Sunday, June 10, 2018


A clear recording is vitally important when obtaining transcripts as it impacts on the quality of the transcript. Quality, speed, and accuracy of audio transcription depend hugely on the clarity of the audio used for transcription.
Here are some tips which will help you achieve this result.

1.     Background Noise
Record in a quiet place. Try to be alone a quiet place while recording; and if you are at work ask your staff and colleagues not to disturb you. Coffee shops are NOT great places to record.  Try to keep away from traffic sounds which generally add to the background noise. A soundproof room is a good idea; but if this is not available you can place things like heavy curtains, furniture and carpets to absorb noise. If, however, a noise DOES occur, please repeat what was said during the interview.  Please record one minute of silence before the interview begins. This will allow the transcriber to identify and cut out ambient sound using their software.

2.     Multiple Voices
If there is more than one person in the room while recording,  make sure that they stay calm while you are recording. Do not let people speak at once, and ask people to identify themselves before they speak. It's also important to make sure that the listener understands what is being said. If everyone talks at once, the transcript will suffer.

3.     External Microphones
Use good quality microphones, preferably, external microphones for better recording quality. These microphones are good at recording even very small sounds so keep away from external noise and chatter.

4.     Pace of speech
Ensure that you speak steadily and comfortably and in a consistent tone. So, if you have a habit of speaking quickly, please speak slowly.

5.     Trial Recordings
It’s a great idea to do a trial run before the actual interview. Go to the place where you’re going to record and make a recording of about five minutes. Have a listen to it and if there is any major noise or interference you can make plans to correct this. You can also send it to your transcriptionist for comment.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious

Image result for feeling overwhelmed 

I often feel anxious overwhelmed. My own personal circumstances may lead to this, because my family has  very little support and and  an overwhelming (there the word is again) amount of responsibilities. Added to this, from a purely business perspective, when you take into account that the self-employed are responsible for Absolutely Everything from accounting, advertising, filing, cleaning, making the coffee, marketing, planning, scheduling, subcontracting and supervision - (in alphabetical order!) before you even start doing the job, then it's no wonder that we feel broken a lot of the time.

The trick though is to learn comping mechanisms, and try, where you can, to build a support team. Nobody is an island who is supposed to cope alone. If you are fortunate enough to have family support from people who believe in you, then make the most of this. Maybe someone else can take over the school run? Or someone can help you with meal planning, or assist you with the many burdens you have on you. If you don't have family support, try to build a group of friends who are your 'lifers'. Lifers are people who you plan to be friends with forever, and not just for a season. People you can talk to on a day to day basis and who love you for you.

From a business perspective there are some things you can do too. Try to make sure you have the best equipment for your job, that won't let you don't, and won't frustrate you. Get the best service providers you can afford and live in the most supportive city you can. Get mentors who truly believe in you and can offer sage advice, and be prepared to do the same.

Image result for planningPerhaps the most important thing is to learn to plan. I'm not a natural planner - I leave things to chance by nature. But a planned day or week causes much less anxiety than an unplanned one. You don't have to plan absolutely everything - otherwise you get anxious feeling like you've let yourself down if a problem arises and you run behind. Plan achievable targets and try to be disciplined enough to stick to them. I find writing on a blackboard works for me - then I can rub out things as I've done them. Google Keep is also a good app to assist with this.

And lastly - remember to be nice to yourself!

Are there any subjects that are challenging for people in our position that you'd like to discuss?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Doggie Journal | AMF Typing Services (Est 2001)

Doggie Journal | AMF Typing Services (Est 2001)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gaynor Paynter - a short bio

Who is the person behind Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC?
Gran and I (1975)

Gaynor Paynter – a short bio

I was born on the 21st of March 1975 in Kensington, South Africa, and, with the exception of a few years after I was married in 1996, I’ve lived here my whole life.
I went to school at Leicester Road Primary School and Jeppe Girls High where I matriculated in 1992 with a university exemption and half colours for chess (I was the captain of the chess team and was on the tennis team too).

