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Dictating Log Notes

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"Kenny, when caching with you and your BFF I've noticed you both take audible notes. Can you expound on that, becuase y'all are the only ones I've seen do it and you both write very descriptive logs..." BB

We both have grown quite fond of the speak to type feature of our smartphones. Ours happen to be iPhones but I doubt which smartphone is used matters much these days. We've been experimenting with talking our logs for quite sometime. You can do it with any of the apps that have a place to make notes. Here's the defacto standard app: post-1387-138596177389_thumb.jpgpost-1387-138596180943_thumb.jpg


When you press the "Write Message" button you get this (or similar) screen: post-1387-138596190961_thumb.jpg

Notice the little microphone icon at lower left, to the right of the "123" numbers button? If you press that you jump into dictation mode. Now, you just talk into your phone and it will transcribe for you.


My BFF 2katz and I prefer offline logging in batches. For this, and many other reasons, we prefer a third-party caching app called Geosphere. It's similar to "c:geo" app on Android, I've heard. Here's what a cache page looks like in Geosphere : post-1387-138596260612_thumb.jpgpost-1387-138596262375_thumb.jpg

And again, here's that logging screen after pressing "Write Message" button: post-1387-138596274193_thumb.jpg

again, the little mic icon puts the phone into dictation mode:


here, you just talk into your phone or headset mic then press the "Done" button to see if you were understood.


It's good to practice dictation after watching a tutorial or two. There are some things to get used to such as adding punctuation and new lines. Once you get used to it, it becomes 2nd nature. It's hardly perfect, and in windy or noisy surroundings the error rate can make it hard to get good results. Most of the time, however, the phone gets a good grade.


It does pay to teach it some things, such as common terms and names used frequently. At first, cache will be written as cash, but as u correct it, it learns context and guesses correctly most of the time. For no doubt, u can say geocache instead, and it will get it right every time! My phone even knows that when I say "two cats" I mean "2katz" now! :D


There are days when the logs are virtually error free and need little touch up, but usually something needs attention. Still, it is worth it to have a thought or circumstance captured verbosely most of the time because the little things get lost quickly for me and then I have to make stuff up! ;) Combined with photos, verbose logging is awesome! I believe that each CO appreciates and deserves something, IMHO, and dictation enables better logs and details.


If you haven't tried dictating your logs, you should. It's very fast and efficient once you learn how! ;)

Edited by KeyResults
amberita13 and Baytown Bert like this

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The c:geo app, on the Android, handles speech to text very well.

If you speak to fast, then it writes some creative words.  I usually speak slowly and pronounce each word very carefully, using a monotone voice.  That gets me about 95% correct on average. 

Like KR says, the phone learns, and now when I say cache, it writes it correctly.  

Unlike KR, my phone still writes "two cats"    8)

Baytown Bert likes this

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I use c:geo and have used the speech to text option with varying degrees of success.  When it works, it's great.  About half of the time it will let me use the option and the other half it doesn't even open the voice app.  When I say "cache", it still writes "cash" even after fixing it dozens of times.   I think it has more to do with the phone and the virtual keyboard that you have installed than c:geo app itself.  My android phone is relatively old so hopefully my next upgrade will handle it more seamlessly.

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