Dictation with Dragon Naturally Speaking

(Note; as of Feb. 6. 2012, the jury is still out on Dragon. Perhaps the neatest development is its arrival on my Apple iPhone 4s. It only takes a paragraph or two. The key will be when it can process enough data for most routine orders and memo. They kind of thing that now goes into an e-mail. This morning, I left a note for all five office staff. Each got it at her desk, already typed. Before I might have left a voicemail. Tabatha would have taken notes, typed an e-mail and sent it to everyone. Now we can skip that step, but we need a free app to do a couple of pages. And it still needs to be more accurate and learn better, but I use Dragon every day with my laptop for long memos and orders that staff would otherwise have to type from dictation. It is a very exciting time to be a lawyer.)

I am creating this post with an application called “Dragon Naturally Speaking 10, Preferred”, by Nuance. I still have a ways to go in learning to use it intuitively. As most of you probably know, Dragon converts audio dictation to print. It can keep up with the normal conversational speed. I find it particularly helpful to dictate memoranda of initial client meetings, letters, and documents without lots of technical legal citations. Now that I have my new Logitech headphones and mic (Duffy the dog having chewed its predecessor to pieces!), and configured them to this program, I believe I will be using Dragon almost daily.

With two of our staff away on medical leave, I hope, in part, to keep up with the workload by using the Pythagoras document assembly software mentioned in a prior post, and Dragon. I can send the documents to my assistants via e-mail, so that their task is simply to look up missing variable information, format to their needs, and properly title or address the document.

I believe I have also mentioned our Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500 scanners which come with Adobe Acrobat standard. Each one stands up to 20 double-sided pages a minute, so, theoretically, we can scan 280 pages a minute when “all hands are on board”! ScanSnap documents can be saved as “searchable PDFs” or Word or text files.

When fully integrated, this ability to manipulate, process, scan, and publish words and documents should provide to us what the late Mark Donohue and Roger Penske called, “The Unfair Advantage”. When an emergency Ex Parte Petition must be filed within an hour, or an imminent deadline met, such tools provide the critical difference between timely production of documents and missing the mark.

Please, if any of you have technical tips or ideas that match up with or even counter mine, do not hesitate to post them.

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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