Okay, you writers. I need some help. I cleaned out my “Notes File” recently, which I do about once a year, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it just ain’t working. My Notes File consists of a couple of small notepads that I scribble in while driving, and about 30,000 itty bitty pieces of whatever was convenient to write on at the time—deposit slips, receipts, gum wrappers, straw wrappers, parking tickets, and for reasons I cannot explain, a photocopy of my palm with something scrawled on it.
Half the notes I can’t read because either my handwriting sucks or my subconscious knows Sanskrit, and most of the rest aren’t worth the time it takes to decipher let alone type into wikidPad (which is a cool way to electronically store notes, by the way).
So I briefly considered switching to a digital voice recorder, but then I remembered what a pain in the ass that is, because you have go back and transcribe it, and I’d rather paperclip my eyelids together. So I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if they invented something that would transcribe voice recordings to text, like, magically? And then I thought, wouldn’t it be cool if it already existed? So I prayed at the Google alter and to my wonderful surprise, I found Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, which claims to do exactly that. And then I thought, wouldn’t it have been cool if I’d thought of this before they reached version 9?
I’ve tried carrying a recorder around before, and aside from the time consuming transcription process, my biggest problem is I invariably lapse into a CSI medical examiner routine. Victim shows signs of hypothermia and trauma to the lower abdomen with—wait a minute. (Squishy sound effects) What appears to be a partial fish stick lodged in the upper trachea. Better get that over to trace. But if I don’t have to fast forward through that crap or even transcribe any of it at all, I think it might actually work better.
So, has anyone used or does anyone currently use any kind of speech-to-text software? And does it work as good as they say it does? Or, you got any other note taking organizational ideas besides writing shit down on straw wrappers?