or how you said it.

Every second you take to try to remember can break down your concentration. It’s too easy to get thrown off track and end up drawing blanks.

Avoid this situation by cleaning up your outline so your outline points are not referring to each other. If you can’t avoid this, try to minimize it.

Mistake #13: Failing to manage your readers’ expectations

When you write an outline that has broad promises, you better deliver on those promises. Otherwise, you might want to dial back what you promised so the reader is not left hanging high and dry.

Each outline item must deliver on whatever it is the reader is expecting. If that item doesn’t or is too vague, cut it out and replace it with something that does the job.

Your outline must serve the needs of your reader. And, a key part of this is managing their expectations—if you make a promise, better deliver on it.

The best way to do this is to manage your readers’ expectations by wording your outline items carefully enough so they know what to expect and what not to expect.

Mistake #14: Using passive outline points

When you use passive outline points, don’t be surprised if the content that you’d dictate is also in the passive voice.

This is a serious problem if you want your content to stand out from your competition.

You may be thinking that passive sentences are not that big of a deal. Well, think again!

In the dog-eat-dog world of SEO content creation, keyword-targeted blogging, or Kindle Direct Publishing, you must use every single advantage you have in your corner.

Using active voice and producing more engaging content can put you ahead of your competition. Don’t be complacent and think that if you create content that has a passive tone (because of your passive outline points) that your reader wouldn’t notice—it’s a serious problem!

You’re putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage.

Mistake #15: Failing to break down an outline point which contains several points

There are certain outline points that need to be broken down into their own specific points.

Maybe the idea is too broad or you’re describing some sort of process that can only safely be handled through several outline points. Know how to spot these.

If you read an outline point and you start thinking of a long, complicated, and convoluted process, that’s your cue. You’re dealing with something that would be better off broken down into separate points.

You don’t want to lose your reader.

The funny thing is if you insist on packing that whole process into one outline point, you might end up confusing yourself.

Not only do you lose your reader, you also lose your train of thought.

Talk about a disaster!

Mistake #16: Failing to shorten your outline points for maximum impact

Just like with good poetry and many other forms of written art, the shorter your point, the sweeter it is.

The same goes with online content. If your outline points are long and drawn out, chances are good your content would also be long and tedious.

You have to keep your readers’ attention. This the mark of solid content.

To make this happen, shorten your outline points for maximum emotional impact.

Now, you shouldn’t go overboard and shorten it so much that it becomes vague or confusing. You shouldn’t also cut too many words from the sentence that you don’t know what it means.

It should be long enough to contain everything that you need to know so you can dictate solid content on that point.

Mistake #17: Relying too much on industry jargon or keywords

This mistake is too obvious and, unfortunately, too common.

A lot of online publishers think that they’re going to get extra love from Google by littering their content with all sorts of jargon, industry keywords, or “terms of art.”

Dictation bloggers can make the same mistake when they pack such info into their outline.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for this. But, if you include too many pieces industry jargon or technical keywords into your outline, it’s not going to flow. The amount of user engagement that your content is going to enjoy will suffer.

It would look too robotic, mechanical, dull, and lifeless.

I’m not saying that you should completely avoid industry jargon or related keywords, but be sparing. Focus on delivering on search intent, and everything else will fall into place.


To avoid these 17 common outline writing mistakes for dictated text, you have to practice outline writing constantly.

You can’t avoid these problems the first time you read and become aware of the tips included in this article.

That’s just not going to happen.

Being aware of these is a necessary first step, but awareness is not the same as execution. You have to put these tips into practice.

I suggest that you start low and slow. Be on the lookout for one mistake, clear that out from your outline writing, then move on to the next mistake, and then the item after that.

Also, when you are identifying these mistakes in how you write outlines, work around your errors.

See how you can come up with solutions that prevent you from making these mistakes in the first place.

Once you become comfortable with alternative ways of writing, scale up your speed and the depth of your outline.

Pretty soon, you’ll be blasting out outlines and dictating them quickly without suffering any loss in quality.

How do I choose a good human transcription service?

If you’re reading this, you probably have already made your mind to go fully manual.

Maybe you’ve heard a lot of good things about human-transcribed dictations. Perhaps, you have all sorts of expectations regarding quality and ease of publication.

But before you jump in with both feet looking for this type of service, I want you to take a step back.

First, be clear about why you’re picking a manual transcription service in the first place.

If you don’t have a solid idea, chances are your expectations might be unrealistic.

You probably don’t need me to remind you how damaging unrealistic expectations could be.

What should you expect from manual transcription?

What follows is the typical list of benefits human transcription services bring to the table. But just because most people get these benefits, doesn’t automatically mean you will.

I want you to be clear about these so you can line them up with your own expectations.

Logical sentence construction

Software transcription is lousy when it comes to logical sentence breaks. This is why you have to “train them”—which can take forever.

Human beings, on the other hand, are able to detect where sentences begin and where they end. Just as important, they have a preference for better sentence construction. The resulting transcript reads better because of logical sentence construction.

You don’t have to dictate punctuation

I don’t know about you, but one of the most annoying things about dictating to software involves punctuation!

You have to direct the software how to end or format your sentence. Sure, a lot of authors say that this becomes second nature. But, does it really? What kind of price do you pay to reach that stage?

In many cases, when you dictate punctuation, you lose your train of thought. If you’re reading this, you would know how important thought clarity is when dictating content.

You can dictate at full speed

Since you don’t have to worry about sentence construction and punctuation dictation, you can dictate at full speed. This is crucial, because when you’re dictablogging or doing dictaphone writing, ideas flash through your mind at the speed of thousands of miles per hour.
You want to “freeze” as many of those ideas as you can and put them into a logical structure before you speak it. This requires your full attention, so you can dictate them properly. It would be a shame to master this process, only to be forced to slow down because you’re dictating to software.

When you’re dealing with a human transcription service, you don’t have to worry about this.

You can edit yourself

Personally, this is the biggest selling point of human transcription services.

You can say a sentence and, in a split second, say that sentence again (or a fragment of it) with key changes. A human transcriber would easily understand what happened and your transcript will reflect “the final version” of your sentence.

Good luck doing this with software!

What you would see is the same sentence repeated over and over with slight variations at the end. This makes editing a nightmare!

You are not dictating to software

Since you don’t have to worry about punctuation, sentence construction, and other software-based issues, you can focus your attention on your audience.

You can also emote, explore side topics, and otherwise, enrich the text that you are producing with your voice.

This doesn’t happen with software—you’re trapped in a box. Because, if you dare go out of the technical parameters of that box, the transcript’s going to suffer.

You want fuller control over the creative process

Since you have such a wider leeway when you’re dictating to a human being, you have fuller control.

You can slow down. You can speed up in certain parts. You also have the time to think about other parts of the transcription and change your dictation accordingly.

The confidence that you get can also enable you to skip through different parts of your outline—and not have to worry that you are going to break something or dictate in such a way that would harm the quality of the transcript.

You can’t do that with software because, at the back of your head, you’re afraid that if you do something or you’re too aggressive, the transcript would be lousy.

You are assured of a minimum quality standard

Assuming that you hire the right transcriber, you can at least trust that the transcript will meet certain minimum quality standards.

This is a big deal—because when dealing with software, sometimes, the quality is hit-or-miss.

When you’re dictating to software, you’re very fearful. So, you feel you’re very limited when it comes to your dictation style.

Not so with human transcribers. You can experiment with your dictation styles in a bid to improve your output.

Maybe you’re trying to produce more content, or you are writing a different type of content.

Please understand that when you’re dictating an article or blog post, you are going to be speaking at a different speed and form than when you are dictating a novel or chapters in a fairly long story.

You want this flexibility. Unfortunately, that can’t be found with software.

You can give special instructions

Transcribers can also be instructed to format your content a certain way.

Maybe you need specialized spacing; or you would like pictures embedded in the text. You are given wider leeway when it comes to additional instructions. Of course, the more specialized and labor-intensive the instructions become (for example: adding pictures), the more you should pay the transcriber.

Still, you have this capability that you don’t have with software.

You enjoy greater flexibility with manual transcription

Let’s face it: when you are dictating your content, on some days, you feel really productive and you could speak at a rate of 300 words per minute.

The ideas seem to hit you from all places. On the other hand, there are certain days when you’re dictating at a snail’s pace.

When you’re working with a human transcription service, you have a lot more flexibility because you can change the pace of your voice. You can also give special instructions on how to format or process certain parts of your dictation.

This flexibility translates to greater creative opportunities, and—ultimately—a higher-quality end product. I wish I could say the same about software.

Make no mistake, there are certain situations where software transcription makes sense.

For example, if you’re just filling up a website and you need low-quality fillers, go with software. You save a tremendous amount of money and you fill up your website in no time.

But, if you expect your output to be engaging and to communicate with your target audience on many different levels, I highly suggest you go with a human transcription service.

How to choose a good human transcription service

In the following sections, I’m going to step you through key strategies that have enabled successful dictation bloggers and dictaphone writers to pick high-quality, cost-effective human transcription services.

Stick to these guidelines—because the further you get away from them, the more likely you’re going to run into problems.

Don’t obsess about price

I get it! You’re a struggling writer or you’re just starting out. You don’t have much capital. This is all understandable.

But, please also understand that if you try to cut costs too much, you’re going to be creating more problems than you’re solving.

It’s very tempting, at this point in time, to hire an offshore transcription firm—these are companies that seem legit on the surface.

They also offer a seemingly irresistible price.

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance of a 2 cents-per-minute transcription?

Seems like a slam dunk, right? Well, not so fast.

You have to understand that many offshore firms actually use software. When you go to their website, they show rows upon rows of people typing away. But, that’s just the image that they’re trying to create.

In reality, the company involves 3 guys running audio through software. If that’s the kind of service you want, you could’ve done it yourself!

There are all sorts of transcription software available online—a lot of them are free! Why should you pay an offshore firm to do something that you could be doing yourself?

Another downside with low-cost firms is that they’re staffed with people with very rough English skills.

This is not a slam against offshore firms, but let’s be perfectly clear: a lot of them are based in countries with large populations of people who speak English as a second language. This might sound awesome on the surface, but there’s a wide disparity among that population when it comes to English skills.

Another common problem with low-cost transcription services is that they often use software for the quality assurance process.

Just because Grammarly says that a piece of text has a 99 quality score, doesn’t mean you automatically get to sleep better at night. I’ve seen Grammarly-passed content that will churn your stomach.

The bottom line about pricing:

You shouldn’t obsess about price; price should not be your main selection criterion when picking a human transcription service.

Hire individuals, not agencies

From the looks of things, agencies seem to have so many advantages.

First, they have professional communication channels—if you have a question, you can expect it to be answered very quickly. They also tend to operate very fast. From the time you send your payment to the point you get your transcript, expect a few hours, not days.

Agencies also have standardized processes. They have a process for taking your order, processing it, getting it to you, and dealing with any kind of revisions you may have in mind.

One of their biggest selling points is redundancy.

When you go to a typical transcription agency website, they will always tell you that they have several people available should the person assigned to your project fall behind. What’s not to love, right? All told, agencies are more likely to meet deadlines.

You may be asking yourself, “given all these advantages, what could possibly be the downside?”

Well, it turns out that agency disadvantages are quite considerable.

First of all, they tend to be more expensive. Somebody’s got to pay for all that redundancy and quick processing. That person is you!

Also, behind the scenes, it’s too tempting for these firms to use software. They may not automate the whole transcription process, but it’s too tempting to use software for at least parts of the transcription or quality assurance process.

Another downside to hiring an agency is that they might assign your project to somebody less experienced.

Their testimonials and sales materials may play up the skill set of their most brilliant employee. But when it comes to your project, it’s assigned to the newbie—this doesn’t exactly give people confidence.

I prefer individual transcribers. Why?

They’re more likely to just focus on your project. They’re not likely to have several projects in the air.

This means that they can give your project the attention it deserves. This translates to individual transcribers delivering a more uniform quality.

You have to understand that if you want to run a successful business, you need predictability. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where your output is awesome one day, and a complete pile of garbage the next. You’re going to quickly run out of business that way.

Hire individuals, not agencies.

Filter for basic qualifications

When you’re hiring individual transcribers, stick to the basics. What kind of skills are you exactly looking for?

