Joe Zito, project manager at Murphy Brothers Contracting, in Mamaroneck, N.Y., sends out 50 to 100 e-mails per day. “With my contractor construction fingers, I’m not that good at typing,” he says. So Zito puts on a headset and talks into his computer, which does the rest for him.
Zito and Murphy Brothers Contracting’s five other field managers use Dragon Naturally Speaking software on their field laptops as well as in the office. “While you look at the computer and speak, it types out what you’re saying,” Zito says. “You can tell a client the price of something while you’re online searching for prices. You can send them the information as an e-mail and do it all orally.” He also finds that he can more easily explain a situation to clients, “give a few scenarios instead of one-word answers” because he doesn’t have to type it out.
To save a document, go to a file, or name a document, you give the computer oral commands. When editing, you tell the computer which words to delete, for instance. You can make corrections while you’re speaking or when you’re finished with a document.
Zito says that it takes just 15 minutes to learn how to use the software, and after using the product for more than 10 years, he has become something of a guru. It works better with a headset, he has found, although in a quiet room, using just the computer’s internal speakers and microphone is fine.
“It’s made things more efficient and organized,” company owner Sean Murphy says, and the office is nearly paperless.