I spend a lot of time thinking about productivity tools and apps and devices that might make my daily life more efficient. The irony, of course, is that I would probably get all the efficiency gains I need if I just stopped trying new tools every week. But what fun would that be?
I’ve been using Siri’s speech-to-text dictation on my iPhone for probably a year, and it is definitely a keeper. For instance, I find I reply more quickly to emails, whereas in the past I might’ve waited until I was at a keyboard.
I use it for making lists and recording ideas. There’s something about pacing with the iPhone in hand, talking off the top of my head, that feels more like brainstorming than if I were typing into a document.
I use it in the car at stoplights. I can dictate a quick email or text without taking my phone out of its holder.
I use it to write blog posts, including this one. I had to go back and correct some words that Siri misunderstood, but far fewer than a year ago. Not only do I think the service has gotten better, but it definitely seems to get to know your words and speech patterns.
Unless I’m totally imagining that. I suppose I could stop now and go research it, but another one of my new productivity techniques is to just write a blog post when I have an idea and not let anything distract me from finishing it.
Just what the world needs from me; more frequent vagueness.
I do need to guard against my tendency to ramble. If you’ve ever talked to me in real life, you know that I am an aficionado of the tangent. If I don’t watch myself, an email or blog post I dictate can run on and on and on. Being aware of that, however, helps me focus and try to stay concise.
I’ve talked to a lot of people who tried the dictation feature once and gave up on it. If that was your experience, it’s worth another try.