Too many small business people from the United States are blind to this. They automatically assume that if somebody advertises themselves as a transcriber, this means that they know what they’re doing.

Not so! You have to test people. Don’t just take their word for it.

What should you look for?

Well, at the most basic, you should shoot for somebody who could tell similar sounding English words apart.

There’s a big difference between the words “seem” and “seam.” The same goes with “scene” and “seen.”

As you probably already know, the English language is weird.

We have many silent letters. We also have pretty funky transforming tenses. Hire somebody who could at least make sense of all of this and produce a solid transcript.

Another basic qualification involves grammar skills. The person you hire must have solid grammar skills and great English writing skills.

Let me put it this way: if they don’t know how to write English sufficiently well, they have no business transcribing your text.

Sure, they’re listening to audio and typing what they hear. But, there’s a lot more going on—they’re making sense of what they hear.

Somebody with lousy English writing skills is just going to automatically write what they hear.

They’re not going to check for self-editing, nor are they going to care if the final sentence truly matches your intent.

Another basic qualification you should be on the lookout for involves accuracy.

The right candidate must be on the lookout for self-editing.

In a typical dictation, you’re going to say the same sentence several times with small changes in the end. The idea is that the final mention of that sentence is the correct one.

Alternatively, you could say a sentence in one form and, then, quickly say another sentence with the same meaning. This is also a form of self-editing. You’re obviously replacing the previous sentence with the latest once. Why? They have the same meaning! You just came up with a better way to say it—maybe it’s shorter, maybe it gets to the point better. Whatever the case may be, superiority is obvious.

You need to hire somebody that can tell.

You don’t want somebody who just blindly types out one sentence after another without actually thinking the structure through.

Which leads me to the final basic qualification which is competent sentence construction.

Since you’re not dictating punctuation, your transcriber must be able to spot sentence transitions and forms from a mile away. Otherwise, you’re going to get a lot of run-on sentences or badly chopped up sentences.

Neither of these situations are good because they make you look like a bad writer!

Ask for a multi-stage trial

If you’ve ever applied for a job, you know that during the interview, you’re going to have to look like Superman—most applicants are able to pull this off.

But, once they start working, it’s an entirely different story.

The same goes with online hiring. When you try people out with just one test assignment, don’t be surprised if almost everybody looks like the second coming of Dostoyevsky—really well constructed sentences, clear passages, and amazing flow.

But, once you hire them, it’s as if you took on a 3rd grader! What happened?

Well, I don’t want you to find yourself in a situation where you’re asking yourself ‘what happened!’ This is why I recommend that you insist on a multi-stage trial.

The first stage should filter people based on whether they can understand and write basic English.

Nothing too dramatic or overly complicated. But, this is the stage where you have to be very strict.

If the test comes in with even a minor error, fail that person. The stakes are too high!

Because if you think that they will be able to fix their errors later on, you are only fooling yourself. Errors get magnified. They don’t decrease from this point on.

The next step is to test their ability to transcribe materials in different styles.

Stage 1 would have a straightforward style. Stage 2 would have a more varied or confusing speaking style.

They should clear both stages with flying colors.

The final stage of your screening process should also involve different additional steps.

Maybe you could ask them to format the transcript. Maybe you could ask them to change its order.

This not only tells you that this person is ready, willing, and eager to take instructions; but, this person is also willing to learn from you.

Be on the lookout for this red flag

If you come across somebody who doesn’t want to test and just tells you that they have many years of experience, skip that person.

Either they don’t have any confidence in their skills, or they’re using some sort of automated system. Either way, you have no business doing business with them.

Build quality assurance into your process

The system that I use involves emails. When I send a work to a transcriber, I would list instructions for that person. They only need to read the instructions so they can produce the quality that I’m looking for.

When I hired that person, I gave them a standard checklist. I instructed them to read it very carefully and include it in every transcript delivery.

The idea is, every time they read those instructions coming in, and the packing slip going out, they’re reminded of the quality standards that their work has to live up to.

This goes a long way in avoiding any nasty surprises.

It also reminds the contractor of my quality expectations. I’m happy to report that this has worked quite well.

Here’s the secret, though: you can’t just use a blanket statement along the lines of, “I expect quality.” That’s not going to cut it!

You have to break it down into steps.

When you do, you end up defining what quality is—and this puts the contractor on notice. They have a clear idea of how you define quality and they will, then, work accordingly. This way, you don’t have any outsized expectations and, on the other hand, it’s also fair to them because they’re on notice.

Prepare for revisions

I wish I could tell you that once you build quality assurance into your process, you don’t have to worry about production hiccups and quality issues in the future. Sadly, that’s not realistic—we are human beings and stuff does happen from time to time.

What’s important is that you’re prepared for these production hiccups.

When you include a packing sheet that you’ll require per delivery, be clear on certain error patterns.

Try to update your packing sheet so the transcriber will be up to date as to what kind of problems other contractors are facing.

Finally, when you contact your transcriber regarding issues that you found with his or her work, specify how they can fix it.

You’re not resolving the issue when you just call people out. You have to take the extra step and tell them, “this is how I’d like it fixed.”

Don’t automatically assume that they know how to fix the problem. In many cases, they might not even think there’s a problem.

Manage both of your expectations carefully to produce a positive outcome.

Where to find the right transcriber

Now that you have a clear idea of the processes that you’re going to have to use so you can maximize transcription quality, the next step is to find the right contractors.

You have many options available to you: you can go with standard freelancing platforms, gig-based freelancing exchanges, online classified ads, and Facebook groups.

As awesome as these options may seem on the surface, they also come with quite a number of disadvantages that you should know of.

Blindly jumping into one or several platforms, without a clear idea about possible issues, might end up wasting a lot of your time.

Since time is money, you have to be very careful.

Standard freelancing platforms

These are platforms where the client posts the specifications of the project they need done.

A lot of these platforms don’t have transcription-specific categories, but it doesn’t matter. Most of the categories are broadly defined anyway. So, most traditional freelancing websites can accommodate transcription projects.

The advantages of standard freelancing platforms

These websites are more open-ended, so you end up with a better selection of talent. Since they are less likely to have a specific transcription section (or even a breakdown of different types of transcriptions), your ad is more likely to reach a wider range of eyeballs.

You can also specify whether you’d like to pay on an hourly basis or on a project basis.

This is important! Because if you’re paying by time, the transcriber is incentivized to work more slowly. How come? The slower their work, the more money they make.

You’re putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.

Pay only based on task or quota. This way, you pay for results.

Also, keep in mind that standard freelancing platforms have a unified review system.

If you are not happy with the work done by your contractor, you can let every potential future customer of that provider know.

This system goes a long way in filtering out bad transcribers.

These systems also have a centralized payment process.

When they deliver work to you, they don’t automatically get the money. It gets put on escrow until you have enough time to review the output. Once you review, they are then notified that after so many days, they will get their payment.

Depending on the platform, the delay can range from several days to several weeks.

The most common disadvantages of standard freelancing platforms

The most common downsides to standard freelancing exchanges and platforms involve price.

Sure, you are going to get a wide range of bids on your project. You might end up with a project that is priced by contractors anywhere from close to USA rates to cents on the dollar.

You may be thinking to yourself, “well, this is awesome because I can just zero in on the low-price offers!”

But, please pay close attention to what I said earlier in this article: do not obsess about price. You are more likely to get burned that way.

Another drawback to this type of platform is that these people are not specialists.

They might be transcribers, but they’re focused more on a specific type of transcription or a specific industry.

You’re going to have to put in the time to train these individuals to produce the output you’re looking for.

Gig-based freelancing platforms

Gig-based or project-based freelancing platforms shift the focus to the service provider.

For example, if you are a data entry person, you put an ad saying that “I do data entry, and this is how much I charge.” For contractors, they get peace of mind because they can charge a flat rate and they can focus on a specific type of service.

From a customer’s perspective, this is good news because everything is task-specific and pricing is definite. It doesn’t change based on the project details you post on the platform.

Not surprisingly, prices tend to be cheaper because there’s a tremendous amount of competition among service sellers.

For example, somebody can post that they do data entry and charge $10 for 500 records. Another person, who lives in a country that has a lower cost of living, can post a rival ad saying, “I can do it for $5!”

I hope you see how this works. It’s a race to the bottom when it comes to the contractors, but it’s good news for you.

But, as I’ve mentioned earlier, focusing only on price can be a trap. Still, the price competition is definitely welcome.

These systems also have the centralized format of typical freelancing platforms. They have a centralized review system, as well as a unified payment process.

These gig-based freelancing platforms actually have more of a downside for the service provider.

Not only do they take longer to pay, but their review system is tied to the visibility of the service provider’s listing.

If they get too many bad reviews, you don’t see them on the platform as much. They basically disappear.

This is good news for you as the customer, but this might freeze out otherwise high-quality and very competent service providers.

The disadvantages of gig-based freelancing platforms

As I’ve mentioned earlier, these platforms involve a “race to the bottom” among service providers. Their services are essentially reduced to the form of commodities.

Given this reality, a lot of sellers are more likely to cut corners.

Since they know that the only way they can compete is to lower their price, they are tempted to use software or other shortcuts to sustain their low price.

Also, they’re more likely to take on more jobs because each job pays very little. This increases the chances that they would cut corners by delivering partially completed work.

They’re hoping that you would bounce back the work—and this revision time buys them time to actually complete your project.

Finally (and this is the worst disadvantage that I’ve saved for last), you might have to waste your time filtering through dozens—if not hundreds—of supposedly “tried and proven” sellers just to find somebody good.

Classified ads websites and Facebook groups

These are specialized sites, as well as Facebook groups, that focus on job ads. These can be very specific—like groups and classified sections specializing in writers, data entry people, or virtual assistants.

There are many classified sites all over the internet. Some are regional; others cover the whole planet.

Advantages of classified sites and Facebook groups

These tend to feature quite inexpensive freelancers. A lot of them are just typical Facebook users who decided to do a little side hustle from time to time. This means that you have a lot more people bidding on your project; more people are likely to apply.

Since it’s more free form, you can ask for more extensive add-on services like research, very deep formatting, or even picture work that they have to embed into the final transcript.

Disadvantages of classified ad sites and Facebook groups

Since you’re basically working with a free-form type of format, all the work is shifted to you.

You’re going to have to filter a tremendous amount of people. For every 250 people that apply, maybe 1 is qualified.

Also, since it’s time-intensive, you need to automate your back-end. Otherwise, you’re just going to be so tired and confused at the end of the day.

Worse yet, nobody might quality after you go through all that filtering.

Play the numbers game

To hire an excellent transcriber, you have to filter a lot of people. There are no two ways about this.

As the old saying goes, “if you want to marry a prince, you have to kiss many frogs.”

Depending on the platform you advertise your transcription project on, be ready to process hundreds of people.

Many of these could barely understand English; others don’t.

In fact, I’ve received a tremendous amount of emails that are written in a wide range of scripts—from Thai, to Hindu, to Arabic text.

Also, be ready for the challenges posed by the testing system. As I’ve mentioned above, you have to employ a multi-stage tryout system that filters people.

The best way to do this is to just be very strict with each stage.

If somebody badly transcribes a word—maybe they used the word “seen” instead of “scene”—drop them!

No need to ask for explanations; no second chances.

You simply don’t have the time to screw around because you have hundreds upon hundreds of applicants.

The tighter your filters, the better your life will be.

Finally—and this is my most important piece of advice to you when it comes to the numbers game—do not settle for “good enough.”

You’ve gone through this process and filtered this many people, so go all the way and shoot for EXCELLENCE.

This is no time to settle for “good enough.” Why?

That person is probably going to screw up even worse in the future. If you think their minor errors will remain minor, think again.

Whatever they’re messing up now will probably get worse over the long-term.

Don’t settle for good enough. Find the best.

The final word on choosing a good human transcription service

Make no mistake, picking the right service provider for your dictations is not going to be as easy as you would have hoped. But, it is definitely a journey worth taking.

If you are serious about the quality of your work, you need to find the right team.

The good news is, the right transcribers for your project exist. They definitely are out there.

You only need to set up the right system, and you will be able find them.

Just in case you’re wondering, this is the service I use for my dictaphone writing.

