An image of a deteriorating plumbing pipe. Used for home inspector training

How to Optimize Voice-to-Text for Home Inspection and the Power of Airplane Mode

Using Voice To Text to Write Your Building Inspection Reports

Often considered the Holy Grail for inspection report writing solutions, voice-to-text has struggled to live up to expectations. If your typing skills even remotely resemble my feeble hunting and pecking, you too have longed for voice-to-text as an inspection report writing solution. I remember first trying this on my PC with the built-in voice-to-text system in Windows and then also springing for the Dragon Naturally Speaking system. While I could make these work, they had some serious disadvantages.

  1. Dictating intelligible sentences is difficult, let alone technical paragraphs that are going into a legal document that you would want your clients and even your client’s attorney to read.
  2. The two systems mentioned above were on my desktop and not mobile friendly and they frankly never worked very well. There was a lot of lagging and re-writing and I eventually just gave up.

Fast forward to today, 2022,  and I use voice to text to tag most of my photos while I am on-site doing my home inspection. This has saved me incredible amounts of report writing time while improving the quality of my home inspection reports because I am now able to provide truly granular detail about a house using a procedure that hardly slows me up at all. So what changed?

What has enabled voice-to-text to become an invaluable tool for my on-site data collection?

Mobile Devices’ Voice-To-Text is Now Really Good.

Accuracy and speed have gotten so much better. I am currently using a Samsung S 20 phone and I am using the Gboard – Google’s version of a keyboard.

Airplane Mode Voice-To-Text Works Really Well

I also frequently do my inspections on my mobile device in airplane mode, which really makes the voice-to-text lighting fast. And yes… ScribeWare’s mobile application works FULLY OFFLINE.

ScribeWare’s Photo Captions to Bullets Feature.

ScribeWare software has created new tools that are truly the future of inspection report writing. With the photo captions to bullets feature, I have a powerful way of dealing with multiple defects with the same system. Visualize a roof that has a dozen or more leaking areas and defects. No problem. Just take a photo, caption the photo with voice-to-text and then use the photo captions to bullets feature to make a detailed list of observations below a general statement. This video shows how this works.


ScribeWare’s Gunnysack Feature.

This is another unbelievable time saver. Imagine having one narrative comment that contains every possible defect within a given system. Here is a video showing how I use this to report on old windows in an old Craftsman-style house.


The combination of the ScribeWare mobile app and modern voice-to-text as well as ScribeWare’s unique tools for handling multiple defects has truly transformed how I write reports. This has helped me save time AND write better reports. I hope this can help others in their quest for top-notch home inspection reports.

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