• Joanna B.

9 Tips For Efficient Transcription

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

To transcribe audio into text, transcriptionists need to follow a strict set of transcription tips in order to effectively come up with quality transcription. To make a transcription is one thing but to come up with an effective way of transcribing takes a few planned out processes that a transcriptionist needs to follow in order to effectively save time and come up with better results.


The art of successful transcription happens when a transcriptionist can write faster and also come up with better results at the same time. Efficiency is one of the key factors that allow a transcriptionist to further their career through proper planning and a few other techniques.



Here are 9 tips for efficient transcription:


1. Focus on the transcription audio


The first thing that transcriptionists need to do is to focus strictly on the audio. Although quite obvious, some beginner transcriptionists start the transcription already overwhelmed about the whole project. It pays to have a step by step process before starting like the example below:


Step 1. Make sure you have a clean and comfortable environment

Step 2. Divide the huge audio file into smaller segments not longer than 5 minutes each.

Step 3. Make sure to label the audio files in order for you not to get lost

Step 4. Start transcribing


This is a sample process to get started but other professional transcriptionists have a few transcription tips of their own that they follow in order to work more efficiently and come up with better results.


2. Slowly but surely


Although speed is the name of the game when in terms of money-making through transcription. Transcribing fast but coming up with an unpleasant result will backfire later on. Quality should always come first when it comes to transcription work since the client is not paying for just a fast transcription but rather for an accurate one.

There is, however, a technique for transcriptionists to save an enormous amount of time when transcribing. This is through the use of a transcription tool like Izitext.io which automatically transcribes an audio file and all that needs to be done is to edit the given audio file. This way, transcriptionists can take their time with the work in order to ensure quality without the pressure of having to transcribe everything.


3. Quality over Quantity


Transcriptionists make their money by transcribing more audio files in their given amount of work time but in the end, quality is still what is important. Although it might be tempting to zoom over a transcription inaccurately in order to do a few more transcriptions in a given amount of time, this will hurt a transcriptionist’s career.


Remember, in the end, the client is still paying for quality transcription unless specifically noted that they want a rushed transcription and are not too keen on the accuracy. Of course, this rarely happens.


4. Make sure to read the guidelines


Although some transcriptionists are not fortunate enough to have a set of guidelines available for every project, some transcriptionists are given these guidelines and they should not be taken for granted. Although they might take a while to get used to, they are nonetheless important and the client might even send the transcription back should they not be followed.


5. Make sure you have the time and energy


Of course, before starting the transcription, it is very important that the transcriptionist is in the right shape and is given a decent amount of time to do the transcription. Some transcriptionists have their own techniques to get themselves in shape for the transcription. Below are a few things you might want to try:

  • Eat breakfast

  • Drink coffee

  • Take a bath

  • Take a jog

  • Get a good night’s sleep

  • Work in a well-lighted place

  • Avoid distractions

These are a few transcription tips to get transcriptionists into “work mode” in order to efficiently blast through the transcription file both swiftly and accurately.



6. Be organized


It is very important to be organized when it comes to the transcription files. They should be put in a specific file per transcription audio should the audio be split into pieces. It also helps to sort them out by date or by length in order for them to be easier to find. Although this might seem like “a little more work”, this will, later on, prove useful when trying to retrieve the files.


7. Know the context


It is important to ask the client what the transcription audio is about. This can be done by asking the client about the audio file. Here is a list of questions that transcriptionists can ask their clients before starting the transcription:


Question 1: What is the transcription for?


Question 2: Do you want verbatim or non-verbatim? Should the transcription include coughs, laughs, and other sounds or not?


Question 3: Who will be reading the transcription or what is the transcription for?

These three questions will help the transcriptionist know what they are supposed to do and come up with better results through their transcription.


8. Find the perfect process


Some techniques work for others while others don’t. It usually takes experimentation to find the perfect pre-work conditioning, the perfect workflow, and the perfect reactions to certain things within the transcription. Learning from trial and error is very much necessary especially for those still starting out as a transcriptionist.


9. Once found, continue


Once transcriptionists have found what works for them, all they need to do is continue the process. Although, it would be nice to experiment every once in a while to try to find better methods. When a new method does not work, just go back to the default one that works best. Make sure to do experiments when not on a leash from things like an upcoming narrow deadline or other factors.


Want to earn more by becoming more efficient in transcribing? Looking for ways to simplify the transcription process? Check out Izitext.io for automated transcription - made easier with their editor feature. The more efficient the process, the better the transcriptionist.


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