Organizing your thoughts for better dictation speed and clarity

While dictating, you must know what to say next. You can’t repeat or go off-track. Many writers usually go blank while dictating. Why does this happen? Maybe you just have a lot in mind. A calm mind and little preparation help you speak better. With focus and a relaxed brain, you can organize your thoughts. Once all your ideas are ready, note them and then begin speaking.

How Do You Organize Your Thoughts?

A good dictation requires a free flow of ideas. Ideas come when you have a clear head. Try to be calm and speak with a steady mind. A flawless dictation requires practice. For which you need to strengthen your memory, calm yourself, and concentrate.

Focus on Clean Thinking

Stress, anxiety, and work pressure keep your mind busy. An occupied mind can not think straight. You need to relax, keep distractions away, and focus. Begin with organizing your life which reduces the work pressure. Next, clear your mind, and take care of your health.

Organize your work

The time shortage results in worrying about deadlines and creates tension. A tense mind can not think straight. Try to follow a timetable, and finish work before time. An organized lifestyle helps in saving time.

  • Schedule your work. Plan your day and prepare a schedule. Follow the schedules, and try to finish your work on time. This way you will not have work pressure.
  • Divide big tasks into small ones. It is human psychology that we fear complex works. Divide big tasks into smaller tasks, it helps in finishing the work on time. Finishing work on time reduces stress.
  • Limit your distractions. Mobiles and other devices obstruct your thoughts. If you want to think clean, then stay away from the internet. Notifications on mobiles distract the flow of thoughts. Put away the mobile while working.

Clear your mind

Thinking all the time makes you anxious. When you have a lot in your mind, it is impossible to think straight. It is necessary to relax your brain. Stop thinking a lot, and take a break.

How to clear your mind for the moment

  • Stop and breathe. When you have distractions, take few minutes off work. Stop everything, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Slow and deep breaths help you stay clear.
  • Eat well, Sleep well. If your mind is thinking about food, it will be hard for you to focus on work. Take care of your body first. See that you eat well, sleep well, and stretch your body often. For a clear mind, you should not distract.
  • Find a quiet place. You can’t work in a noisy environment. Too much noise around you prevents you from thinking straight. Background noise often distracts, so find a quiet place to work.

Stick to healthy mental habits

For a healthy mind, you need to have a healthy body. Eat on time, sleep on time, and exercise. When you have a healthy body, it helps in creativity and clean thoughts.

  • Sleep on time. A good sleep regenerates your whole body. Sleep, wake up early and have 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Sleeping gives rest to your working brain. A well-rested mind produces excellent ideas.
  • Eat nutritious food. Healthy food nourishes your brain. Eat on time, and eat a nutritious meal. Include nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Good rest along with nutritious food keeps your brain active.
  • Physical activities. For a healthy mind, you also need a healthy body. Exercise daily for 15-20 minutes. It pushes oxygen to all parts of the body. It also energizes the brain. Exercise releases all stress and tension.

An organized life reduces stress and anxiety. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise to avoid work pressure. When you have time, and less load, you think clean.

Control negative thoughts

A weak mind with confusion will never produce good content consistently. Improving mental health needs daily practice. It includes working on negative thoughts to improving focus.

Negative thoughts obstruct creative thinking. It creates fear and prevents thinking clean. Taking control of your mind will help you in organizing the ideas.

Not all are happy and positive all the time. It is natural to get depressed at a bad time. You must learn to control your negative thoughts at that very moment.

  • Divert your negative thoughts. Temporary diversion like watching a movie, call a friend could help. It is like running away.
  • Observe your thoughts. Stop everything, and face it. Analyze your thoughts and try to understand what is making you sad. What can you do about it?
  • Talk to someone. If a situation is creating chaos in your mind, it is better to discuss it. Talking relieves you from pain and anguish.
  • Put yourself your mental comfort zone. Do anything that makes you happy. Painting, music, or a walk in the garden could also do the trick.
  • Yoga. Deep breathing technique with asana helps release all negativity.

Controlling your negative thoughts helps in turning them into positive ones. It helps in producing positive energy. With positive vibrations, your thoughts will be concrete.

Strengthen your mental health

A dull brain can not think out of the box. For good dictation, you need to be creative. Improving your mental health helps you be creative. Also, a strong mind prepares you for tough challenges. It requires regular practice.

  • Reading. It helps in imagining and discovering stories. It helps in creativity, and it is good for dictation.
  • Learn new things every week. A routine life will not widen your thinking skills. Get out of your comfort zone. Let your brain do something out of the regular. It exercises your brain and builds up your mental strength. Try to pick up one new activity every week.
  • Socializing. Meet people and talk with them. Socializing builds confidence. It builds in a complete development in you.
  • Exercise your brain. Play games like sudoku, chess, puzzles. Engage your brain in logical thinking.
  • Take up challenges. This way, you push your body and mind to go beyond your comfort zone. Learn something new, and also force yourself to the next level. Set up high standards for yourself. Do not settle for less.

Sharpen your memory

Dictation requires the flow of ideas. Ideas will flow when you remember them. For a perfect dictation, your memory should be good.

Try the following drills to improve your memory

  • Repeat important points. Say it loud 4-5 times so that you memorize it. It is a simple solution, which helps in recalling the information.
  • Make connections. Try connecting your points with something you are very close with. Linking ideas helps in recollecting thoughts.
  • Note it down. Writing down helps you remember it for a long. Also, when you forget you can check your notes.
  • Work out. Physical exercises pump blood to your brain. It helps in improving your memory abilities.
  • Drink some coffee. Caffeine alerts your brain, keeps you active. Also, it helps you in recollecting lost thoughts.

Increase your concentration skills

When you focus and work, it helps you remember for a long. Quick thinking requires focus and attention.

Improve your focusing skills by doing the following:

  • Don’t multitask. Try to take up one task at a time. Doing many tasks divides your focus into many things. Try to finish a task before taking up another. It lets you concentrate on one thing at a time, which is good for remembering it for a long.
  • Take breaks. Taking a small break helps you work better. Even a tough job becomes easy when you take a break. Do not watch mobile during the break. The main point of the break is to rest your mind. Close your eyes and give rest to your mind for 5 minutes before resuming.
  • Be in the present. When you are working on something, be in the present. While working do not think of other tasks. Focus on what is in your hand. It improves the quality and also helps you stay focused.
  • Avoid distractions. Try to focus on your work by sitting in a quiet place, avoid talking to people between work. When you are working, try to focus on your work alone.

Calm your mind

A calm mind can tackle the most problematic situation without trouble. You commit mistakes when you are afraid or stressed out. Staying calm will help you think better.

Learn to always stay mentally calm using the following tips:

  • Stay positive. Think positive and don’t worry about the result. This attitude will ensure you focus on the right place. Staying clear and away from negativity helps you stay calm.
  • Meditate. Meditation improves focus skills. It also calms your restless mind. Deep breathing techniques with meditation help in releasing all anxiety, stress, and tension.
  • Listen to non-distracting ambient music. Soothing music helps you stay calm. During the break from work, listen to some soothing music. This way, it will distract you from work pressure and calm your brain.
  • Solve puzzles. Brain activities distract you from work. It helps in reducing stress.

With a calm mind, you can analyze thoughts well. When you focus, you are productive. Meditation with breathing trains your brain. And a strong mind is full of ideas and creativity. Clean thinking and a strong intellect result in a free flow of ideas.

Now that you have a flow of thoughts capture them! Noting them helps you in the long run.

Prepare Notes

Once you have everything sorted in the brain, you should note it. Planning and writing down your ideas will improve dictation. Prepare the list of ideas. Make a schedule and follow it.

Make your list the right way

To organize your ideas, you need to write everything. Writing helps you track your ideas. Make it a habit to note all your ideas on paper. Prepare a list by organizing all your thoughts.

  • Note down the key points of what you’ll talk about. Free-write everything. Write down all your ideas on a piece of paper. Freewriting means putting down all your thoughts. It can be anything and everything. Don’t worry about grammar or structure. 
  • Research your work. Spend time studying and researching. It helps you gather more ideas for your subject. This way you will not only know what you’ll be dictating but you’ll be comfortable with whole topic blocs you’ll be covering. 
  • Group your ideas. Once you have all the points on the paper, classify them. Group similar ideas and make groups and subgroups. 
  • Arrange ideas in your head. Once you have all ideas grouped. Arrange the group of ideas in a sequence. 
  • Roughly plan it all out. Once everything is in order, divide it into subplots. After grouping and arranging add details. With a final touch, finish the structure and prepare the list. This list will have all your ideas in it.

Stick to a schedule

All your ideas are on the list. Next, you need to schedule and dictate around the points mentioned in the list. Divide your list into sessions. Maintain a daily schedule for these sessions.

Be consistent

Dictate in sessions as per the schedule. Being consistent will give you confidence. With a fresh mind, do your daily session without missing it. Do not overload or take up more, as the quality might degrade.

Focus on the moment

Every day when you take up dictation, stay away from distractions. Dedicate time to do your dictations. Before dictation, rest well and eat well. While dictating you try to focus only on the ideas mentioned in the list. Take breaks and do in sessions.

One needs to calm the mind and be stress-free. When the mind thinks straight, ideas free flow. Once the ideas flow, note them down. Writing notes help in recollecting ideas. For a better dictation, with a calm mind, try to follow the notes. It results in quality content.

Final Thoughts

Organizing thoughts comes with practice. Work on clean, logical, and creative thinking. A relaxed, calm, and clear mind can create ideas in seconds. Do not let stress, anxiety, and work add pressure to your mind. Stay calm, focused, and with a clear head do the dictation. Pause, think, and then organize ideas for the best results.

Best Headset Microphone for Dragon Naturally Speaking

When looking for a compatible voice recognition headset mic for your Dragon Naturally speaking software, first, you need to decide whether you need a corded headset. On many occasions, the price difference between the two is not more than $100. When you choose a wireless headset mic, you have the autonomy to walk away from your work desk and speak undisturbed 300 feet away.

How to Choose the Best Speech recognition headsets

Voice recognition headsets come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re communicating or handling affiliate advertising programs and websites content, you will need Dragon voice recognition software and a microphone headset for your computers. Additionally, the headset you choose should be compatible with your pc.

Factors to consider when selecting Dragon voice recognition headsets

  • Design and Comfort: a headset product with a lightweight design is ideal for day-to-day communication and transcribing using your pc as it ensures comfort without sacrificing the quality.
  • Quality: people like noise-canceling headsets with high fidelity mics and built quality speakers to ensure accurate and fast dictation even in noisy environs.
  • Cost: When shopping for a speech recognition user’s headset, price matters. Depending on your budget, you can get an affordable headset with excellent quality.
  • Durability: the headset product you purchase should have premium operating systems, USB connections, and durability. The better the material used for the headset, the more durable it is, and the more you can use it without worrying about damage.

Benefits of Using Voice Recognition Headsets

When using a voice recognition headset there are numerous advantages that you will get over other headsets.

  • Ease of Access: Speech recognition software headsets are great for physically disabled users as they limit the use of a mouse and keyboard. You can dictate document texts with the right headset and give mouth commands without relying on manual typing.
  • Accessible On the Move Voice recognition headsets can be used anywhere A good headset product has a noise-canceling microphone feature to eliminate background interruptions. Additionally, cloud storage software helps you manage and save text for future reference or dictation.
  • Accurate and Fast Speech recognition software is three times faster than typing. Plus, most headset versions are 99.9% accurate when converting speech content into editable text.
  • Flexibility Voice recognition headsets and headband give users excellent flexibility. Moreover, a headset product with a great image and lightweight for your head is ideal for day-to-day communication and transcribing using your pc. Besides, it is easy to switch from one device to another at a click of a button with the right headset. Flexibility is a practical feature for persons in motion while at work, like healthcare staff, sales, and legal personnel.
  • Workplace Health Enhancement The health impact of speech recognition is often overlooked. Using voice recognition headsets instead of keyboard and mouse helps you not suffer from office-related health issues. For instance, headsets offer employees an opportunity to move around freely while working. This reduces the chances suffering from repetitive strain injuries. Moreover, headsets microphones leyou give dictation without staring at the screen continuously.
  • The Best Headset Mic for Dragon Naturally Speaking

    Nuance PowerMic III

    This unit is a headset that is easy to use to improve productivity and dictation speed. Nuance PowerMic headsets are ideal for professionals dealing with high-level dictation like social service staff, police officers, and doctors. Moreover, the headset has a mouse control, connection wires, and a high-quality microphone boom that offers easy dictation and high accuracy document editing.

