Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

Voice Dictation Notes for Google Docs

A great little trick I've stumbled upon is using the voice dictation feature on my android phone with Google docs. I have set up a few documents for notes. These notes include "work", "blog ideas", and "business concepts". I set up short cuts on my phone to take me quickly to these docs, which I have also set up in offline mode. Offline mode allows them to load much quicker, which is key to making this work.

In the past I would make quick notes on random pieces of paper in my office. One of my largest struggles to date was making this work with a cloud solution. I had tried the "take a picture and upload" thing, but it just never seemed to work correctly. With this solution I launch my notebook, hit the little "microphone" icon on the keyboard and dictate the note to my phone. It's instantly turned into text and then I just close the note. The note automatically syncs itself with the cloud, making those notes available later no matter where I am. The voice-to-text isn't always perfect, but I'd say its about 80% accurate when you're in a relatively quite environment. Most of my little handwritten notes where hard to decipher anyway, so this is at least better than those!

This solutions works great for me. It instantly puts my notes in the cloud so I don't loose them and can find them anywhere. That's a huge bonus. It's better than standard voice recording (which I also upload to Google docs from my phone on occasion) because it creates text. This is much easier to review, file, and store than audio. Finally, this solution is incredibly quick and easy. Google even inserts the text pre-highlighted. This means a quick stroke of the delete key and microphone key gets you back to the beginning.

I'm using an EVO 4G phone. I do know that Apple recently released this voice-to-text "microphone" button on their keyboards as well. I have not had a chance to try it on my iPad yet.

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