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Dusting Off: Taking Dictation


As connoisseurs of history, we sometimes find styles, habits and turns of phrase from the past that we wouldn’t mind bringing back to the present, Doc Brown-style. This time around, we’re dusting off taking dictation.

You spend a lot of time typing.

There are emails, nostalgic blog posts and dozens of other daily tasks, all channeled through your fingertips. After a while, you start to wonder if there's a better way.

Once upon a time, there was. You’d pace purposefully around your desk, orating whatever urgent missive needs to be sent to the head office, while a dutiful assistant typed it all up at speed. When you were done, you could send it off without even looking at it—and at the bottom, you’d stamp the ultimate mark of correspondence-related mastery: “Dictated but not read.” If you’re not familiar, it’s the gray-flannel-suit equivalent of “deal with it.”

But what was awesome once may be awesome again»