    Why Buy Nuance PowerMic III?

    while selecting the Nuance PowerMic Headset there are couple of reasons you have to consider bellow are of the reasons why the headset is the best for you:


    Using a Nuance PowerMic headset is more convenient and fast than using other dragon microphone boom. It is an ideal headset for remote workers because of its speedier dictation, allowing them to do more work within the deadline.


    The headset offers full function PC-mouse and Microsoft compatibility to reduce frequent movement between the keyboard, mouse, and microphone. A user can assign any device button numerous tasks like dictation, going through the document’s content, and filling out forms.


    • Comfortable and efficient
    • Great build quality and robust USB headset
    • Cost-effective price


    • Requires frequent unplug and re-plug
    • Hard to replace the USB cord

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Jabra PRO 920 Duo Wireless Headset

    Jabra PRO 920 is a wireless headset designed for maximum professional performance. The headset gives everyone wireless freedom and productivity. It has three indicators: a mute indicator, battery indicator, and LED call indicator. It also features a multi-function button and noise canceling properties.

    Why Buy a Jabra PRO 920?

    Noise-cancelling Microphone

    This feature is ideal for an open, crowded, and noisy office environment. The noise-cancelling microphone boom hinders the user from unwanted background noise and echo, leading to high productivity.

    Peak Stop Technology

    This model’s technology level brings out the difference between Nuance PowerMic headset and its competitors. This head product shows this through its prowess in filtering noise with its noise cancelling, among other technologically advanced features.


    • Highly compatible
    • High build quality headset


    • Hookswitch not inclusive

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Jabra Engage 65 Wireless Headset

    Jabra Engage 65 is the world’s leading wireless dragon naturally speaking headset. The product has an incorporated busy light and battery life of up to thirteen hours. Additionally, the user can connect it to two devices at a go.

    Jabra Engage 65 is a secure headset with great features beyond level C DECT to hinder wireless intrusion. It detects wireless ranges up to 150 meters.

    Why Buy the Jabra Engage 65?

    Long-lasting Battery

    The battery life lasts up to thirteen hours of talk time. The dragon naturally speaking headset has a fast charge feature to boost the setup to 100% in ninety minutes.

    High Agent Focus

    Integrated busy light in the headset helps you overcome interruptions from your colleagues while at work. Additionally, the headset has a modern noise-canceling microphone that enhances your focus and easy reception of information.

    Advanced Hearing Protection

    Engage Pro Headset has a high hearing protection level which is a deal-breaker for many users when looking for a naturally speaking headset.


    • Easy to connect
    • Dual connectivity icons
    • Insensitive touchscreen
    • USB headset used for audio-only


    • No substantial downsides

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Sennheiser XSW 1-ME3-A

    Sennheiser XSW is a wireless and USB headset for dragon naturally speaking, with a vision of enhancing the future of audio quality and content. The concept is derived from over seventy years of innovation categories and excellent noise-cancelling features. Its users enjoy exceptional sound and audio production. Moreover, one can get the headset at a convenient price giving its users the freedom to work while standing and walking around.

    Why Buy a Sennheiser XSW?

    The Sennheiser is one exceptional product for numerous reasons, including:

    Excellent performance

    Sennheiser XSW is a wireless system for easy handling of professional and reliable sound quality and transmission. The unmatched price of the device makes it great for theatre, speech, and music. Plus, it doesn’t require cable connection and intuitive operation offers professional and quality live sound and noise canceling.

    Great live sound

    XS wireless offers high-grade and feedback protection from aggressive and open sound. The receiver is an updated version designed for easy use. Additionally, the transmitters and Mics are classic made by German engineers with an excellent noise-cancelling feature.


    • Consistent transmission
    • Easy to handle
    • High build a quality headset


    • Signal drop

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Jabra 9470 Convertible Wireless Headset

    This system is a new addition to the Jabra categories and a serious competitor to Sennheiser wireless mics. Jabra 9470 is a trusted dragon system that meets various needs. Employees can answer and end calls while multitasking and engaging in other content creation at the office. The headset offers them the freedom to move around the office.

    Why Buy the Jabra 9470?

    Multipurpose Headset

    You can connect the headset to your mobile, soft, and desk phone to answer every call. Jabra 9470 has a user-friendly touchpad and touch screen to help you manage multiple calls and a noise-cancelling feature to hinder interruption. The system also has a USB connection and SmartSetup wizard to lead you through the connectivity procedure and improving voice quality.

    Excellent Wireless Freedom

    The dragon convertible technology lets you move around the office, receive, answer and end calls 150 meters away from the desk. Getting one makes it convenient to work remotely. Plus, your battery charge lasts up to ten hours.


    • High quality performing Dragon NaturallySpeaking system
    • Simplified touch screen and button pushes.
    • Remote purposes
    • High microphone quality


    • Too heavy for ear hook
    • Exclusive of the headband

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Jabra Engage 75 Convertible Wireless

    Jabra Engage 75 is a stereo high-performing wireless and dragon USB headset. Users can answer calls at a range of 490 feet without losing connection quality or using wires to connect devices. Plus, the system works well with any PC and offers high-level protection with DECT secure level C.

    The product is a competitor of Nuance dragon, naturally speaking, as it is built to connect up to five devices. One can effectively receive information and end calls from the devices using Jabra Engage 75 without losing content and speech recognition users with the noise-cancelling feature.

    Why Buy Jabra Engage 75?

    Here are features that make Jabra Engage 75 great:

    All-day Battery

    The battery span lasts up to thirteen hours of talk and information receiving. When charging the call center, it has a faster charge feature to boost it to 40% within 30 minutes.

    Industry-Leading Performance

    Jabra Engage 75 offers excellent wireless connectivity. You can answer sound quality calls, receive information, and deliver speech accuracy content at a range of 150 meters away from the desk.


    • Improved Hearing Protection
    • USB dongle
    • Quality usability
    • USB headset


    • Occasional dropouts
    • Does not support softphone
    • Battery charge does isn’t long-lasting

    Check For Availability and Pricing on Amazon

    Dragon Naturally Speaking Microphone Buyers Guide

    Before purchasing anything from online or retail stores, it’s best to know what to consider. The same goes for headset micsw for dragon naturally speaking. Other companies offer their products advertising fees to be ranked first but take extra caution before buying anything.

    Features to Look for When Choosing Headset Mic for Dragon NaturallySpeaking

    • Wireless and wired mics: Look for a dragon mic headset that fits your preferences, like a USB or go for one that is non-USB.
    • Noise- cancelling Feature: Do not go for a high price headset for dragon naturally speaking. A convenient and cost-effective microphone with a noise-cancelling feature is ideal for your computer work.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I use a Bluetooth headset with Dragon Naturally Speaking?

    Yes. Some models allow you to use Bluetooth models on your computers. Other models use USB microphone headsets.

    What is the best microphone to use with Dragon Naturally Speaking?

    Pick mics that deliver the main factors listed above that are the most important to you.

    Can I use any microphone with Dragon Naturally Speaking?

    Not really. If you are using the earlier versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking, you have a limited microphone option. That’s why experts recommend the headset that comes with your edition. Besides, those earlier versions of Dragon are not compatible with built-in mics or internal ones.

    What USB headset works best with Dragon Naturally Speaking?

    Numerous headsets operating systems work perfectly with Dragon Naturally Speaking product. The best headsets to use are on this review, including the Nuance PowerMic headset and Jabra Engage 75.

    What is the best version of Dragon Naturally Speaking to use?

    The best version of Dragon Naturally Speaking to use is v13 or anything above it. The more latest the Dragon version, the faster, better and more compatible it is.


    There are multiple options for dragon naturally speaking headsets to choose from. It is often hectic to select the product, but the list above will help you make a perfect selection. Also, consider all rights reserved and the price for the USB headsets system.

How To Find A Digital Voice Recorder With Best Battery Life

voice recorders with best battery life

There are no two ways about it. If you want to dictate your content, you have to have the right equipment. It doesn’t matter if you are dictating books, blog posts, articles, video scripts, or anything else. You have to have the right tool.

Just as it doesn’t make any sense to drive nails through your walls with your shoe instead of a hammer, you should also be mindful of how you record your audio. I’ve got to admit I didn’t always follow this advice.

When recording dictations at home, I would often use my Blue Yeti microphone plugged into my computer via USB cable. Sometimes I even used my laptop’s default microphone, you know, the one that’s mounted right on the chassis of the computer.

While these methods have their advantages and disadvantages, I can get away with them because I’m recording at home. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to lug around a retro-looking Blue Yeti microphone to Starbucks. People will look and might even get confused.

These microphones, after all, are intended for podcasting and not regular audio recordings. Be that as it may, the reason I can confidently use these alternatives to the typical digital voice recorder or dictaphone is that I’m at home.

I don’t have to move around or worry about space consideration. I have a ready supply of power and everything is where it needs to be so I can experiment, mix and match if you will. You don’t have that luxury if you are looking to be a full-time dictation blogger.

To be a dictation writer, you have to record whenever and wherever the inspiration hits you. This is going to be a problem. It’s not like you can whip out your laptop, plug in your fancy condenser or high-end microphone and start working. It’s going to be inconvenient at the very least. This is why it’s really important to use digital voice recorders.

Inspiration Can Hit You At Any Time: Be Prepared With A Digital Voice Recording Device

The idea for this blog post hit me when I was on my way to Starbucks. If I gave in to the impulse to record, I would have a tough time because I only had my mobile phone with me. Thankfully, the main points I’m trying to make in this post remained fresh enough in my mind so I can dictate it using my home office rig.

But what if I had to juggle many different hot ideas at once? You’ve been through this. You’ve tried to remember a lot of insights that seem so amazing but guess what happened? That’s right, you forget some of them. They may well turn out to be much better than the ones you managed to remember.

That’s always the risk we run when we try to hang on to ideas in our minds. This is why it’s really important to record when the inspiration hits you. This is especially true for novelists. I’ve written several novels through dictation as well as manually.

Let me tell you, the difference between a great book and a not-so-great one often turns on a handful of ideas. What if you had the right ideas but they came in a cluster and because you couldn’t sit down and record while they were still fresh and vivid in your mind, you had to make do and force yourself to select one or two.

I know that’s gut-wrenching because that’s like being asked to give up your children. But what if I told you that it’s even worse? What if those ideas you forgot are precisely the ones you needed to turn your book into a bestseller.

At the very least, if you had remembered those ideas your book would be at a much higher level of quality, engagement, and value. This is precisely the dilemma that sitting down the moment inspiration hits you and recording deals with. But this opens up a whole can of worms.

Your Digital Voice Recorder Must Be Able to Do the Job When You Need It To: The Power of Battery Life

There are many different selection factors for digital voice recorders. If you’ve been reading the posts in this blog, you should have a fairly good understanding of what these are. Yes, microphone quality is important especially if you’re going to be recording interviews or meetings.

It’s also crucial that your digital voice recorder has data integrity so you don’t have to second-guess if your files are secure and can be retrieved. It’s also important that your gadget can support a wide enough range of formats so that when you attach some sort of cable to it or try to use Wi-Fi to extract files, you can do so easily and quickly.

Features like voice detection and intuitive control system are also important. All of these factors make for a great product. With all of that said, when it comes to the practical day-to-day reality of digital voice recorders, there is one key selection factor that you cannot afford to ignore.

I am of course talking about battery life. Again, you have to think about how you would practically use the device. You’re going to be out of your element. Maybe you’re going somewhere to meet a friend and you’re thinking about a project when all of a sudden an amazing insight hits you. You’re just beside yourself as to how you could have overlooked this amazing idea.

It seems so simple yet perfect because it puts everything you’re trying to do together. Everything just seems to fall into place and you get all emotional about how awesome this idea is. The worst thing that you can do at that point is to try to remember it because nine times out of ten, you will remember the emotional intensity of the idea but you will end up forgetting the details.

