Dictation has always been a time-saving office tool but now technology has moved on from the old fashioned tape recorders. You can now download an app and record your instructions, ideas and comments straight onto your phone, tablet or PC. Then all you have to do is get someone to type them for you – which is when it might be a good idea to look for a digital transcription virtual assistant.
From apps to freelance transcription
In order for dictation to really be an effective time management tool, you need to be using an effective app or tool to take the dictation in the first place, and then be sure that your transcription service is flexible and high quality enough. Essentially, you just want to be able to dictate your content, fire the file off to your transcriber and get the typed file back as quickly as possible.
So, here are our three key tips for making sure dictation and transcription works for your business:
1. Choose the right dictation software for your needs
The obvious place to have access to dictation software is on your phone. There are many options for Apple, Android and Windows operating systems, including Dictamus, Evernote and ListNote to name a few. Take a look at features and reviews to see which one will be best for your needs. These apps are sophisticated, so you can store, edit and share files easily, helping your professional life to run more smoothly.
2. Practice dictating!
This might sound obvious, but it pays to take a little time to get used to your new app. Little things like speaking clearly, and slightly slower than you would in conversation means that it’s easier for your transcriber to work with your files, increasing accuracy, and reducing the time spent on each file.
3. Find a good transcription service
Most outsourced secretarial services offer transcription from mp3 files. This tends to work in a couple of ways: either the virtual assistant will transcribe it for you within an agreed timescale, or the VA can send it out to a volume transcription service, where files are assigned to the next available transcriber, who will turn the work around straight away and send it back to the VA for checking and finalising – making sure the transcription is accurate, that it has the standard layout for your business and even that it is printed on your letterhead. One of the benefits of using a virtual assistant is that you can be confident about the transcription services quality and turnaround time. See also our blog – Choosing an audio transcription service – what to consider.
You can, of course, download your own dictation software, which can transcribe your files for you. However, you’ll still need to check for accuracy, so it may be better to give your virtual assistant team direct access to the software so that they can manage the transcription process while you concentrate on your business.
Choosing a digital audio transcription service
There are two key requirements for anyone looking for help with secretarial and transcription services:
- Responsiveness – how quickly can your transcriber work on your files so that you can use them as soon as possible?
- Accuracy – does your transcription service have the expertise and skill to transcribe accurately
Just call the virtual assistant service you’re considering and have a chat about your requirements. Whether you are a legal firm with tens of dictated documents to transcribe each week, or a small business that needs occasional help with letters and reports, an experienced digital transcription virtual assistant will be able to talk you through your options, give you an idea of cost and start to work with you to ensure that you always get a quick, cost-effective and accurate service.
If you’re considering moving to dictation, we hope you found this blog useful. For help with this or any of our other online personal assistant services feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.