How to massively increase your writing productivity

Amy Harrop — №32 with Sean Platt

Do you struggle with writing? No matter what you do, you probably need to write content.

One of the best ways to ramp up your writing productivity, which is going to give you the best chances of success, is to use dictation or speech recognition software to compose and create content.

Today’s SR software

The technology of speech recognition software has improved substantially over the last few years. It is now one of the fastest and easiest ways to create content, to increase your productivity, move past the competition and ultimately make more money.

Another key benefit of SR (speech recognition) software is that the content can easily be adapted to other modalities. You can easily create not only written content, but also content can be adapted to audio, video, and even courses.

Increase your writing speed

For example, the average person types 40 words per minute, but can dictate between 140 and 160 wpm. With the right SR software, a 900-word document can be dictated in nine minutes as compared to 22 minutes for traditional typing. This is a huge difference.

This means you can easily write 2000 to 3000 words within an hour. Imagine what that would do with for your productivity. You can complete the rough draft of a novel well within a month. You could have short reports, longer information products, blog posts, and much more done faster and easier than if you were to use word processing software.

Another serious benefit is health and well-being. Carpal tunnel syndrome and RSI are a serious problem for many people who use a keyboard. You can avoid many of these problems if you are dictating more instead of using the keyboard so much. This reason alone is enough to consider using SR software.

Recommended SR Software

I recommend Nuance’s Dragon Dictation. If you have an older version, upgrading to at least version 12 is recommended. The newer versions of Dragon are much more accurate.

There are other brands out on the market and a few free options you can try:

Google Docs Speech Recognition

This is a newer tool that is a Chrome browser only add-on for use in Google docs only. Some people seem to really like it for composing content in Google Docs. It does have a somewhat limited feature set, but because it is free it may be worth trying out. You can add it to your browser and also read user reviews

Windows Speech Recognition

Windows Vista to Windows 10 comes with free speech recognition software that you can use with any microphone. Just plug in your favorite microphone or headset and clearly say, “start listening.”

Dictation tips

These tips will help you get the most out of your SR software.

Be clear

When you first start with, don’t speak at your normal speed. Slow down a little and enunciate clearly. Once the SR software gets used to your speech patterns, soon you’ll be talking at normal speed, but start a little slower to ensure that it’s capturing everything. At the same time, don’t talk like a robot. You need to slow down, but not to the point where you’re saying one word every few seconds. It might be best to pretend you’re a teacher speaking to a group of students, or that you’re giving a speech.

Phrases instead of words

Don’t speak word by word. This might confuse it when you say words like hear (or did you mean here?) or two (or was it to, or even too?). If you speak in phrases and sentences, then you’ll notice that SR software works a whole lot better for you.

Bad Dragon, bad!

Has your SR software been bad and entered the wrong word or punctuation? Punish it by going back and editing the file. Yes, this will be annoying at first, but any good writer is going to look over his or her first draft at least once or twice to check for mistakes. If you are using Dragon, it pays attention to this editing to see how to correct it in the future.


Writing with speech recognition software is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your writing productivity. In addition, it can also help you reduce repetitive motion strains and injury. Give it a try and see how much more you can write!

Photo: Flickr/Jason OX4 CC BY 2.0

Amy harrop

Amy Harrop

Amy Harrop is a writer, publisher and teacher who specialize in content creation, discovery and monetization strategies.

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