I say this with a lot of pain in my voice because this has happened to me far too many times. Every single time I forget a crucial feature of an idea I say to myself that it would be the last time I will be caught flat-footed. But guess what, it happens again and again.

That’s why it’s important to be ready when you find yourself in this type of situation. And it doesn’t take much to be prepared. A typical digital voice recorder that you can get off Amazon can fit in the palm of your hand.

Some models are even smaller. Size is not the issue. They don’t weigh all that much so you don’t have to worry about these devices crimping your style or being so bulky as to be hassles. There is one factor that you need to focus on which is battery life.

The Key Practical Realities Behind Battery Life

It’s very tempting to think that when you get any kind of electronic device that the default battery that it comes with, whether it’s lithium or the typical AAA or AA battery, is enough to take care of your needs.

You can even get polymer batteries. The issue here is not so much as what the battery is but whether it can do the job. And this is a tricky question because if you’re like most busy people, your number one priority does not involve checking whether your battery-powered devices have enough “juice”.

When was the last time you looked at the battery charge of your electronic devices? I can safely say that outside of your mobile phone or tablet, the answer would be every once in a blue moon or even never.

And this is where the danger lies because you can’t afford a false sense of confidence by assuming that your digital voice recorder would have enough battery life for it to record your hot insights.

The situation you’re trying to avoid should be crystal-clear. Imagine yourself in the same scenario as I’ve painted above: you’re all excited about an idea and you feel good that you have a digital voice recorder because now you’re ready for these flashes of genius.

You’re confident and ready to talk. You turn it on, start talking away, and you get all caught up in every fine detail of your idea. You jump into plot developments that came into mind, you get into the nitty-gritty of the character arc and possible interpersonal conflicts or you go on and on about the minute details of the hot blog post that you’re so excited about.

Whatever the content maybe, you’re not paying attention to the device because you’re all caught up with what you’re talking about. It’s all normal. It’s the way it should be. But when you look at the device to stop the recording, you find out to your horror that the light is gone. The battery gave out.

You don’t know at what point of the recording the recorder ran out of juice. Panic ensues. If you’re like most writers and bloggers, the sense of panic wipes out any lingering trace of the emotional hype that you felt about your idea.

This of course paves the way for you to completely forget about your idea. Now, you can’t wait to go back home, recharge your digital voice recorder or get new batteries for it and figure out where you are in the recording.

You may have recorded 25% or 80%, it’s anybody’s guess. Panic fills your mind until you get a clear answer as to how much you were able to record. Do you really want to put yourself in this situation? If the answer is no, pay close attention to the discussion below about how to identify the digital voice recorder with the best battery life.

Digital Dictaphone Batteries Are Not Created Equal

There are three types of batteries: polymer, lithium-ion, and regular AAA/AA batteries. Understand that these different types of batteries have varying battery life. Lithium-ion and polymer batteries tend to have longer battery life and they are rechargeable as well.

Look for Battery Versatility

Start with the battery type and once you figure out this information, look into the type of lithium-ion or polymer battery used by your device. Also, pay attention to whether the device is specifically designed for an exclusive type of battery.

You might be thinking that it’s a good thing if you come across a voice recording device that is specifically designed for lithium ions. Don’t get too excited because you’re basically tied to one type of battery technology.

What if you can’t buy it because it’s not available for whatever reason? Don’t assume that you will never find yourself in that situation. Maybe you’re traveling somewhere and the stores don’t have this type of battery and waiting for the online seller to get it to you is going to take forever. What do you do then?

Plan for the situation for looking for a device that can support the widest range of battery types. While you can’t be sure that lithium-ion batteries are going to be available wherever it is you’re going, you best believe that there would be at least some type of battery available there.

Battery Life Impacts Quality

Keep in mind that many batteries are optimized to go the distance. They would give you enough juice so that you can record and most devices are set up in such a way that they can withstand enough variations in electric signals to keep going.

This might seem like good news but you have to be very careful. When a device is on its last leg or the battery is about to give out, the quality of your recording might suffer because the device will make do with whatever electrical charge is left.

Don’t think that the audio that you recorded would be as crystal-clear and high-quality as when you started with a full battery.

Pick A Device That Is Especially Designed for Portability

When you’re looking for digital voice recorders, pay close attention to how portable they are. Battery life and portability go hand in hand because, for the most part, products designed to record interviews, meetings, lectures, or any other person to person interaction in a wide variety of settings last longer. They have to.

Be aware of design features that indicate that the recording device is supposed to be used only in a controlled environment. I’m not saying that you should not buy those types of digital recorders but you have to know their limitations.

You have to understand that for you to get the best value from them, you have to use them in a situation that is ideal. So this usually means that battery life isn’t their top priority. There’s always a tug of war between recording quality, microphone sensitivity, battery life, and other factors.

If you select a product that is geared towards a factor other than battery life, keep in mind that you may have to give up some of that portability.

These are the top voice recorder/audio recorders that have the longest battery life:

OLYMPUS Digital Solutions Digital Voice Recorder

This model can record 444 hours of uninterrupted audio recording in LP mode. It also features voice activation technology and a large LCD screen. Uses 2 AAA Batteries.
What makes this model stand out?

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great sound quality
  • No extra software
  • No need to convert files

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD Ux533blk Voice Recorder

This recorder has a 4GB internal. It has a recording time of up to 1073 hours. This recorder also features a MicroSD card slot / SD Card and an auto-record feature.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Built in memory expansion
  • 4GB memory
  • 2 stereo microphone
  • WAV, MP3 and WMA format
  • 30 hour battery life

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder

This unit has 4GB of memory and a maximum of 1,073 hours recording time. Easy connectivity and transfer via USB connection. Expandable memory with a MicroSD slot and a noise-cancelling feature. Records MP3 Audio, and has automatic Voice Operated Recording.
What makes this model stand out?

  • 4GB memory
  • 2 stereo microphones
  • PC connectivity
  • 96 hours battery life with AAA batteries
  • Overwrite function

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder

This device records in MP3 Audio and WAV Format, Built in omnidirectional microphones, tempo change function. This voice recorder is powered by 2 AA batteries for at least 17 hours battery life and can also be charged via USB power or AC adapter.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Built in condenser microphone
  • Editing function
  • Self timer
  • Good audio quality
  • Long battery life

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD-UX560 Digital Voice Recorder

This product offers a quick charge feature that can charge up to 1 hour of recording time with a three minute charge. It is easy to use and has a microSD card slot for expandable memory.

What makes this model stand out?

  • High-sensitivity microphone
  • 4GB built-in memory
  • Long battery life and fast charging
  • FM radio
  • Can record radio broadcasts
  • Voice operated recording

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder

This device features a 2GB flash memory and expandable MicroSD card Slot. Records in MP3 format, has USB connectivity. Has a long battery life of 72 hours.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Easy to use interface
  • Long battery life
  • 530 hours recording time with it’s 2GB memory
  • Voice Operated Recording
  • Handy and portable

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

SOTA Surveillance Audio/ Voice Recorder

Along with its voice activation feature, it has a 576 hour recording capacity with the 16GB storage capacity. It can also function as a portable cell phone.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Long battery life
  • Built-in Microphones
  • 16GB memory
  • Secure
  • Voice activated recording

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Zoom H2N Digital Voice Recorder

Small and portable digital voice recorder with surround sound feature, 5 built-in microphones, secure digital card, records in WAV and MP3 format. Has 2GB of memory, and 20 hours of recording with 2 AA Batteries. With auto-rec function, tuner and variable speed playback.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Records directly to SD
  • 5 microphones
  • 4 channel surround
  • Great for recording live concerts and rehearsals
  • Great features in a compact device
  • Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

    The Final Word on Best Battery Life for Recording Devices

    Don’t get caught flat-footed by taking the RIGHT device with the WRONG battery life to content recording opportunities. In many cases, you only have one shot at getting the right content. Sure, you can dictate audio to high quality text anywhere at any time. Don’t waste this advantage by using low battery life recording equipment.

    Image Credits

    What Are the Best Digital Voice Recorders for Meetings?

    best digital voice recorder for meetings

    One of the best ways to create content is to record a meeting. It is as simple as that. Record what people have to say.

    Of course, you would have to ask for their permission first. But once you get the green light, this is one of the easiest and best ways to create blog posts and articles.

    You can then repurpose that into a wide variety of forms. Turn them into tweets, YouTube videos, infographics. Turn them into small bite-sized videos, which is appropriate for TikTok. The possibilities are endless.

    And with each version, you tap into a potentially rich traffic source, which every blogger craves. What is not to love? And all you need is a digital voice recorder.

    People have been using digital voice recorders to record meetings for decades. These devices are useful tools for students and professionals. They make note-taking during group discussions and lectures a breeze. Instead of listening intently and making decisions on which to write down and which to ignore, you can capture everything.

    Just turn on your dictaphone and place it on the table close enough to the speaker. This way, you listen intently to the speaker instead of filtering a lot of stuff out as you frantically write down your notes.

    The same goes for group interviews. These are like meetings, and it is easy for people to take manual notes and get confused.

    During a meeting, how many times have you focused so much on a particular individual, only to learn somebody, from the other side of the room, said a few sentences that are the game-changer?

    Believe it or not, it is more frequent than people care to realize. Well, you will not miss out on any of that if you bring a digital voice recorder to a meeting.

    Similarly, if you are a secretary, this makes the job so much easier. Just record the proceedings, and make your notes regarding key points that you will focus on once you get the audio transcribed.

    How To Get the Most Out of Meetings When Creating Content?

    You want to pack as much value into your transcribed blog posts. What do you need? A plan. Before you even show up to the meeting, have a plan of action.

    At the very least, know who will go there. What do they talk about? What do you expect them to say?

    After you know the people going and what they understand, you can set up a series of questions that go beyond the surface.

    Not All Meeting-Based Content Is Worth Publishing

    When you go to any group meeting, often people talk about the same stuff. That is right. The things you talk about today are like the stuff you talked about yesterday. A transcript of yesterday’s meeting would not differ much from last week’s transcript.

    Do you want to come up with game-changing or valuable transcribed content for your blog? Never settle for this. Your initial set of questions must rock the boat. They must push people up against the outer limits of their comfort zone.

    If you are willing to do this, your digital voice recorder would be of use.

    Here are some tips and tricks to maximize your use of the digital voice recorder in meetings.

    Key interview content creation tactics

    Focus on Controversial Topics

    Everyone knows what topics are safe. These make for boring blog posts.

    Start with a bang by asking about controversial topics in your niche. At the very least, you increase your chances of getting a unique take on the hot-button issues your blog community is excited about. Everybody has an opinion.

    Pit Personalities Against Each Other

    In any meeting, there will always be at least two personalities with little or no rapport. Sometimes, they rub each other the wrong way. One’s views, presentation, or mannerisms leave an unpleasant taste in the other person’s mouth, and vice versa.

    Take advantage. Come up with polarizing views that may lead to an exchange. See to it that people argue passionately and provide useful information.

    Play the Devil’s Advocate

    If everything else fails, bite the bullet and take the role of the bad guy. You are aware of what is controversial or weird in your niche. Be its advocate. Shake cages. See what opinions they come up with.

    Never use trick questions. It must go beyond cheap tricks like that. Instead, look for positions. Look for people to tell you and your fans something beyond what you know.

    That is the key to working meetings. Make no mistake. If you only bring a recorder and expect to find gold, you are wasting your time.

    People flood YouTube with interviews. They ask the same cliché and boring questions and get the same robotic answers. Those videos are forgettable as they are numerous.

    Talk about generic content. You want your dictated blog to stand out. Be different. Using the techniques above, you will throw people off enough to get some gems out of them.

    How To Select the Best Voice Recorder for Meetings

    Now you understand how to make the best use of your voice recorder and how to generate useful responses from people.

    Let us get down to the business of selecting your equipment.

    If you want to find the best recorder, be methodical in selecting. The following factors are non-negotiable.

    Let me put it this way. You are not making an informed decision if you do not consider these factors when buying a digital voice recorder.

    Does It Come in a Convenient Size?

    When you are recording meetings, do not assume that you will lay the voice recorder on a flat surface near the speaker.

    Things will get heated if you know how to work a meeting. You might have to move it around. Things can get out of hand.

    For this reason, it is crucial to pick a high-powered voice recorder that has a small, compact form. You want a voice recorder that is easy to pick up and hide, just in case.

