A transcriptionist’s work is often stressful and time-pressured, consisting of short deadlines. Transcriptionists typically tap away at a keyboard for lengthy periods, typing as fast as possible, while straining their ears. At TTP we’ve used our experience to list five tips and tricks to help make transcription a little easier and more efficient:
1. Make sure that your ergonomics are up-to-scratch
Use a proper keyboard and make sure your chair is adjusted correctly so that you can sit straight and have your hands level with the keyboard. Ensure your feet are flat on the floor with your knees bent at a comfortable angle. Check that your headphones are well fitted and that the cable is long enough, to avoid tilting your head or straining your neck.
2. Take regular breaks and stretch
Stand up at least every hour and give your eyes a rest. Move around to get the blood circulating in your body and do a few short exercises such as squats or calf raises. Stretch your arms and wrists to reduce the likelihood of developing tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
3. Ensure you have the correct hardware and software
Professional transcription software such as Express Scribe Pro allows you to control the audio using function keys or even a pedal and will help speed up your typing. It’s also essential to invest in a good quality headset to ensure that the sound is transmitted as comfortably and clearly as possible.
4. Ask for a list of terminology for specialised topics or fields
As a professional, it’s important to be mindful of the organisation you’re transcribing for. This often means researching names and specific terms to get them right. If there is a lot of specialised terminology for a client ask for a list, particularly if you are going to transcribe multiple files for the same client. This will speed up your efforts and reduce the client’s workload correcting mistakes.
5. Utilise Word’s AutoCorrect, AutoComplete and ‘Find and Replace’ functions
Word’s AutoCorrect function automatically detects wrongly spelled words, correcting them for you, whereas AutoComplete allows you to type a few letters, which it expands into a word or phrase. These are both customisable time-saving tools that are included in the latest version of Microsoft Word. Another useful tool is ‘Find and Replace’, allowing you to search a document for particular words or characters and replace all instances of these in one go, saving you from doing the work manually.
We hope this list has provided useful ideas to help speed up your typing and make your life easier. Please let us know if you have any other ideas in the comments below, as we would love to hear from you!