Cover Photo by Lucas Alexander on Unsplash
Recently I discovered an exciting trick to increase my blogging productivity for a busy parent like me. Basically, what you do is use better voice-to-text technology. I will show you how in detail.
Keep in mind that this is a method to improve your productivity. You will eventually have to sit down at one point to edit the text and upload it on the Internet.
Parents, let's face it, you won't be able to sit in front of a computer working on your b(v)logs. Most of us can't even get enough sleep.
Some say that you can write on your phone. That's not realistic or even possible when you have one kid on your left arm while the right arm is stirring the pot.
But with the advance of technology, there are many ways to do some writing: you might not need to use two hands at all.
We now have smartphones, voice recorder and BlueTooth headsets. Recording your voice has become super easy. Numerous tools can convert your recording into text.
I highly recommend Otter.ai for text conversion over the default voice-to-text feature on your iPhone or Android. Otter.ai offers superior conversion quality. They even have an app in Android and iOS that you can record and convert right away.
Currently, it offers a free account where you can record 600 minutes a month. To some, that many minutes is plenty.
This is not an ad. We're not affiliated. Get your Otter.ai app below:
Nobody, even the most excellent writer in history, can finish their writing in the first draft. The first draft is always going to be rough and messy. The beauty of voice recording is that it helps you to get your hands dirty quickly.
Here, listen to my first recording that I did for this article.
Notice that I'm not a native English speaker. I used the power of editing, proofreading and Grammarly to finish writing it.
This awkwardly cringe recording is turned into an OK blog post. I am sure you can do way better than me.
You now came half way. The good news is that you overcame the writer's block! You've already increased blogging productivity dramatically if you came this far.
Editing is where the actual writing begins. Once you have your first draft, it is usually relatively easy to tweak it down the road.
Ideally, you do have to sit down and edit the text on the screen. But you can still edit it by recording. Here are two tricks I find very helpful:
The best is to find some blogging buddies who can proofread and even do some editing for each other.
Now here are some further tips with which you can make the most out of it.
When it comes to writing, walking is now my best writing station. (It used to be a busy cafe when I was a "bachelor.") Many great thinkers in history, including Einstien, loved to take a slow stroll during the day. Walking is proven to help you think as well. It's not a secret anymore.
Why don't we use that magical power to help increase blogging productivity? Plus, you can do some exercise. It might not be for you, but it's worth a try.
With a simple outline, you can have a bird's eye view of what you're going to record. I find it helpful when it comes to overcoming writer's block because once you know the rough outline, it'll be much easier for you to start your recording. You can have it written on a piece of paper or phone. Your brain is capable of holding up to four or five items at once during the recording.
Here is an example:
"Title, The top 10 kids' shows on Netflix, stop."
Here "title" means the following sentence or phrase will be a title. "stop" notes the title's end. This helps you to edit the text later on.
English is not even my first language. But with tools like Grammarly, I now dare to write an article like this in English. After my first round of editing. I always copy and paste it to Grammarly editor to check grammar errors and awkward sentences.
I like voice recorders because they come with a physical button you can press to pause and resume. So I can toggle it on and off in my pocket.
Whenever I stumble in my thoughts, I will simply pause the recording. And when I know what I am going to say, I resume by clicking the physical button in my pocket. I find it hard to do it on a smartphone touchscreen because my eyes have to discover the pause/resume button on the screen and then my finger has to precisely tap on it.
I also use a clip-on mic to improve the sound quality. Good sound quality has another benefit: You can save the recordings for podcasts or Youtube. That is one stone, three birds.
I mostly write about technology and programming. I do most of it in the Korean language. This method increased my writing productivity dramatically in the past few months. It went from writing 0.25 blog articles per month to 1.75 articles.
But it was still challenging for me to even finish this short article. It took me two weeks editing it while sitting on a toilet or catching some breath on the sofa. So if you couldn't do it, no big deals.