    Can It Store Enough Data?

    How many hours of audio storage a device has? Knowing this is non-negotiable.

    When you are recording a meeting, things can drag on. Hours can pass before people get to the good stuff. Even if you are using the tips provided so far, you still have to wait.

    These low-quality exchanges take up storage space. Your voice recorder must have sufficient internal storage.

    Is the Audio Clear Enough To Be Transcribed Manually?

    A lot of dictation bloggers take their recorded audio and transfer it to their computer. They then run Dragon NaturallySpeaking or other forms of audio-to-text software to transcribe their files. As mentioned in my review of the different transcription methods, this method has its own set of pros and cons.

    If you prefer the highest level of quality, have your audio transcribed by another person. For this to happen, the audio has to be clear and loud enough. So sound quality and audio playback quality are important.

    This is directly related to my next point: recording quality.

    Does It Pick up the Right Sounds?

    Choose a digital voice recorder that picks up what it is supposed to record. During a meeting, your device should pick up voices talking over each other. It helps the transcriber makes out who is who.

    It must not pick up somebody shuffling papers halfway across the room. That recorded sound is noise. It will not improve the quality of your blog post, article, or even the book that you are writing based on a recorded meeting.

    Recording quality is crucial because it has to zero in on voices. You are not just buying an audio recorder here.

    Does It Use Condenser Microphone Technology?

    Condenser mics record high-quality voice audio. As much as possible, only buy digital voice recorders that have condenser mics or superior technology.

    Anything else will be a waste of money.

    Will the Device Run Long Enough?

    Suppose you have a dictaphone that does an outstanding job of picking up the right sounds and delivering crystal clear audio. It is all good, except that it cuts off after thirty minutes. What is the point?

    Ensure that the digital recorder you are buying has the right battery technology while maintaining a compact form. Battery options range from AA, AAA, and lithium-ion batteries.

    Is It Easy To Control and Figure Out?

    If you need a degree in electronic engineering to work your recording device, you are in trouble. Make sure the device is easy for you to record, stop, playback, and transfer information.

    If it is not that intuitive and you need to go through a labyrinth of menus, skip that unit.

    Is It Voice Activated?

    It is vital to avoid dead air. If you follow the tips I give you above on how to run a proper meeting, you will not have this problem. But if you are just getting started or just figuring things out, there will be dead air.

    Not only is dead air going to cost you money as you get your audio manually transcribed, but it’s also a waste of resources and battery life. Therefore you must pick a device that turns on and off depending on when somebody speaks.

    Does It Support Most Automated Transcription Technologies?

    All digital voice recorders support manual transcription. Of course, some are better than others as some models produce crisper and clearer quality audio. But manual transcribers can pick up a significant amount of information from even the worst and cheapest dictaphones.

    The question is, If you will not take that expensive transcription route and choose instead to use software to transcribe your audio, can you do it?

    Transcription technology is handy in this situation. Look for devices that work smoothly with audio-to-text conversion software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

    It can save you a ton of money down the road.

    Does Your Audio Device Allow You To Edit Your Audio?

    Admit it. When you record a meeting, chances are, you expect where the good stuff is going to be just from the first few minutes. Maybe you have another appointment to go to after this recording. Perhaps you want to save storage space.

    Whatever your reasons may be, invest in a device that will allow you to edit the audio quickly and easily. It enables you to free up space or create a final file containing only the good stuff.

    Does the Device Allow You To Play Back Audio Easily for Possible Editing?

    You might playback your audio to get a good idea of what you recorded, or perhaps you are thinking of cutting out bits and pieces. Your device has to playback what you had recorded.

    You should be able to do this with no hassles. The playback feature should also be very intuitive. You must not jump through several hoops or go through different menus and screens so you can playback.

    Is the Device Fully Compatible With Your Operating System and Software?

    It should be an afterthought, but I include this because you cannot be too sure.

    Some digital voice recorders are niche products. They have been designed from the ground up to meet the exclusive needs of some industries. For example, certain voice recorders are for insurance claims.

    Some of these devices have their unique way of transferring digital data to a computer. You want maximum flexibility on this point.

    Whatever device you get, it should enable you to transfer, edit, and upload voice recordings and other audio files from its data storage to your computer.

    The fewer steps there are, the better.

    Keep the selection criteria above in mind, so you can be sure that you have bought the very best product for dictation blogging and other dictation-based content creation using recorded meetings.

    Best digital voice recorders for meetings

    Sony SX Series MP3 Digital Voice IC Recorder

    This recorder series features the NeeGo Microphone, and Sony’s Intelligent Noise cut function. It has a built-in 16GB memory with up to 159 hours of recording time, excellent audio quality with its 3-way directional microphones, Micro sd card slot for expandable memory. Records in PCM or MP3 format(Mp3 recording), digital and stereo recording. With a lithium battery that can give you up to 30 hours of battery life.

    What makes this product stand out?

      • 16GB flash memory
      • NeeGo Lavalier Lapel Mic
      • Bluetooth Control
      • Expandable memory
      • Long battery life

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

      This unit has a 4GB internal storage capacity like the Ux560 that can give you 1000 hours of recording time, expandable memory with microSD card slot, excellent battery life powered by aaa batteries, records in MP3 files. This voice recorder has a voice-activated feature, intelligent auto mode, noise cancellation for quality recordings, easy transfer with USB connection to Mac or PC features a noise cut technology and repeat function.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 4gb Flash Memory
      • Intelligent noise cut feature
      • PC compatibility
      • Expandable memory
      • Exceptional Sound quality

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Zoom H1N Handy Digital voice recorder

      This model is one of the best voice recorders in the market. It is very handy and small enough to fit in your pocket and can record high-quality recordings. Zoom H1n has alkaline batteries that can give you a 10-hour battery life, just enough for a long voice recording session. This voice recorder features built-in stereo microphones, easy to use, and you can easily transfer files to your computer. This voice recorder has playback speed control, which is ideal for voice recordings such as meetings, lectures, interviews, etc.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 16GB memory
      • Compact device
      • Easy to set up and use
      • Decent sound quality
      • Expandable memory up to 32GB

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Zoom h6 Portable digital voice recorder

      This model has a storage space of 128GB with microSD card /SD card for direct recordings, stereo microphones, excellent battery life, USB audio interface for MAC and PC via USB cable, 2 inch LCD screen. Zoom h6 has advanced features, noise isolation, changeable input capsules, and stereo microphones that are great for recordings. A musician would love this because of its superb sound quality and can play 6 tracks simultaneously.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Memory up to 128GB
      • Direct recording
      • Compatible with PC, Mac and Ipad
      • USB connectivity
      • Records in WAV or MP3 format
      • Excellent for recording live performances
      • Rechargeable batteries

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD Ux533blk Voice Recorder

      This recorder has a 4GB internal memory like the Sony ICD Ux560, it has a recording time of up to 1073 hours. This recorder also features a MicroSD card slot / SD Card and an auto-record feature. Transfer files easily via USB connectivity to your Personal Computer or Mac via USB port. The Sony ICD Ux533blk digital voice recorder is ideal for school music recordings (records audio files in mp3 format), and has a superior recording quality, and produces less background noise. It is also easy to use with its audio and recording playback feature with excellent battery life.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Built in memory expansion
      • 4GB memory
      • 2 stereo microphone
      • WAV, MP3 and WMA format
      • 30 hour battery life

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-P4

      This is the first voice recorder that can record audio in FLAC for recording and playback for high quality and seamless recording. MP3 format and high-resolution audio. This recorder features a TresMic System- a three-microphone system that reduces background noise for high-quality audio recordings. Uses aaa batteries and also has a USB charging option. With Micro SD card external memory, Bluetooth, and 39-hour battery life. The 8GB memory can store up to 253 hours of audio files and recordings.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Usb Rechargeable AAA Batteries
      • TresMic – three microphones system
      • Bluetooth compatibility
      • Editing functions
      • PCM, FLAC MPS recording

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD sx712

      This voice recorder has a 2GB internal storage with 500 hours of recording time (it has less storage than the Ux560 model). It features two stereo microphones for high quality recording, SD cards, USB port/ USB connector, and is compatible with Dragon Software. The Sony ICD sx712 has an LCD backlit screen, easily recording audio with direct play, stop, pause, record, easy to navigate menu options, search and select options. This voice recorder uses aaa batteries for up to 25 hours of battery life. This recorder also has a via USB port for USB connectivity to your computer. You’ll have superb voice recordings with its stereo mic input. The Sony sx712 is one of the digital best voice recorders ideal for a wide range of voice recordings like taking notes, lectures, music recordings, mp3 recordings.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB flash memory
      • 2 stereo microphone
      • S Microphone system
      • Compatible with Dragon Software
      • Noise Cancellation

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus DS-2500 Digital Voice Recorder

      This model is one of the compact voice recorders of the Olympus Brand. It is one of the best voice recorders for meetings. This recorder features a professional quality microphone and different recording modes for that superior audio quality. The memory is expandable to up to 32GB which can give you up to 300+ hours of recording. It is easy to use with its simple file management and folder menu, easy connectivity to the PC via USB connection. This recorder also has Variable Recording modes to help you capture superior recording quality. You can get up to 37 hours of recording with the rechargeable AAA Batteries. Automated recordings with the Variable Control Voice Actuator Recording Mode.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Small and Compact
      • Professional Microphone
      • Expandable memory up to 32GB
      • Rechargeable AAA batteries
      • Compatible with Dragon Dictate

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus DS9500 Professional Digital Voice Recorder

      Safe and secure with 256-bit encryption. This voice recorder features intelligent dual microphones to get the best audio quality and has 2GB of internal memory. This Olympus model has wifi technology and a noise isolation/ noise cancellation feature that helps decrease background noise for better recording or high-quality audio voice recording. This Olympus Voice Recorder also has a shock-resistant body and slide switch menu.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB memory
      • Intelligent dual microphones
      • USB connectivity
      • MP3 format

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus WS-801 Voice Recorder

      This model is one of the easiest to use digital voice recorders for meetings. It features two condenser mics to effectively capture sounds and recordings at different levels. This voice recorder has a 2GB internal memory and expandable MicroSD memory slot of up to 32 GB. The 2GB memory can give up to 514 hours of recording time. PC Connectivity using a USB direct, or USB Connector. The Olympus WS 801 recorder records in MP3 and WMA formats, has a variable control voice activator, noise-cancelling and scene select feature for any background noise problem.
      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB memory with removable/expandable MicroSD Media
      • Records in MP3 and WMA format
      • Variable control voice actuator
      • Noise cancellation feature
      • Simple and easy to use

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      The Final Word on Dictaphones for Meetings

      Meetings can be a gold mine for content creators. The problem is you have to be ready for all the distractions, technical, and logistical issues you’ll face when recording meetings. Check the listed models above to make sure you bring the right tool to turn group dynamics into crispy, on point content.

      Image Credits

    Digital Voice Recorders That Work With Dragon Software

    Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech-recognition software that turns the sound signals of your voice into text output. Instead of typing texts, you say what you want to write, and Dragon will take care of it for you.

    It has been around for a long time. It is useful for transcribing speech into text, either as an installed software on your computer or as a transcriber.

    You can use a voice recorder to record audio and process the audio through the software. It would transcribe what you recorded ahead of time. There’s no need for you to type texts, emails, or any other type of text items or lists.

    You can dictate articles or blog posts through Dragon Naturally Speaking. It’s also useful for filling out forms.

    Indeed, using Dragon software works well with any text document on your computer. That’s how versatile, flexible, and powerful this software solution can be.

    Dictate Wherever You Go, Whenever You Want, and Transcribe With Dragon Software

    You may be thrilled at the idea of being able to dictate a new blog post, a novel, or an article, wherever you are and whenever you want.

    Just dictate into your digital voice recorder. Once you get home, transfer the audio data from your dictaphone to your computer. Dragon Naturally Speaking will convert the audio file into a text document.

    It transcribes files almost instantly. Of course, it has to go through a transcription process, but the software does this for you.

    Different Flavors of Dragon Naturally Speaking Depending on Your Workstyle

    You can get Dragon Naturally Speaking in many different packages:

    • Dragon Professional Individual
    • Dragon Home
    • Dragon Premium
    • DragonDictate (also known as Dragon for Mac)
    • Dragon Anywhere (a mobile app)

    For a more up-to-date listing of the different software packages, check out its website.

