Best Dictation Apps 2017 – Turn Talking into Writing

Many of us are afraid of speaking in public and afraid of writing in private.

The thought of writing a book or even an email can be a daunting task.

“What can I possibly say that people will pay to hear?”

That little insidious thought can turn your hesitation about writing into full blown writer's block.

The biggest concern I get from my clients and students is about the writer's block hurdle. As crazy as it is to say, I've never had writer's block. And it's not because I'm some mental genius. It's because I did a little research.

Everyone who hits the “block” has one thing in common – no outline.

If you have a blank page in front of you and a plan to write hundreds or even thousands words today, that blank page starts to seem bigger and bigger and bigger. But when you have an outline first, you are just working on little piece at a time.

I would never try to tackle an entire book or creating any other type of course without a plan. And you don't need to either.

If you start with an outline, the rest of the creation process is easy.

But maybe your problem is more technical.

You have ideas, but getting them onto paper is hard!

That's ok!

With modern technology dictation is so easy. When I was young, a dictaphone or other dictation machine was prohibitively expensive.

But now that cost is a thing of the past.

Every single phone out there has a great dictation app.

There are several ways to convert your words into text that are fast and really cheap!

The first method is pretty good AND it's totally free.


It is the Dragon Dictation App and it's in all the app stores and won't even cost you a penny.

You just fire up the app and speak into it.  It spits out text almost as fast as you are talking.

This will allow you to just speak for an hour and have a big document pop out.

Now the only writing you need to do is editing!  All the hard, idea-creation is MUCH easier when you are just talking.


The tool I have been using a lot lately is Dragon Dictate.

This is their big software suite for the computer and it's come a long way from when I was in high school.

One Christmas back in the 90s, I got the very first version of this software as a present.

I was stoked and planned to write all my high school papers with lightening speed.

I read an entire story by Edgar Allen Poe to the software and after all that work it was still terrible.  Writing by hand was much faster.

But now the software is lightning fast and you can speak your punctuation on the go.

I have a ton of friends who swear by this software.

I'm not at that point just yet, but I will be writing my next book using this wonderful tool.

You can even record yourself with any audio recording app and then load it into this software to transcribe for you.

It doesn't use any punctuation but it really gets the juices flowing.

If you like using the best of the best then check out


For any premium transcription, this is the service that I use.

They charge you a dollar a minute which is VERY reasonable.

I've tried a lot of the competition and these guys do a stellar job.

You can talk as fast as you want and they still catch it all.

These are the three tools that  I personally use to turn talking into writing; If you use a different tool, pleas share it in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Best Dictation Apps 2017 – Turn Talking into Writing”

  1. Hi Jonathan

    I was glad to read this post. I used to use IBM’s version, but then dragon bought it, and it dragon was too expensive.

    I now have to get a version and try it.

    Thanks again,

    Keith Headley

  2. I’ve implemented this, on your advice, and have increased my daily word count from about 1k to 3k+, depending on the day. I am now “writing” on my commute to and from work. The commute is about 30 min and I average 1k each way. Thank you for this. It has revolutionized my possibilities as a writer.

  3. If you have a Mac, iPhone or iPad you can use the dictation built into each of those devices. I am typing this with my voice right now.

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