services 05.16.08

Dictaphone 2.0


For you young 'uns, Dictaphone was a company that made dictation machines—basically, you talked, your secretary listened to the recording, and typed it up for you, big boss.

Here's a 2.0 version called Jott that we use every day in this way: We're out and about and suddenly we remember something we need to do. Instead of letting it roll around our porous brain, jamming our frequencies, we pull out our phone and speed dial Jott.

A friendly computer voice asks "Who do you want to Jott?" and we tell her. (Yes, it's still a female—even in our 2.0 world, apparently personal assistant = female.) Anyway, we say something like "Send rent check to landlord." Jott Lady says in a perky way, "Got it!" When we get back to our computer, we've got an email with our message transcribed. (Transcriptions are very good, though not flawless. Speaking a little slower than usual and reducing background noise improves results).

That's the basic service: voice to text. It may not sound like much but we find it goes a long way to reducing daily stress. And there are lots of bells and whistles that Jott provides to make it even better. You can Jott someone in your contact list; Jott transcribes your message and sends it to them as an email or text message, depending on how you've set up that contact. In the email, the recipient can also click on a link to hear the actual voice message. Another nifty feature: you can create a list of, say, 'trip plans' and Jott to it any time you remember something you'd like to add.

Another excellent company, ReQall, offers a similar service. Both are currently free, though when they're out of beta, that could change.


downtown brooklyn

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