    Choose the products and items that best fit your situation.

    The Best Version for Bloggers

    Are you a blogger interested in using Dragon Naturally Speaking? If so, we suggest Dragon Professional Individual. It is a professional-grade version of the software intended for business professionals in a formal or home office setting.

    You can also use the Dragon Home edition. It has fewer features. It assumes that you speak very clearly and even in a slow manner. If this is you, this should be enough.

    No matter how you cut it, this software makes the whole transcription process easier. Is it perfect? Of course not! It has its drawbacks.

    The chief among these is in terms of accuracy. You have to “train” this software to get used to your particular way of speaking so it can recognize how you pronounce certain words. Don’t expect it to produce a perfect transcription the first time you use it. Train it until its output gets more accurate.

    Good News: 80-90% of the time, it is accurate. If it is not, closely read the transcription and search for any inaccuracy.

    For words that it often gets wrong, you must train this software by using those words until it does a better job next time. It may be a hassle at first, but training your Dragon software is time well spent. It allows you to make your transcription work faster.

    You can focus on dictating and then editing. You do not need to waste time picking apart your transcript. Best of all, there’s no need for manual transcribers. You can do this all just with software.

    You save time and money.

    Which Digital Voice Recorders Work Best With Dragon Software?

    For digital voice recorders, you have many options. Some of them are very cheap models that are practically throw-away devices. You can pick them up for around $20, but more robust products cost well over $400.

    These product lines don’t just differ by price. The closer you get to $400, the more sensitive the digital voice recorder’s microphone becomes. It also has longer battery life.

    If you only want to do a quick and dirty job every time you dictate, it’s easy to pick up a cheap dictaphone. That’s not a problem. But if you want to make things easier on yourself in transcribing using Dragon software, choose the more expensive but better device.

    Spend extra cash buying the right device. It will allow you to record audio that is clear enough to be transcribed by Dragon software with consistency and accuracy. It’s an investment that helps saves you even more time and money.

    Both dictation and transcription go hand in hand. The higher the quality of your dictation, the higher odds the transcription will look the way you wanted.

    There are high quality and sensitive enough digital voice recorders that are not so expensive but work well. If you’re looking for a safe bet in terms of brands, the professional dictation bloggers’ choice is limited to either Sony or Olympus. Most of their models are Nuance-approved.

    This recognition is good because Dragon Naturally Speaking is developed by Nuance Communications – a software company that works on artificial intelligence but is known primarily for the Dragon product line.

    Olympus and Sony products have high compliance with Dragon software. In other words, their output is clear enough for Dragon to produce high-quality texts.

    Here are my top picks for Digital Voice Recorders That Work With Dragon Software

    Sony ICD-BM1 Digital Voice Recorder

    This model has an easy slide control switch, a removable memory stick (128 flash memory), has a lightweight design. Has around 6 hours of recording time. Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software, microphone, computer, and USB connectivity with a USB cable, voice to email function, battery life varies with use. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Small and light
    • Works great with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Easy to use with the slide switch function
    • Sleek looking with aluminum body
    • Great recorder for interviews
    • Voice email function.


    • Slide switch function makes a click sound
    • MSV format only plays on PC/ compatibility problems
    • Batteries are not rechargeable

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-SX712D Digital Voice Recorder

    This model offers 2 GB of flash memory and features a 2-position Microphone and S microphone system. Records in Multi-Mp3 formats and Linear PCM. And it also features Voice operated Recordings, Voice Email Function, 6-line LCD screen, additional 16GB memory with SD Card Slot.


    • Easy to use device and software
    • Long battery life
    • Solid microphone
    • USB connectivity
    • Excellent sound quality


    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Cannot pick-up sounds/audio from a distance.

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD- UX200 Digital Voice Recorder

    This model comes with 2GB of flash memory that can give you a maximum recording time of 535 hours. It records in MP3 format. This recorder has 5 recording moes and an audio monitoring mode. Has a Built-in stereo microphone, built-in speaker and records clear recording with its noise cut features. It is compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking software.


    • Very Functional design
    • Easy to use and operate
    • PC connectivity
    • Great battery life
    • Enough storage


    • Weak External speaker
    • Cannot do dictation editing
    • Size is too small

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-P330F Digital Voice Recorder

    This unit delivers 32 hours of recording time, has a large LCD display, features an FM tuner with 50 presets, and Digital VOR. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


      Easy to use function

    • Small and portable
    • Has FM radio
    • Can transfer files directly to computer
    • Good recording quality


    • Battery drains quickly
    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Needs to improve noise reduction

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-SX57DR9

    This model has 128MB flash memory and features a High performance microphone with a slim and stylish design. Easy to use controls for easy operation. Compatible with PC via USB cable. Features Digital Voice Up and Voice Operated Recording, Digital Pitch Control, and MP3 Playback. MP3 files can be converted into WAV with the Digital Editor Software. Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software, with rechargeable batteries and USB docking station.


    • Excellent sound quality
    • Two microphones
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Efficient recording
    • Compatible with Dragon Software


    • Hard to read display
    • File is not in MP3
    • Compatibility problems

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus WS- 320/310/300M digital voice recorders

    These model all features 1GB internal memory, and up to 277 hours of audio/recording time. Compatible with Dragon Software. Has a built-in music player that can play audio files, MP3 files. Has a USB port for connectivity, a microphone, and a voice command feature for hands-free recording. Power-efficient using AAA batteries.


    • Compact
    • Hands-free recording
    • USB connectivity
    • Large memory
    • Stereo microphones


    • Battery drains quickly
    • Batteries are no Rechargeable
    • Poor Case design

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS4000 Professional Digital Voice Recorder

    Ships with 32MB internal memory, easy control buttons, voice recognition, and speech recognition engine, LCD Display, and noise-canceling technology for the best audio quality.


    • Full metal body with ergonomic design
    • Produces quality recording
    • Expandable memory
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking software
    • Can organize files into folders
    • USB connectivity


    • Fragile device
    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Pricey due to initial memory size

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS-3300 Digital Recorder

    This model ships with 32MB memory and programmable buttons. Features an LCD screen, microphone, and USB connectivity. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Versatile device
    • Expandable memory
    • Long battery life
    • Compatible with Dragon Speaking Software
    • Easy recording and playback


    • Adequate sound quality
    • Only ideal for recording in a quiet environment
    • Noise canceling is bad.

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS-7000 Digital Recorder

    This unit offers superior audio quality for superb voice recording, 256-bit file encryption, built-in microphone, 2inch color LCD, memory card slots (Micro/SD), enhanced battery, and slide controls. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Create secure recordings 256-bit file encryption
    • Superior sound quality
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Easy to use device and software
    • Compatible with Mac and PC


    • Complicated Menu
    • ODMS software is not reliable

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS2600 Digital Recorder

    Starts off with 2GB memory, and a slot for 32GB external memory. Software is included, so you can use Dragon speech recognition software. Features slide switch controls, digital voice editor, and a replaceable battery. Rechargeable battery, and can last up to 52 hours.


    • Omni-directional Microphone
    • Expandable memory
    • Easy to use editing functions
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Voice activated recording


    • Rechargeable batteries are not included
    • Problems with playback in the computer
    • Relatively thin plastic housing

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    The Final Word on Dragon-compliant digital voice recorders

    If you want to get the best results with any Dragon voice to text software, make sure you are using fully-compliant hardware.

    As you can tell from the listing above, there is no such thing as a perfect product. Pick the product that best fits your circumstances and expectations and you’ll be on your way to great dictations and high quality Dragon-powered automated transcriptions.

    My review of the Sony Digital Voice Recorder transcription Kit

    Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit

    This blog helps bloggers and writers produce more content in a short period of time through dictation. It doesn’t matter how quickly you write.

    Currently, you can easily triple or even quadruple your output through dictation. The best part, you can find yourself in line or just lounging around at a corner cafe.

    Whip out a digital voice recorder, and you’ve got yourself several blog posts or even a few chapters of your next book done. Sure, you have to edit the transcription, but it beats having to pound all that text out on a keyboard.

    In this blog, we talked about how you can maximize your productivity using certain speaking techniques, and tips and tricks.

    If you reach a stage, where you produce a lot of dictated content, you might want to go to the next level. This is the level where you don’t just crank out an audio every once in a while.

    This is the point where you don’t produce audio recordings when you feel like it. At this stage, you are able to dictate content on a consistent and regular basis.

    At this point, you’re gonna have to use enhanced equipment. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw out your digital voice recorder unit.

    If you picked the right dictaphone for the right job, you can definitely hang on to that gear for many years to come. Instead, I’m talking about getting a more complete package going.

    So you can start with your digital voice recorder but add attachments to it, so you can optimize its performance. This is where a digital voice recorder transcription kit comes in.

    A digital voice recorder transcription kit, is also known as a digital transcriber package. This is a collection of tools that make transcription and dictation easier.

    They are designed from the ground up to work with each other, to produce a smoother transcription production process.

    The typical transcription kit comes with a digital voice recorder and software that can be controlled through your desktop computer or your laptop.

    It also comes with foot pedals that connect to your computer, through a USB cable. The pedal makes for a completely hands free voice recording and dictation process.

    If you have already gotten into the routine of constantly dictating content every single day, you would need this setup.

    As you probably already know, you waste a lot of time fiddling around with keyboard strokes, and mouse clicks. You might be thinking that these extra steps don’t take up much time at all, but you might want to think again.

    When you use your keyboard or mouse, you’re not talking. Those seconds add up. Considering the volume that you’re operating at, there’s a tremendous amount of lost opportunities.

    Also, if you’ve been doing dictation blogging, or dictaphone writing for quite some time, you know that even the smallest distraction can be enough to throw you off your game.

    Hands-free transcription is all about staying in the flow

    When you’re using a hands free digital voice recorder transcription kit, you can transcribe your dictation smoothly and faster. You should know how this goes.

    Once you get into “the zone,” it seems that every audio second, pretty much unpacks itself. You can anticipate the words and transcribe the very best form a sentence could take, before you even hear it completely.

    That’s how awesome being in the zone is. But if you find yourself having to take a break, or adjust the text as you switch from keyboard to mouse.

    It’s only a matter of time until you lose that high level of concentration and your productivity goes off a cliff. This has probably already happened to you.

    Well, a hands free transcription system enables you to stay in the zone much longer, and this can only improve your productivity.

    How does a transcription pedal work?

    The pedal is able to send start and stop commands, as well as repeat functions to software installed on your computer. You don’t have to use your hands.

    This way you can keep tapping away your keyboard, as you transcribe the audio smoothly. While Dragon naturally speaking, and other dictation software can help you save a lot of time, by automatically transcribing your audio.

    They often have a lot of errors. You can minimize the mistakes such audio to text software make, by “rip training” them repeatedly.

    But this assumes that you have a lot of time. If you don’t, you’re better off manually transcribing your own dictations.

    But to pull this off, you have to be in the zone. This is why a transcription kit can take your productivity to the next level, because you’re operating on a hands free basis.

    As you listen to the audio and stop, pause and play it back using your foot pedal, you’re typing away at your keyboard transcribing what you hear.

    Who can benefit the most from a digital voice recorder transcription kit?

    Transcription kits are old technology. They’ve been around for quite some time, and they were originally designed for medical transcriptionists as well as paralegals and legal transcriptionists.

    But throughout the years, anybody who deals with a tremendous amount of dictated audio could benefit from transcription kits. These are professors, educational professionals, as well as bloggers and authors.

    But simply, if you do a lot of dictation, and you have a tremendous amount of audio to process at any one time, you should seriously consider getting a transcription kit, if you’re doing the work yourself.

    If you’re hiring out your transcription work to professional agencies or experienced freelancers, you don’t have to buy this equipment.

    But if you want to maximize the quality of your work, since you’re the only person who truly understands your speech patterns, then you need the right equipment.

    You need to be able to work in a hands free way, so you can speed up your transcription of your own recorded audio. These kits have been around for a while, so you can best believe that they are ergonomically streamlined.

    They’re very easy to use. The interface is very intuitive, you don’t have to have an engineering PhD to figure things out and jump from menu to menu.

