Speech-To-Text Dictation

I have begun dictating to my iPhone’s Notes app, which automatically transfers to the Notes apps on my computer. After a quick proofread, the text can be copied and pasted to formal documentation. Speech-to-text dictation will require practice, but it can become surprisingly useful. Once you learn a few commands and develop an articulate “dictation dialect” you will be ready… to save time.


SAFETY and CONFIDENTIALITY are my two greatest concerns; accuracy of spelling or punctuation are non-issues which will be corrected later. DO NOT make dictating your notes a dangerous distraction, such as while driving in the car. You should dedicate 100% of your focus to the road, pedestrians, and the unexpected. I will present enough speech-to-text commands to theoretically enable you to dictate an entire note without typing, but you will still need to look down at your phone now and then, delete a little something, type some correction by hand, etc. Also, DO NOT dictate identifying or sensitive information in a public place, nor document private info through any applications which have any chance of being shared or made public.

Below are some key commands that Siri will use to format your message. You can find even more by searching online. Following this list, a SOAP note example has been provided to demonstrate a transcript of the dictation used to write it.

Common Commands

New line” moves to the next line, like hitting enter or return once.

New paragraph” moves down two lines, giving space before starting your new paragraph.

Cap” capitalizes the next word.

All caps” makes every letter in a single word capitalized (which works best to dictate “all caps m t hyphen b c began group…” to notate “MT-BC began group”).

Hyphen” inserts only a hyphen; “dash” inserts space hyphen and space between words. To dictate MT-BC you would speak, “All caps m t hyphen b c.”

You can dictate punctuation, such as “period,” “comma,” “colon,” “forward slash,” “ellipsis,” “quote” and “end quote,” or “open parenthesis” and “close parenthesis.”

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