As a writer, you probably spend a lot of time tapping away on a keyboard or jotting notes on paper. But life can get busy, and a harried writer might appreciate the ability to write while driving, folding laundry, or walking the dog. Guess what—you can! If you dictate your writing, you can do two things at once. Or you might like to think on your feet and pace while coming up with ideas. And if an injury or surgery keeps you on the couch or confined to bed, hands-free dictation allows you to keep working on your project. The tech experts at Web Design Relief have reviewed the best apps and software for when you want to dictate instead of write.
The Best Dictation Apps And Software For Writers
Free built-in software. If you have a desktop computer or smartphone, you already have a free way to dictate speech to text! On a PC, you can use Speech Recognition. On a Mac, click Edit and then hit Start Dictation. Keep in mind that, like any software, these programs aren’t perfect, and you will likely need to go back and edit words that didn’t translate to text properly.
Google Docs Voice Typing. Price: Free. If you use Google Docs to get your writing done, you may know that Google Docs has its own dictation feature, and the results are fairly accurate. Be aware an Internet connection is required.
Otter.ai. Price: $8.33 per month. Otter.ai offers a free version that is very accurate for a free program. Keep in mind it’s only free up to 600 minutes of transcribing per month. If you plan to use it to write a significant amount each month, you might want to opt for the paid version with unlimited transcription time along with great accuracy. Otter.ai was designed for podcasts and transcribed meetings, so it lacks spoken commands like line breaks. Punctuation is automatically added, but you should review your text later to ensure accuracy.
Dragon Professional Individual. Price: $500. If you can look past its price, this software offers some great options. One of the best features is the ability to transcribe audio recordings, which allows you to go mobile. You can record the audio on your phone, then put the audio into Dragon to be transcribed.
A cheaper option is Dragon Home at $300, but it lacks some of the features available in Dragon Professional Individual. Be aware that neither of these options is available on Mac. Dragon Anywhere is available on iOS for $15 per month and $150 per year, but doesn’t offer the range of features offered by Dragon Professional Individual or Dragon Home.
Braina Dictation Software. Lifetime Price: $199. This software is not designed with long-form dictation in mind, but its dictation still provides a high degree of accuracy. If you’re a Mac user, you’re out of luck—at the time of this writing, this software is only available for PC.
Many well-known authors have used dictation to write their works. And dictating may help you get the words down faster and increase your productivity! Of course, with any dictation software or app, you’ll still have to carefully edit to ensure you were heard correctly—or “he was a lighthouse keeper” might be transcribed as “he was a light housekeeper.”
Question: Which software or app do you use to dictate your writing projects?