No Time to Write a Rough Draft?

By Becky Borello

Sometimes the hardest part of writing is getting started. When sitting down to write a rough draft I often find that my thoughts are faster than my fingers. That’s why I dictate most of my rough drafts with Evernote. Evernote is both an app and desktop program. It is very versatile and capable of syncing across all platforms.

Speaking of a rough draft being difficult. It is easy to start rambling or lose your train of thought while talking. Brainstorming is a crucial step when dictating a rough draft. Having a plan before starting is important.

My preference is to start with a concept map. The concept map helps keep me focused and reminds me of key relationships amongst the various topics. My favorite program to create a concept map is Bubbl.Us.

After creating my concept map and having a plan I start dictating. I prefer to use Siri on my iPhone to dictate to Evernote. You can dictate to Evernote via your computer, but I have found that Siri is more accurate. Evernote has created great documentation to help you with this process – How to Dictate in Evernote.

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The Evernote dictation feature is shockingly accurate and easy to use once you learn a few tricks. Here are some keys to help you dictate your draft:

  • Speak Clearly
  • Enunciate
  • Speak Punctuation
    • Comma = ,
    • Full Stop or Period = .
    • Exclamation Point = !
    • Colon = :
    • Semicolon = ;
    • New Line = Starts a New
    • For more punctuation dictation tips – com

After the draft is fully dictated, next comes editing. A dictated draft typically requires more editing than a draft that is typed. The dictated draft will occasionally have homonyms and other strange errors, so proofreading is critical. However, being able to dictate your draft while driving or cooking dinner is worth the extra proofreading effort.


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