    The software is also very robust, so you’re able to produce great transcripts as you can slow down the audio. There are of course many words that sound very similar to each other.

    The best brand for transcription kits

    There are many new brands out there that offer transcription kits. Their main competitive advantage is that they cost less.

    But when it comes to preserving the flow of your whole transcription process, you really can’t afford to gamble with newer or untested brands. You should go with a tried and proven solution.

    When it comes to this type of sensitive electronics, that require sophisticated microphones and voice recorder technology as well as a solid hands free interface, you really can’t go wrong with Sony.

    This Japanese brand has been around forever and has earned its stripes with all sorts of consumer electronic products ranging from flat screen TVs, to a wide range of audio equipment.

    If you’re looking for a high standard of quality and a total commitment to customer satisfaction, and a solid experience each time you use it, look forward to Sony brand.

    This is why I recommend the Sony FS85USB PC transcription kit. It has all the items you need to put together a solid transcription system for audio you have recorded yourself.

    The kit not only comes with powerful software that enables you to properly process and edit your audio. Of course, the star of the show is its three function foot pedal unit.

    This is a USB device that plugs easily to your Windows machine. The foot pedal is very straightforward and easy to use. You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out.

    It only has three functions. It can play, rewind, and forward the audio. That’s all you need. It also has a repeat function. Just in case you missed a segment or you got confused or distracted, you can quickly come back to what you just listened to.

    The kit also has a microphones pitch control, USB connector shortcut key and email function.

    What kind of format does the FS85USB support?

    The software component of the Sony digital recorder transcription kit, supports the following audio formats, .msv, .dvf, .mp3 and .wav.

    It also has a digital pitch control where you can adjust the tone of the voice recordings on your PC. This is crucial, especially if you speak really quickly and can’t make out the words in one area or portion of your recording.

    You can also decrease the playback speed of the audio and playback over and over as you slow down.

    Usually this is enough to give you a good idea of the word that you are saying, in a particularly complicated spot in the recording.

    In the case of words that sound very similar to each other by going through this decreasing playback speed, you can make out the context. This greatly reduces your chances of committing transcription errors.

    Insist that your transcriber VA uses a FS85USB

    If you are hiring virtual assistants to transcribe your digital audio for you, you might want to invest in their productivity by paying them extra to buy this model.

    In fact, if you’re up for it, you should even take the initiative and send them a Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit.

    This way you can rest assured that the quality of the transcription you’re getting, will be high and consistent. It’s a small investment to make, if you are hiring a virtual assistant for a long engagement.

    Sending them a kit that you paid for, make sense if you’re thinking of keeping this person on for at least six months. Consider it as strategic investment in the quality of the content that you are dictating.

    If you’re a very busy blogger, who produces at least 30 posts a month, you might want to consider this option. The same goes with book publication. If you publish more than two books a month, this might be the way to go.

    Remember, the higher the quality of your transcriber, the more likely you’re going to make money and product of that person’s work. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

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    Can you detect a digital voice recorder?

    can you detect voice recorders

    As technology continues to evolve, it’s not a surprise that a lot of the gadgets that you see in James Bond movies are now a reality. Who would have thought that smartphones would be a thing?

    In fact, as recently as 20 years ago, a lot of the functions of a typical iPhone would seem like science fiction. That’s how far we’ve come.

    Gadgets are not only getting faster and pack a lot more functions and features. It also tends to get smaller while mobile phones have gotten bigger.

    You’re able to do so much more with them today compared to three years ago. This begs the question, since people are able to do so many things with a wide range of devices, have we reached the point where it becomes easier to spy on people?

    Keep in mind that surveillance gadgets have been around for a long time. Again, going back to James Bond movies, modern day surveillance and recording devices have a very small footprint.

    You don’t have to use sophisticated but bulky and heavy listening equipment that you can only transport around in a van. You’ve probably seen those movies, right? Two guys are in a van, and one of their operatives is sitting a few yards away, and the guys in the van are listening into their contacts conversations.

    What if I told you that all the gadgets and devices inside that can have now been shrunk to the size of your palm? That’s right. Listening devices, voice recorders, cameras, hidden cameras, spy cameras and microphones are now miniaturized. They don’t need to be transported in a van, they have a very small footprint.

    In fact, they weigh close to nothing. They are so small that it’s gonna be really hard to detect them. This has been going on for quite some time when it comes to hidden cameras. You probably have seen those hidden cam shows on late night cable. Well, guess what? Hidden recording devices have gone to the next level.

    Now, we have really sophisticated listening devices that can be used to track people and record their conversations. Here’s the clincher. You don’t have to sit right next to the person you’re trying to keep tabs on. You can be anywhere from a few dozen yards or even 100 or so yards away.

    That’s how far this surveillance technology has evolved. It’s comforting to think that only police would have access to this technology. Sadly, this is not true.

    You can pick up all sorts of secret recording devices online. There are very discreet, small, compact, almost undetectable, secret voice recorders you can buy off the internet.

    Why should dictation bloggers and dictaphone writers care about listening devices?

    If you prize your ideas, you need to protect them. They are your biggest assets. This is especially true of bloggers and authors with at least one best seller or hit book under their belt.

    Imagine your best blog post ideas or novel plotlines copied and pasted on the Net or reverse engineered? Thanks to sophisticated listening technology, this situation is not as far off or weird as you may believe.

    One good example of these very small devices are GSM bugs. Small, light, virtually undetectable. They can be used anywhere at any time.

    GSM bugs are used to listen to conversation among people, or when people are talking into their cell phones or even their home phones. This has, of course, made people suspicious.

    You might even be on edge. You might think that there’s somebody keeping tabs on you. If you suspect the hidden listening device, wire voice recorder cameras or some sort of wiretapping device, you can search for anything that looks like GSM bugs in your electronic devices at home.

    Look into devices like electric power supplies, radio receivers, wires, or wiring assemblies in walls. These bugs can also be installed inside smoke detectors and any other kind of small device in a room.

    I wish I could tell you that GSM bugs will only pick up sound, but they can also include a hidden camera, as well as a voice recorder. In fact, one common trick with these devices is to install them in the eyes of a teddy bear or in the center of a clock.

    Usually they’re put in the middle of a room in an item that you wouldn’t suspect as containing a bug.

    What kind of information can GSM bugs steal?

    GSM bugs are used by some individuals to listen in on conversations. They can also be used to take snapshots of schematics plans or any other information that can be stored in graphical form.

    How to search for hidden listening devices

    One way to search for all hidden camera devices, listening devices, voice recorders or any type of surveillance equipment is to use an rf sweeper.

    Radio frequency detectors, also known as RF detectors or RF sweepers, these devices are used to “sweep” a room microphones, hidden cameras, surveillance devices, and listening devices don’t just absorb sound waves. They do something with that information, they can store it locally on a chip because of space and energy limitations.

    Generally speaking, surveillance devices take in signals and relay it to a receiver that will have more power and storage space. This is the weak spot of GSM bugs and other types of recording devices and surveillance.

    If somebody is trying to tap your conversation when you run RF scanner, you can detect if there are signals being sent from any part of a room.

    You get closer and closer and you can pinpoint the device that is sending out the signal. If you are using an RF detector or scanner and it starts to beep or go wild as you get closer to a teddy bear, you may find out that the eyes of your kids plush toy is a recording device.

    How to detect recording devices with your mobile phone

    Believe it or not, mobile phones can detect the light that is used in most recording devices.

    Turn on your phone’s camera lens and walk around and look at the room through your camera. By doing this, you’re scanning the area for any flashing lights or light variations, which may indicate the presence of a recording device.

    Another way you can detect recording is to turn all the lights off and look for any blinking light.

    How to use your phone to detect voice recordings

    When you are on your mobile or even home phone taking a call, you can use that device to listen for any interference. Be very suspicious of any clicking, buzzing or any weird noises. It may not just be background noise.

    To double check, ask the person you’re talking to if they can hear the weird sounds on their end. If it’s only happening on yours, be very suspicious.

    If you detect any kind of interference, this might be an indication that there is some sort of recording device picking up your conversation.

    This can take many different forms, it could be a hidden camera, a hidden voice recorder, a microphone, or other devices. Why does this happen? When such devices, especially GSM bugs, are near any kind of device, it creates an electromagnetic field. This can cause interference.

    At the very least, the device might be creating electronic noise or some sort of static that is erratic and inconsistent. You have to be very alert, because if there are some erratic disruptions in sound quality, it might not just be the line, it might actually be a recording device.

    These can take many different forms, it can be hidden cameras, wires, voice recorders, or microphones. Also, they may be in the same area as you or inside the device itself.

    Try using a flashlight and walk around any interior space

    If you think somebody’s trying to record your conversations as you dictate to your digital voice recorder or mobile phone, look out a flashlight. You can even use the flashlight feature of your mobile phone.

    If there are voice recorders, wires, hidden cameras or any other kind of listening device, you usually will be able to pick them out if they are hidden behind mirrors or any other kind of reflective glass inside an interior space.

    When you sweep the area with your arm as you hold on to your mobile phone, you might be able to see reflections, and this approach is best used with an RF scanner or detector device.

    Beware of WiFi transmissions

    Some devices try to fake you out by pretending to be a WiFi device. You might be thinking this is your neighbor’s new router, and not think much of it.

    It may turn out that the listening and recording gadget installed in your room is actually sending out signals under a weird WiFi name. Scan for Wi Fi signals and make sure they’re legit. These are very easy to verify, if you’re in a hotel.

    In your neighborhood, if you’ve been scanning for Wifi using your devices, you would know what your neighbor’s signal ID is. If something stands out, be very suspicious. Get to the bottom of it. Ask around.

    What devices do people use to record voice dictations?

    If you’re worried about your voice dictations or any other kind of recorded spoken communications being stolen, or recorded without your permission, be on the lookout for the following devices.

    The list of recording gadgets continued to grow almost on a weekly basis. That’s how big this market is.

    What kind of devices can record your image, voice or actions?

    This is just a shortlist; it’s by no means a complete and exhaustive list. These devices include listening devices, cameras, voice recorders, digital voice devices, microphones, and wires.

    They take many different forms like spy pens, USB recording devices, power banks and wrist watches. Typically, they’re small enough to avoid detection, but have enough electronics packed into them to listen and record conversations, several meters away.

    In fact, the smallest Digital Voice Recorder currently available in the market, is as small as a paperclip. You would think that its sound quality would be lousy. Considering its miniscule footprint. Think again. It actually has a great recorded sound quality. It comes with 8GB of flash memory.

    On top of these features, this paper clip sized digital voice recorder is voice activated. This means that it’s not going to turn on unless and until it detects a voice. This enables the device to prolong its battery life.

    Retrieving data from the device is very easy. Upon benchmark testing, paper clip sound recorders have been tested to record as much as 90 hours, with a 10 hour battery life.

    Since this gadget looks exactly like a paperclip, you can place it anywhere to listen to anyone at any time. Very few people will notice the devices even there. They basically have to be looking for this type of device for them to even spot it.

    When it comes to spy cameras, this type of technology has reached a point where they can easily be installed behind walls. They don’t need much space. They can also see through very small openings.

    Recap: Why would anyone listen to your digital voice recorder dictations

    Whether you are working for yourself or for somebody else, the information that you dictate is your own intellectual property. At best, when people record that material, they get free content.

    Think about it. If you know that somebody who professionally dictates materials is going to be around, there’s a good chance that the transcription of this person’s speech would be somewhat valuable.

    At the very least, it won’t be the ramblings of somebody who can’t string sentences with any kind of skill. If somebody records your dictations, that’s stolen content. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    What if you are dictating a sensitive company Information? It doesn’t matter where you dictate, your competitors can easily put sensitive information together to get some sort of competitive advantage.

    There are all sorts of dangers that you need to be aware of when it comes to dictations. This is why it’s really important, as a dictation blogger or somebody who uses digital voice recorders or digital dictaphones, to produce content to be aware of this issue.

    It is a thing. It’s not going to go away anytime soon. People are always going to be looking for a shortcut. Consider yourself warned.

    Just by following the precautionary steps above, you increase your chances of successfully protecting your intellectual property from theft.

    Eavesdropping“Eavesdropping” by A. Strakey is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0