75 Tips for Transcriptionists

transcriptionist-transcribing on computerBelow is a list of tips and advices for transcriptionists who are servicing customers on a daily basis. We hope this will help you improve your transcription services and perhaps, how you view your transcription tasks.


  • Become a faster typist
  • Learn to use all fingers correctly when typing
  • Always review your work
  • Use Google search when in doubt
  • Try and get a sense of the subject or context of what you’re transcribing, as soon as possible.
  • Always ask for instructions if and when not given by client.
  • Follow instructions and style guides
  • Ask the client when in doubt as to formats
  • Be consistent with your language, spelling and noun usages.
  • Formats should be consistent and compliant with client’s templates.
  • Transcribe in a quiet place
  • Brush up your English Grammar now and then
  • Make a note of uncommon words and phrases for future reference
  • Become an expert in a niche
  • Never hesitate to try other niches

Transcription tools

  • Use an up-to-date computer
  • Get an good broadband internet connection
  • Have a power back up
  • Get a good pair of headphones, if possible with noise cancelling features
  • Get a good foot pedal
  • Get a comfortable ergonomic chair
  • Install a good dictionary
  • Install a good transcription software like Express Scribe
  • Run spell checker after transcribing every file
  • Backup your computer and your files regularly
  • Install and run an antivirus on your computer regularly
  • Use Dropbox or the like to share files with clients and colleagues
  • Set up a transcription blog and build a portfolio of your own
  • Use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to generate leads

Health & Productivity

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Keep yourself fit and alert
  • Drink lots of water
  • Don’t drink alcohol before or while transcribing
  • Don’t smoke (too much!)
  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Get up from your seat at least once an hour; take frequent breaks
  • Concentrate your full attention on a job at hand; do away any and all distractions
  • Don’t surf the net while transcribing
  • Don’t check your email while transcribing
  • Don’t open your Facebook and Twitter accounts when working
  • Don’t take unimportant phone calls while transcribing
  • Don’t overwork
  • Socialise whenever you can – offline!
  • Be positive and optimistic
  • Sit upright with your feet comfortably on the floor

Professional Ethics & Discipline

  • Be professional in all dealings and dress like one.
  • Don’t disclose client details in any circumstances
  • Be open to suggestions
  • Be open to learning new things every day in every way
  • Always be gracious and honest with your clients
  • Write short emails
  • Keep records of your transcripts and their lengths (or time spent where applicable, for invoicing)
  • Always maintain your integrity
  • Become a good listener
  • Never give up or give in.
  • Help your colleagues when they need help
  • Be understanding to new transcriptionists
  • Balance your work-life
  • You can always contribute to society – give back.
  • Develop a policy on information retention and security
  • Set goals – personal and professional
  • Network with other professional transcriptionists and freelance transcriptionists
  • Be patient – with yourself and others
  • Client is always right
  • Always strive for 100% quality.


  • Keep your finances in order
  • Work more; earn more
  • Spend less; save more
  • Read the newspaper, read current affairs and watch TV programs that improve your knowledge of cultures, economy, history and technology.
  • Read books, magazines and blogs on various topics
  • Keep learning new things, your education does not end with high school or college
  • Never hesitate to give a try at other transcription niches other than your expertise.
  • Getting into freelance transcription? Discuss with your family first. It takes a hell lot of time and space.
  • Always keep your resume up-to-date.
  • Life is short; do what you love!

Hope you love these tips.  Please share some more tips with us!

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