Getting the Most Out of Journaling by Dictation

Photo by Seej Nguyen on

I recently shared my experience with dictating journal entries. I prefer handwriting to any other method of journaling, but it’s not always practical. I don’t always have a notebook handy or my hands free to peck out a note on my phone. Dictation gives me the opportunity to capture thoughts that otherwise might escape. If you want to try dictation for journaling, you can maximize its benefits by paying attention to a few techniques.

Be Mindful and Focused: When dictating, it’s essential to maintain a mindful and focused state, even more than you would when writing by hand. On a page, your eyes can flick back to what you’ve already written. These regressions help ground you in what you’re writing. Dictation doesn’t offer the same luxury, so you have to focus. Take a few deep breaths before beginning to center your thoughts and enhance your concentration.

Speak Slowly and Deliberately: Speaking at a slower pace can help you engage more deeply with your thoughts, allowing you to process and analyze them as you dictate. This mindful approach to dictation can mimic the attentiveness required when handwriting. Plus, going too fast can overwhelm the software and introduce a lot of errors. Garbage output won’t help you when it comes to the next technique!

Review and Reflect: After you’ve finished dictating, read the transcribed text. It’s easier to correct transcription errors while the topic is still fresh in your mind. In addition, this technique engages the structures in your brain that filter and focus thoughts. That will help fix what you’ve written in your mind for your next session.

Dictation engages the mind differently than handwriting. Adopting mindful and intentional strategies can help you achieve cognitive and emotional benefits similar to those from writing by hand.