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5 Speech-to-Text Dictation Apps for the Dictator in You

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on June 19, 2015 3:58 PM

Lawyering is, in many ways, about writing. Sure, you're not Faulkner, but plenty of attorneys spend their days tapping away at the keyboard, composing motions, answering emails, drafting contracts. But you can give the typing a break every now and then, even if it's only to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you want to compose a message on the run, easily get a client interview down on paper, or just like working out your ideas verbally, dictation apps are the way to go. These speech-to-text apps turn your smart phones into expert dictation machines.

1. Dragon Dictation

Dragon is well regarded and widely used. It can quickly convert your words to text and is good at differentiating homophones, contextually deciding between "red" or "read," for example. When you're done, you can email or text the notes, or copy it over into any other app. However, since it converts your speech off-site, you'll need to have an Internet connection for it to work.

2. DropVox

DropVox is a simple dictation app that has the added bonus of sending your dictated messages straight to your Dropbox. The syncing is automatic, so you don't have to worry about manually sending your voice memos between devices. Sadly, however, it doesn't convert voice memos to text. If you prefer recordings to voice-to-text it's great, but if not, take a pass.

3. Super Note Taker

This dictation app does a good job converting your voice into the written word. Like DropVox, it has great shareability features, though it doesn't sync anything automatically. After you've dictated a file, you can send it to email, Google Drive, Drop Box, etc. There's even an option to transfer the file via FTP.

4. PaperPort Notes

PaperPort Notes is more than just a dictation app, it's a full note-taking program. You can import information from other files, throw in photos, create Post-It style notes on a document, and even highlight. But who needs that? We're here for dictation, which it does well. The only major drawback is that PaperPort Notes has an interface which can take some time to learn, so don't expect to master it in one go.

5. Your Built-In App

Apple, Google, and Microsoft all have their own voice-to-text software. That's how Siri can give you directions and why Kortana will send a text while you drive. Generally, you can use this voice-to-text function anywhere you would otherwise type in information. Once you've turned on the feature, it's basically as simple as opening your notes app and talking.

As anyone who has used Siri knows, the built voice-to-text features still leave something to be desired. They can make mistakes, mishear or not work in certain apps. For the hardcore dictator, a specialized app will be better.

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