Transcribers earn on a per-page or per task basis and their ability to work efficiently within a given time frame is what determines how much they will ultimately make. It therefore pays off to have some tips at hand on how to transcribe quickly and competently.
- Invest in quality headphones and playback software – whether you run a large scale transcription business or work from home, it is important to invest in the right equipment. Foot pedals, a computer with a good speed and quality headphones will go a long way in helping you transcribe faster. Another tip is to get stereo headphone which will be highly useful when transcribing a recording which uses multiple audio channels. Foot pedals are useful when it comes to keeping your hands free while you rewind and play the recording as required.
- Proofread your transcript as you work on it – don’t wait to finish writing up the transcript so that you can proofread it, do this as you work on the transcript. It will save you a lot of time and guarantee the quality of your work. Microsoft word is particularly helpful with its AutoCorrect function or Quick Correct in the case of Word Perfect. Utilize macros as well which will help you reduce the keystrokes you use and thus increase your typing speed.
- Work with macros – macros are sets of functions which you should have in your transcription software. They are sets of tasks which you instruct the software to perform when certain keystrokes or shortcuts are hit. This is particularly helpful when it comes to entering long sentences which you commonly use into the transcript. This ultimately reduces the number of keystrokes made and quickens the transcription process.
- Choose a quiet environment to work within – this should be one of the first things you should consider. Transcription is a task which requires high concentration and it is therefore important to work within a quiet environment. Outside noise can still be a problem regardless of whether you have headphones on or not. Make sure that if you are working from home everyone knows when you are working and are considerate about the nature of the work.
- Have ready-made templates at hand – it is advisable to create templates and have them ready for use. This is especially helpful if you transcribe for the legal and medical fields. This will save you the time spent creating each document from scratch, but the only consideration is to have as many templates ready for each type of work.
- Practice makes perfect – like with any other profession, the more you work the better you get at transcription. Give it a little time and you will soon pick up on ways to enhance your competence and speed.