How to do voice dictation better

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I often use voice dictation to create my content. A good mic helps when doing that on my computer.

While I often voice dictate in the Jetpack (formerly WordPress) app or web interface, these tips can also be applied to other areas where voice dictation works. I’ll share some of those as well. Voice dictation in the WordPress app allows me to simply dictate my post directly into the app on my iPhone. It then gets transcribed automatically. Such an awesome feature. I can talk much faster than I can type.

David yarde
David Yarde

Branding expert David Yarde also voice dictates as often as he can. “Thoughts tend to flow together better,” he said. I agree with David, and one way to be more conversational in your writing is to have a conversation with your audience literally. To voice dictate can do the trick.

Scot Westwater added that “We wrote an entire book this way. It’s a great way to get your ideas out quickly.”


But no matter where you voice dictate messages, do make sure to proofread them before sending them!


Downfalls of voice dictation

There are some downfalls. For example, when I say “quotation mark paragraph quotation mark” it actually writes all that out instead of adding quotation marks and the word paragraph in between. Some editing is still needed. Paragraph breaks also can’t be prompted: Parts of this article, for example, were written through voice dictation, and I should note that the TV was running in the background, and my family was nearby as well. With all this ambient noise going on, the app still transcribed my dictation very accurately.

But there are instances when people talk nearby that their words get transcribed as well.

When I use voice dictation on my desktop, sometimes I forget that it’s on, and it transcribes a podcast running in the background.

There are places where we likely shouldn’t voice dictate. Sitting in crowded and public spaces, for example. It can be rude to voice dictate when others are around us. Granted, some content voice dictated is destined to be published for the public anyway. So there might not be a problem with confidentiality. Remember, you may not know who the people sitting near you are.

What apps and devices allow voice dictation?

On desktop, anyone can voice dictate to transcription inside Google Drive. That’s been around since at least 2017, and I used to file blog posts for projects that way before. What’s nice about voice dictating in Google Docs is that you can easily share the draft with others by giving them access. Turn on voice dictation on iphone

On iPhone, it’s not by app, but it’s an iPhone function. You can voice dictate in any app, including:

  • Safari
  • WordPress
  • Notes
  • etc.

To make sure you have the function turned on, go to: Settings … Keyboard … Enable dictation. You can also enable it for other languages that you can speak. Simply add keyboards for those languages, and it’s ready to go. For example, I’m fluent in English and German, and when I write emails to people in Germany, I just switch to the German keyboard, and then voice dictate my email.

My favorite voice dictation tools on Windows

The Voice in Voice chrome extension is a fantastic voice dictation tool and works in most every website.

You can also do the Windows key plus H to use the built-in voice dictation.

The flow of voice dictation and editing

When I start writing, I like to file the section headlines (H2s) of the article first. This is my outline so to speak. I file it directly in the editor. I can use voice dictation for that as well:

  • I speak the headline
  • Click enter (when I say “paragraph break,” it types those words and does not start a new paragraph usually)
  • Then I go back and voice dictate the different sections

It’s easy just to keep talking without looking at the screen. Remember that this isn’t a podcast, though. I would recommend to look at the screen to catch obvious mistakes rather quickly. Letting dictation go on too long without at least looking can lead to not remembering what a sentence was supposed to mean.

Technical setup

I usually voice dictate with my iPhone headphones or AirPods. That seems to work well. Once you have voice dictation enabled a microphone shows on or near the keyboard when you get ready to type, like this: If you voice dictate in Google Drive on your computer I would recommend an external mic, like the Snowball mic, but there are other options available as well.

I used the Snowball mic for my Google Drive dictations and placed it in front of me and start talking while keeping an eye on the screen.

On desktop, I just use my regular mic.

How to make sure capitalization works on iPhone while voice dictating

It was quite frustrating when my voice dictation was lower-casing everything. Even at the beginning of the sentence. I just fixed it manually, but that’s a hassle. Then my 12-year-old was voice dictating an email during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic while everyone was at home.

She said: “I turned capitalization off.”


“Yes, you can turn it off and on.” Here’s how you turn capitalization on – or off, though I’m not sure why you’d want to turn it off.

Go to: Settings…Keyboard… Auto-Capitalization

Should I save while voice dictating?

That depends on what app you are using.

In Google Docs, it auto-saves constantly on its own. I think there’s no manual save button actually.

In the Jetpack app, it does not automatically save. Save the post as a draft and keep saving it manually.

If you are voice dictating in Safari or any other web browser WordPress often pulls auto saves of what’s in your browser, but that’s a gamble. There appears to be no auto saves besides that. Just keep clicking the Save Draft button to save.

Voice dictation can help us create content more efficiently. It certainly takes some practice. One of my favorite apps that I use is the WordPress app. If you are running on WordPress the next section might be of interest to you.

What does the future of voice content creation look like?

Scott Prevost, VP, Engineering and Search, at Adobe was running a live product demo in front of 10,000 or so at Adobe Summit a few years ago and said that he would give a voice command to the program to do something. Whoa! Love!

How can voice commands in content creation be a game changer? Here’s how:


Imagine if I have no clue how to use Photoshop – which is the truth – but I know what I’m trying to do. I’ll just talk to my computer running Photoshop and tell it what to do.

I assume it will be a while before I would get away with saying “make it pop” or “make it prettier” – phrases designers hear from time to time. Unfortunately – because they don’t give much direction. But what if I can say:

  • I want to create an infographic
  • Upload the facts which are called (insert name)
  • Rearrange them in this order
  • Increase font slight so this is viewable on mobile
  • Run brand check and verify that correct colors and fonts are being used

Video editing

I was shooting a bunch of video at Adobe Summit and shipped it back to my awesome editor in Cedar Rapids. It was a two-person job.

If voice commands are used in editing, what if you end up editing like this with your voice:

  • Start with standard opening
  • Decrease volume of background music to 25 percent
  • Fade to raw clip 0045 at the 0:02 mark and stay with it until 0:07
  • Voice over clip 0088 to be added at 0:05 of 0045
  • Then cut to stand up.

Could you imagine if I could easily edit video through voice commands on my phone? Game changer!

Read next: Can AI edit videos?

Using AI to make voice dictation even easier

I also now use AI to voice dictate content. Here’s how that looks:

Read next: Prolific prompts: Writing AI prompts to level up your content strategy

How jobs need to evolve

All kinds of things cost jobs. Declining revenues, changing business needs and of course innovation in technologies. That’s not new and not the fault of the internet. Also, these things can create new jobs! Let’s grow together, content creators!

Jason Goldberg, Senior Vice President at SapientRazorfish, put it this way to me when we were chatting in Las Vegas in 2018:

“There’s always going to be room for creative talent, but if your main differentiator is knowing how to push the buttons, that skill is going to be less valuable over time”

Of course, making stories sing through design or video always will take creative talent.

In addition to needing talent to strategize and create some pieces we also need oversight. Technology isn’t perfect, so somebody needs to still supervise it.

We still need creative talent and they can use technology to create even better experiences. Adobe calls them Experience Makers!

But creating content and experiences with your voice can really open up possibilities and make creation better.

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