This week we have a new guest blogger, Jill Belzer from Transcend Services (www.transcendservices.com). For the past five months, Jill has been stretching her boundaries and finding success. She has kindly offered to share a few of her tips below. Enjoy!
When I first started editing (5 months ago), I was averaging a speed of 300-400 lph. Over the course of a couple months I jumped up into the next bracket of 400-500 lph. Currently, I am working on achieving 500-600 lph consistently and looking at coming real close to achieving that goal.
What I had been doing the first few months was utilizing and learning all the keyboard shortcuts for editing a document. I knew these were key and had to be utilized before I could even think about getting any faster. During the course of my day, I try to edit with power hours, going at least an hour at a time before stopping to do ANYTHING…just good old, straight editing for 1 to 2 hours, then break time so I can come back and do another power hour, etc. No more clicking into Facebook or Twitter between reports for me. If I do this, I need to consider it a part of my break and do it at beginning of break time, otherwise it completely throws out my concentration and it is hard to get back in the groove of editing.
I’ve come to realize that for me, editing drains the brain way faster than when I do straight transcription. I learned to help myself out by thinking in context, or think of the dictation you are hearing as if you were going to type it yourself, and then go ahead and use the edit report as a tool. If you just can’t figure out what the dictator is saying, sometimes it helps to look away from the edit report because what the software blew out may be screwing up what you really want and need to hear. So think of what you would have transcribed had the edited report not been in front of you.
To save yourself lots of time, learn to not over edit the report. If there is an extra “the” in there or if not there, don’t worry about putting it in there, unless of course it would change the meaning of the sentence. These little changes/additions/deletions will waste precious time and you will see a big improvement in your lph.
I am hoping to be jumping up into the 500-600 lph range here shortly, and I have to give it credit to upping the speed of the audio. While hitting 400-500 lph, I was utilizing 132%-152% speed rate, and now I rarely go below 175% and sometimes use 201% speed. For this, I have to give credit to Sandy Lykins who, during a team meeting call, said she was using these speeds and I said to myself, “If she can do it, so can I.” Before that, I thought there was no way using that speed…So thank you, Sandy!!
However, I’ve also learned that in some instances if I set the speed too high, I have to go back and listen as with some dictators I would end up with multiple blanks, which I could easily fill in by going back and listening at a slower speed, so you will need to learn which dictators you can speed up and which ones are not worth speeding up because it only dampens your lines per hour as a result.
I’ve also recently added a few more Shorthand shortcuts for certain editing functions which limits how far my fingers/arms have to move/reach from the home edit keys (the control, shift, arrow keys). I now have an easier way of deleting and backspace deleting without moving my fingers from the ctrl/shift and arrow keys; whereas before I was reaching up and across the keyboard to get to my delete and backspace keys, now I’m moving my index and middle finger 2 keys up from the arrows to do this using a “ctrl+” function. I’m still getting used to these commands, but it is going to be a lifesaver and lph booster once I get them hard-wired into my brain-to-finger coordination properly.
Sometimes it is slow to learn new commands and functions and it is just plain easier to stay doing what is comfortable and familiar, but you have to ask yourself if you are comfortable with your production. If you are, great. If you are not, then break out and try one thing that will help your production speed. I’m never completely comfortable, because there is always something new to learn, some faster, more efficient way to get it done, and I want to be doing everything as efficient as possible so I can reach my ultimate goal, which is, let’s just say, not 600.
If you would like to be a guest blogger or have editing tips to share with your fellow MTEs, contact us by leaving a comment or send us a direct email. As always, any response will remain anonymous unless we receive permission to post otherwise.