This is Part 1 is a series of Blogger Technology Tools. Part 2 will be Evernote, and Part 3 will be OneNote, then Part 4, everyone’s favorite, Trello. They all have their features and all have their good parts however they all have lacking features there’s no one program that seems to have everything I want. So I tend to use a combination of them.
One of the best Blogger Technology Tools that I found is the ability to dictate my blog posts. The cool thing is you can do this while you’re driving down the road, while kids are screaming in the background, or you’re just running daily errands. The functionality is basic but effective.
Evernote and others take a little bit more to understand its purpose and what they are useful for. Do not go down the rabbit hole of learning all these new programs and forget your main mission which is creating blog content. But first up, Dragon Anywhere. There is little to no learning curve it is click and talk.
Dragon Anywhere Main Features
With New Dragon Professional Individual once you have dictated the posts, then all you have to do is save it to your Dropbox, iCloud or whatever, and then simply copy and paste into your blog post in Word Press. The only thing left to do at that point is clean it up, add SEO, photos and the like, and post. I find this method very effective when I’m traveling a lot. But it could be just as useful going back and forth to the grocery store.
Dragon will remember where you left off. You can add many, many various topics and posts so if your mind is wandering, you could just dictate them all at once. In addition, you can click the add button to add a new note for every thought. I tend to just dictate everything I’m thinking of on one, click over to the plus sign to start dictating a particular post. Then when I get home or back to the hotel I can download my brain dump as well as the posts that I’ve been working on.
Dragon Naturally Speaking Desktop
Dragon Naturally Speaking also has a desktop version. The desktop version is a little more expensive but if you find that dictating is easier than typing for you then that’s the way you should go. In fact, my husband does not type. I mean he really does not type. He says he uses his two index fingers and the rest of them just hang out and watch. Yeah, he’s a funny guy. Needless to say, he doesn’t write blog posts. However, I’ve introduced him to Dragon NaturallySpeaking and he’s finding it fairly easy. Therefore he can dictate away I can clean it up. Yeah, I know.
Dragon Anywhere has a very small learning curve. It is simply point and click. Nothing big, no formatting, no nothing. One thing you should do, however, is add periods and new lines or paragraphs to break it up. Makes it a bit easier to edit. When you want to say “.” you simply say “period”. When you want to add a new line or paragraph, you simply say “new line” or “new paragraph”.
There are a few other items that you do have as options. You can bold, backspace, copy, email the document, go to the beginning or end, or the beginning or end of a line, paragraph, sentence, create new document, and many more. Anytime you are confused about what you can say, you can also ask for help.
There is one humorous thing I’d like to point out. I was dictating this post actually while I was driving down the road and had my GPS on. The directions that my GPS gave also went into my notes here. No big deal. I could figure that out when I edit…I hope.
To download Dragon Anywhere, on your phone or iPad, go to the app store. Type in Dragon and you will see the Dragon Anywhere icon. Download and install. Make sure you know where the application now resides (my iPhone has about 6 screens to the right) or you can also easily you can also move your icon to the front page of your phone.
Blogger Technology Tools Deep Dive
When you open Dragon Anywhere for the first time, here’s what you will see.
When you’re ready to dictate you will see the microphone in a little circle in the far right-hand corner at the bottom.
Step 1: Start Dictating
You simply click it. Once it turns green you’re ready to start talking. As you speak, the words will appear on the screen. Remember, you may have to do some editing. A quick tip: add periods where you want the sentence to end and “new paragraph” to add new paragraphs.
When you’re finished, click the icon again it will turn to red.
When you’re completely finished, you can upload it to the cloud. You will see that shortly. If you want to continue later on, just leave it open then when you get out of the grocery store or wherever, you go back to your Dragon Anywhere program and simply click the microphone icon to continue the same on the same post. If you want to save it and move on you click the plus sign to create a new page. To create a title, you can either type in the title, or click the title area then dictate. When you want to continue in the text area, just say “new paragraph”.
I tend to not worry so much about the titles until I’m through talking.
Step 2: Options
There are many options available for Dragon Anywhere. We’ll take a look at these in the next few paragraphs. In a nutshell, where you see the yellow bar to the left of the words is where you are currently. For example, in this illustration, we are at Dictation.
Other options include: Documents (locally stored), Evernote, Dropbox, What Can I Say, Auto-texts, Words, and Settings.
Step 3: Documents
For the next group, Documents, this refers to anything you have dictated, then closed the application without saving to a particular area.
These items are saved “locally” and can be retrieved by clicking on the item. The item will then open and allow you to either continue dictating or type.
Step 4: Evernote
You can link your Evernote and Dragon Anywhere accounts, where you can save your dictation to Evernote. Evernote will save the dictation files using the name of the Title. Again, you can retrieve the dictation post and continue dictating, or simply continue writing.
Step 5: Dropbox
Along with the same principles as using Evernote, you can also use Dropbox to save your dictation. This will also allow you to recall, retrieve, update, and edit your dictated post by continuing to dictate, or continue to write.
Step 6: What Can I Say
One of the nicest features in this Bloggers Technology Tool is the ability to see help for commands, autotexts, corrections, navigation, and recording options. You can set these as you see fit. Additionally, the personalization and help area allows you to use your voice to change the focus back to your dictation as well as open and close help. You can also simply say “What Can I say” to show the list of what you can say to Dragon Anywhere.
Step 7: Auto-Texts
You can speak a word or series of words and have a phrase, sentence, or something else print out. You can also specifically pronounce a word and have Dragon Anywhere associate that pronunciation to a particular word. This is particularly helpful when you have an accent. (Of course, I don’t have an accent, I’m from Texas)…
Step 8: Words
You can add words to your Dragon Anywhere vocabulary. This allows you to add new pronunciations to words. For example, being from the South, I pronounce the word “Pecan” as ‘Pe-Cahn’ (as it should be), whereas folks from the North pronounce it as “PEE-Can”. Can you think of other words that are pronounced differently? These would simply be added to your Words vocabulary for Dragon Anywhere to understand. Great Bloggers Technology Tool huh!
Step 9: Settings
One of the best blogger technology tools on the market, Dragon Anywhere has incredible customization settings. You can change your password right from the app; set the default language and choose default file formats and email recipients. In addition, you can choose the text display size, line spacing, and manage your subscription (discussed next). Honestly, I think it’s one of the best tools eva!
Blogger Technology Tools Cost
Although Dragon Anywhere is $14.99 a month, I think it is well worth the money. I use it every single day. Even going back and forth to run errands. Once you get used to using it you will never want to type another blog post by hand. It even keeps up with my accent…wait a minute…I don’t have an accent, I’m from Texas.
There are a few words that it tends to get a little confused on but it’s all good. Use this to brainstorm to create a blog scheduled to create a blog post anything you want.
If you are interested in Dragon Anywhere or Dragon Naturally Speaking, you can read all about it at New Dragon Professional Individual.
For the next post in this series, I’ll be showing you another tool that is in my toolbox called Evernote. Evernote does allow some voice recognition, however, Evernote does not transfer the voice to text. It simply records the voice for you and let you add text. Maybe that works for you better maybe it doesn’t entirely up to you. So this is step one in a series of blog posts about tools that are useful for blogging.
So try it out, see what you think! Let me know your thoughts!
Until next time, happy blogging!
–Annie, Your FairyBlogmother
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