Thursday, October 25, 2007

Avoiding Injury - Using Dragon in the Open Plan Office

Well, my overuse injury is back and it's quite painful to type. I'm not as worried as I was a few years ago when it first flared up because now I have Dragon.

The problem is that Dragon doesn't lend itself to the open plan office environment. We've recently moved offices and in our old office, I used to be able to use Dragon without worrying about bothering my colleagues. This is no longer the case.

After much deliberation I've found a solution (of sorts).

I've managed to get a Sony IC recorder and have upgraded to Dragon Naturally Speaking version 9 Preferred.

So, now to type longer documents, I take the recorder into a quiet meeting room and dictate to the sony stick. There are some other advantages to this as it frees my hands up for looking through other paperwork.

When I get back to my desk I copy the MP3 file across and then from the Dragon Naturally Speaking menu I select Sound then Transcribe Recording.

It is possible to transcribe the recording directly into an application, such as Microsoft Word, but I prefer to transcribe into the Dragon Notepad.

The reason for this is that when I'm transcribing into the Dragon notepad I can use my computer for other things but when I'm transcribing into other software, Dragon needs to maintain focus on the application and warns me not to touch the keyboard or mouse for the duration of the transcribing process. Transcribing is by no means a fast process, so I'm not willing to wait.

At the moment, the transcribing process is not incredibly accurate. I expect the accuracy will pick up as I experiment with settings and when I locate the dragon transcibing training facilities.

1 comment:

Kevin Pettitt said...

I purchased Dragon 9 (actually 9.5) Preferred after busting my left elbow/collarbone earlier this summer, and really love it. But you're right about the need to be isolated, so my home office is the only place I've used it.

I'm glad you posted this as I've wondered how well the dictation capability worked. I don't use it very much now that both hands are back to 100% (and I'm spending more time in the "real" office), but I know if I have any long-form writing to do that I'll use it for initial drafts.

Amazing how far technology has come. Feel better.