Thoughts on economics and liberty

Using Whatsapp as a productivity tool to dictate text very fast and accurately – far better than most human assistants

For some reason most people I speak to aren’t familiar with Whatsapp’s main productivity feature – the ability to take notes better than most human assistants.

In India I had personal assistants in every post I held. They took notes in shorthand but except for one of them, most were not skilled enough to take down speech accurately at good speed.

I now use Whatsapp as a personal assistant – FAR MORE accurate and quick compared to humans.


  1. Create a group with one more person. I call it “MYSELF”. You can call it anything you like.
  2. Remove that second person. Now you have a one person group. (I have similar groups for my policy work, e.g. one on BUILDING POLICY).
  3. Create a shortcut for the home screen, for ease – so that this opens up immediately with one click instead of searching amongst the ton of Whatsapp groups. (How do you do that? I don’t recall but it is pretty easy, just search for the options)
  4. Now you are ready to dictate into it. There are two microphone icons when you open a Whatsapp group. One is for voice messages. Not that. Use the one on the keyboard. That takes dictation. Dictate text. It will be transcribed as text instantly by Whatsapp. Done.
  5. After you’re done dictating, send the chat to yourself as an email (that’s a simple option in Whataspp I leave you to work out).
  6. Now open the text file and copy the data into a Word document.
  7. Then use the “Insert” ribbon > Tables > Convert text to table >> separate text as : (put that under the “other” box). The text will now be ready to copy (do so unformatted, and delete the rest).
  8. You now have a first rate draft of anything that you want to write.
  9. Read Strunk and White (this is absolutely essential to write good English) and polish it up accordingly.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

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5 thoughts on “Using Whatsapp as a productivity tool to dictate text very fast and accurately – far better than most human assistants
  1. Varadaraj Acharya

    Seems to be a roundabout way of doing it. One can directly open a new word document and start dictating into it using the mic icon.

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Good point. I haven’t got Word on my smartphone but tried google docs in the past. There was a huge issue of “syncing” – and so I stopped it.

    I find Whatsapp to be ultra-responsive for short notes.

  3. Dr. Pawan Kumar Aryan

    Wow, it is amazing.

    But, as I could make out, it does not work without Net?

    Has it any offline version as well, since Internet is a LOOT despite payments disconnection and very SLOW 4G is routine in India.

    While trying voice to text on it my net went out several times. Time and again I have to switch typing on.

    With good net connectivity it will prove a BOON for me.

    Sanjeev Ji, you really help ALL, despite very BUSY.

    Thanks a lot for sharing very value able guide map as well.