How to Plan Your Day Productively as a Professional Transcriptionist

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plan your day productivelyFor you to succeed as a general transcriptionist, you must learn how to plan your day productively. This is the daily routine that you will follow every single day, if you are to deliver quality work, meet deadlines and have some spare time to spend with your family.

You may be the fastest typist in the world or have amazing listening capabilities, but if you can’t plan your day right you won’t accomplish much. You will go round in circles procrastinating, all day long, wondering “Where did my time go?”

Personally, this is how my day is structured.

Work Portal/Workspace Projects

These are projects from companies that are well established. Here I must get work from their work portal (Work hub/workspace).

I will use as an example.

  •     I wake up at 5:00 AM
  •     Log into the site
  •    Check available projects
  •    Read instructions like
    •         TAT (when due)
    •       Verbatim or Non-verbatim
    •         Number of speakers
    •         Audio Length
    •         Audio Quality
    •         Amount to be paid
    •         Any Special Requests
  •     This takes me about 30 to 45 minutes max.
  •     Pick one that is favorable and claim it.
  •     I get a notification from the site informing me about the exact time I claimed it and when I should hand in the transcript.
  •     I download it on my computer using IDM (Internet Download Manager) and upload it on Express Scribe.
  •     I open blank Microsoft Word document save the transcript using the audio file name and start typing as fast as I can.
  •     I activate Focus Booster and set 10-minute breaks. For every one hour worked I rest for 10 minutes.
  •     I log in Skype and leave my email open in case the client wants to communicate with me or I want some clarification.


I am a fast typist. A clear one audio hour takes me 4-5 actual hours to complete.

If I started transcribing at 7:00 am by 10:00-11:00 am I am done.I take an hour to freshen up then re-listen to the audio a second time to catch any errors like mishears, misspells and do Google research. This is the editing/proofreading phase. In about one hour or so I’m done and send back the transcript.  The client’s portal acknowledges successful completion of the project. Voila! Work is done for that day.

Private Projects

These are projects from respectable professionals like affiliate marketers, coaches, chiropractors, lecturers etc who don’t yet have the capacity to create an online portal. Mostly they use email, Skype and Dropbox for communication and transferring of files.

For a long project that might take a month:

  •     I wake up at 5:00 AM
  •     Create a folder in Dropbox using the name of the client then share it with him/her
  •     He uploads all the files which will reflect in my Dropbox account same way they do in his/her
  •     I download them and make sure they are all working.
  •     I send the client an email informing him/her on the number of files I am going to be working on that day. (Do not take more than you can handle. Hire other professionals to help you if you must).
  •     I attach an excel spreadsheet with:
    •         Date
    •         Names of files
    •         Number of minutes to be transcribed that day
    •         Amount to be paid
  •     I upload the files in Express Scribe.
  •     Open blank Microsoft Word document and start transcribing.
  •     Send the client an email on how I am progressing
  •     I take 10-minute breaks after every one hour I spend typing.
  •     When I am done I upload finished transcripts in that shared folder that we created earlier. In it there will be a sub-folder named “Finished Transcripts”
  •     I send another email to the client informing him that I’ve finished work for that day. The email will have the spreadsheet attached of the files taken in the morning and the ones completed by evening. I will use this opportunity to show my availability for the following day.

More Transcription Resources

I hope you enjoyed today’s posts. If you want more posts like this one, feel free to check out my latest blog posts here.

Do you feel like transcription is the career path for you? Get the Free 7-Lesson Mini Course and learn what it takes to be a professional transcriptionist plus other amazing resources.

Transcription not your kind of thing? No problem! Get the Free 5-Lesson Mini Course and become a Virtual Assistant instead. Virtual assistance services are in high demand nowadays. A great place to start sourcing for work is You won’t have to look for work ever again!



5 thoughts on “How to Plan Your Day Productively as a Professional Transcriptionist

  1. Kiplagat

    I am not yet a transcriber, working on the academic writing.. but this outline is as useful to any field. thanks abunch

  2. Cherie

    Can I just say what a comfort to find someone that actually understands
    what they are discussing over the internet. You definitely
    know how too bring an issue to light aand make it important.
    More people should look at tis and understand this side of thee story.

    I was surprised you are not more popular since you
    definitely possess the gift.


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