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Futurist: The Process and Tools I Use to Build My Articles.

I am a long-time Futurist, and technologist. In my career, I have spanned the birth of personal computers, to the rise of Cloud Computing.

Using wordprocessors has changed a lot in the last few years.

Using wordprocessors has changed a lot in the last few years.

I do sometimes generate 10,000 words in a week (or more)!

My grandfather jokingly said that he had an Armstrong word processor many years ago when I was a little kid. An \ Armstrong word processor is a pencil to translate my grandfather to English. Like the word processor on your computer, you can write, erase and rewrite sentence words, etc. I still use the phrase to this day. It's stuck with me. But the world of word processing has changed radically. So today, my theme or thesis is the ever-expanding world of generating text on a computer screen.

First of all, like artificial intelligence, I'm not a fan of the term word processing. As a consultant, I visited many customers, and once I got to visit a customer whose primary business was making hams bacon and hot dogs. It was called a meat processing plant. That stuck with me, and ever since then, I don't think word processing is the right name for what we're doing. A better name than word processing would be word and screen management. But that's way too cumbersome to say, and it is not a cool acronym. But the evolution of what the minimum expectation for word processing has become is significantly different than it used to be.

Years ago, the first-word processor I used was called WordStar. It was a Macintosh word processing program, and I loved it. It did everything I needed to do. I, in fairness, felt like I used at least 70% of the features of that application. I used WordPerfect for a short time. The only reason I ever used WordPerfect is that my dad loved WordPerfect, and I usually for a better so I could help him when he had questions about WordPerfect. Shortly after that, I began using Microsoft Word, the only word processor I've used since that time. Based on my previous reference, the only thing word doesn't do now is. Honestly, it doesn't make hotdogs.

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As a professional in software architecture, there are many weeks where I generate 10,000 or more words. You can add several tools to your word processing experience, making it even better now.

Sometimes you have to use multiple tools to get to done!

Sometimes you have to use multiple tools to get to done!

Microsoft Word remains my go-to!

So for the rest of this article, I'm going to talk about tools designed to improve your writing. The first one is where I create the first draft of my hub pages articles. That being the Dragon NaturallySpeaking mobile product. It does speech recognition on your mobile device anywhere you are. I often write my articles, the first draft, as I am walking. I then copied the article and pasted it into Word, and I used an application to do my second draft. But the first draft I create on the Dragon mobile system. First of all, I have been a Dragon Naturally speaking user for more than 15 years. I've watched that program currently on version 15, from about 75% accuracy to about 90% accuracy. Accuracy is important when you're sitting in front of your computer and using Dragon to dictate. But when you use the mobile version of Dragon called Dragon dictate, you'll find that the accuracy is pretty good. Again the first draft of this article was written using DragonDictate.

I want to say that that first draft is 99% ready to go. But I have to be honest both with myself and my reader. Our first draft is about 60% ready. And that's when I used copy paste and put the text generated in DragonDictate into Microsoft Word. Once I have the text in Word, I move to my second tool of choice. The tool is called Grammarly and installs it Word. The tool opens a window to the right-hand side of the word window and checks common grammar errors. That becomes a draft to run through and remove the common errors in my grammar. When I speak, I truly enjoy splitting infinitives, and based on my review process; I love run-on sentences. I think the number one error I have splices. Grammarly removes those errors and allows me to do my second draft. Then I go back, and I clean up the other errors. Normally DragonDictate doesn't get all of my text when I speak. It's probably 60% effective, so I go through and add the missing words, clean up sentences and ultimately make sure that everything I said comes through making sense. Not that everything I say makes sense, as evidenced by my having to do the third draft. But I can generate a thousand-word article in about two hours.

My last review is running the spell checker in Microsoft Word. I do that because I use many technical terms in my writing, and over the years, I saved them into my dictionary. So the technical terms are corrected, and that way, I know they are also spelled correctly and used correctly. Overall a couple of things have happened. First of all, I'm able to produce my articles fairly quickly. It takes me a lot less time now than it used to. I wrote a thousand-word article for a major magazine many years ago. That took me more than three weeks of work, not including the innumerable hours required to gather the data. So these tools allow me to operate more effectively and utilize my time more effectively. Maybe now that I think about it, word processing does fit. I'm taking the garbled, spewed-out stuff that I generate in Dragon dictate and ultimately creating something reasonably easily read. I guess the end state of this article, going back to my original thesis, is that the evolution in word processing continues to make life easier.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 DocAndersen

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