After studying graphic design for a year, I decided it wasn’t for me and did a secretarial diploma at the then Germiston Technical College (in which I obtained a distinction in Information Processing, a fancy name for typing).

 I always had an entrepreneurial flair. During school I sold artwork through advertising in the Top 40 Music Magazine, for R5 a piece! (Lots of drawings of Michael Jackson were done at the time!) I also worked part time in the local Checkers.

At Rhodes Park in Kensington about 1988A lot of firsts

My first full time job was at a company called KMI in Heriotdale in 1995 where I did reception and admin – and where I was exposed to transcribing for the very first time, transcribing notes made by one of my bosses on a small microcassette recorder!

Damian and I 2012

In 1996 I married my first, only, and still current husband, Damian, and my first son, Andrew, came along in 1998. During this time the development of technology was moving fast. Our first cellphone was the Nokia 2110 and it was an amazing phone which we shared. The very first time I went on the internet was in KMI’s showroom, during a lunch break (I surreptitiously snuck in to go on to say I’d been on!)

Getting older and getting experience

My babies Andrew and  Brandon about 2002The company ran into some difficulty and I was retrenched in the year 2000. I advertised to do typing work and did some temp jobs. I then fell pregnant with my second son, Brandon – but one employer took me on ‘semi permanently which became permanent’ – at a recruitment company, where I prepared CVs and interviewed candidates.

 The birth of Typewrite

By 2005, the internet had progressed enough for me to ‘birth’ Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC. For three months, I worked at the recruitment company during the day, and on Typewrite by night, all the while with a husband and two little boys.

The 1st of April 2005 was the first ‘official’ day of Typewrite, although it didn’t come to be registered at CIPRO (now CIPC) until 2009.


Brandon and I 2016Various milestones flag this journey. When I started I still had dial up internet. I had to soldier on with this for about a month until our ADSL was installed. You also have to have a back up internet and I’ve been through various of those, until my current ‘back up’ – my MTN cellphone. (I’ve had the same number since 1995, by the way!) Services provided have also grown and diversified – starting out with typing, adding transcribing, adding proofreading – and just recently, adding sub-titling.

Becoming an author
In 2009 I wrote my e -book  “Working From Home as a Transcriptionist in South Africa” which is a great resource for those starting out today – as I found when I started out, there wasn’t much if anything in the way of support!

The same year my friend and colleague Alison Fourie and I founded TAVASA – the Transcriptionists and Virtual Assistants of South Africa.

The future

Today, going into 2018, the company is still in existence – we’ve been married 21 years, and those little boys are now 17 and 19.  I’ve had the support of my husband, parents, children – and my two dogs, Scooter and Shadow.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Who needs a professional editor?

The question of who needs a professional editor is one I've come across a number of times. I decided it would be beneficial to post the answer here.

It's important to note that in this instance I'm referring to a WRITING editor. Not a music or video editor.

Firstly, a preamble: What is an editor?  An editor is more than someone who simply checks your grammar. An editor will make suggestions regarding content (when applicable) and style. He or she will check your formatting and lay the document out for publishing whether it be online, as a thesis or scholarly paper, a magazine article, journal, etc 

Who needs an editor?

Anyone writing a document for publication - students, authors, business people.

The reason for this is simple. Even though English may be your first language, it's very hard to spot your own mistakes. And a published document is a representation of you and / or your employer. A published mistake is a slur on your or your employer's reputation. It's no discredit to you to admit you've used an editor - in fact, anyone who knows this will appreciate your professionalism.

Someone who is writing in a language that is not their first language.

It's important to ask a first-language speaker to assist you to check that you've got all the nuances and idiosyncrasies correct. 

Someone who doesn't consider language or writing to be their strength.

We all have different strengths - I have to hire a plumber or a mechanic,  I just can't do those things. Therefore, if you are not confident in your language skills, using them to market your business might not be the best idea.  A recent example I've seen is someone advertising Christmas signs. The signs say (for example) "Christmas at the Smith's". It makes me want to ask "what smith? The blacksmith?

Have a look at my new website, Check My Writing.  Should you still have questions, or feel that YOU need an editor, contact me.