I'm trying to develop a good workflow using voice dictation instead of typing. I need to produce articles for my website and sometimes writing is kind of boring. It is so much easier to just talk then it is to type.

There's several free programs I have been testing lately for voice typing and I will list them here in no particular order:

Voice Typing In Google Docs

I'm actually using Google Docs with its voice typing feature to create this document right now. I like that voice typing it's integrated directly into Google's word processing program. It is so convenient. The accuracy is pretty good and it allows you to insert punctuation or paragraph breaks. If you've ever used Dragon Naturally Speaking, one of the most popular dictation programs, you'll find that voice typing in Google Docs works a lot like Dragon Naturally Speaking. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Dragon, but typing out an article with your voice using voice typing in Google Docs Works exceptionally well.  I just wish it had auto punctuation. Oh, and I also wish that it would save the audio so you can play it back as the transcribed text is highlighted, just to make sure everything was transcribed correctly.

I almost forgot to mention that there are many voice commands that you can use with Google Voice Typing that allow you to select and format text, add punctuation, and do other things. Here's where you'll find those commands. https://support.google.com/docs/answer/4492226?hl=en


Otter is a service that I first learned about as an Android app. Otter is free for the first 600 minutes of transcription per month. If you want to transcribe more than 600 minutes per month you'll have to upgrade to an inexpensive paid account which gives you 6000 minutes per month. The accuracy is excellent. Otter is made to transcribe meetings and it's not intended for writing articles, and because of that it doesn't do well with formatting punctuation and paragraph breaks like you'd expect from other transcription software.

You should definitely check it out though, and it is free. It runs on both phones and in the browser. Like I said though, otter isn't intended for writing articles or letters or books. It's intended for transcribing meetings, so it is designed for transcribing multiple speakers and adding timestamps for when they speak. What you'll find when you use otter is that if you pause while speaking for a while it'll add line breaks and a new timestamp. When you export your article you can get rid of the time stamps but you can't get rid of line breaks. I use some regular expressions to convert the line breaks to spaces in my exported documents from otter.

I still haven't given up on Otter as an voice transcription software and I'll probably use it again for some other articles. I've found it very useful when I've wanted to transcribe YouTube videos to post the text from them on my site. These of course were videos that I had the rights to reproduce.  Otter also has the feature where you can play back your transcribe text at varying speeds and it will highlight each word as the audio plays back. This makes it easy to edit the transcribed text. Otter also allows you to upload audio files and it will transcribe them automatically.

Live Transcribe from Google

Live transcribe is a new app from Google that runs on Android. Live Transcribe also isn't intended for writing articles but it has excellent transcription quality. Live transcribe is intended for people who are hearing impaired and it allows them to use their phone to transcribe live conversations, allowing them to participate in conversation they otherwise couldn't hear.

What about other apps?

There are many other free voice transcription apps and I've tried most of them, but the above are the best I have found. Most of the others that aren't listed are pretty terrible actually. I won't name any names, but there are many free transcription apps that simply use the Google Voice typing that is included on Android phones for purposes of entering searches, and those kinds of apps never produce good transcription for longer passages and articles. Stick with the three above and you've got the best of what's out there.