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Equipped to work – a guide for new transcribers

Friends have asked me, “So what do you need to get started?”  My answer is: “Not as much as you think.”

Working from home as an audio typist providing a fast, reliable and accurate transcription service requires these basics:

  • fast (and reliable) broadband,
  • PC/laptop, headphones and a foot-pedal,
  • software to play the audio files on,
  • lastly, heaps of self-motivation, discipline and patience.

Self-motivation, discipline and patience are topics for another day, but equipment can be daunting.

When I started, a friend who had been doing this work for some years generously shared her knowledge, including what to purchase and where to find it, which is why I’d like to help you.

Do your research and buy what you can afford. In the beginning, like many smaller business owners, I was reluctant to spend money, just in case this working from home malarkey didn’t work. I understand what this feels like and it can be daunting, however if you love typing as much as I do, you can make it work for you (if it doesn’t, there’s always eBay).

When I started, my first computer was an old laptop; I purchased an Infinity foot-pedal and a pair of Phillips headphones (together these will set you back around £80).

Be wary of software! Many sites end up dumping a lot of unnecessary files on your PC unless you are tech savvy (and I’m not the greatest). Uninstalling files is fiddly, time consuming and a minefield (as my husband found out).

Express Scribe is popular; I used this to begin with but now use an Olympus system and a file converter.

Working from home and developing a business, growing connections – all have given me flexibility as a first rate audio typist.

I wish you the same joy and success.