Easy to get down basic ideas quickly.
Just plain cool.
Takes a lot of editing.
Requires a good microphone and a quiet room.
I bought Dragon Naturally Speaking Standard software a few months ago when it was an Amazon special on sale. At the time I was sure glad that I didn't pay full price for it. I took it out of the box, and basically put it back in the box within a few hours. I had the much touted number 10 version. It even came with its own headset and microphone. I think this was part of the problem because it never really could hear me. I felt like I had wasted a lot of time yelling at my computer when I could've been typing. The microphone it came with wasn't even recognized by the software as being adequate enough.
I was frustrated for a while and then totally forgot about it. It seemed like I had just wasted a bunch of money. I had read a lot of mixed reviews about the product. Some people really said that it can increase your typing speed and helped them to churn out articles. Others basically had my same experience. After a few months I started noticing that my hands were getting a little bit sore from all of article writing I was doing. It seemed more and more like I was finally going to have to learn how to talk to my computer.
The first thing I did was invest in a new microphone. I couldn't afford the fancy Bluetooth version of the software. It also wasn't really feasible for me to spend hundreds of dollars on a microphone for software that had just cost me a little bit under $40. While I was waiting for the microphone to arrive I decided to try out the headset again. For some reason it started working. It must've been a miracle. Sure, it wasn't working great, but it really got me excited about the possibilities of the software.
I really think that the experience you have with this software has to do with several elements, and it will be different for every person. For instance, I have a very soft voice. My mom would say that I mumble. I've really had to work on my enunciation. However, to my benefit I have a totally quiet working environment.
Another problem that I ran into was being able to speak the way that that I write. I really haven't tried this software for my more professional freelance writing pieces. Instead, I've used it more for my own articles. This is really because I can't seem to talk in the same style voice that I am required to write in. It also takes a while to get used to speaking articles instead of typing them out. It seems my typing has really been part of the writing process for me.
My results were a little bit mixed. I am able to quickly turn out an article. However, it probably takes me four times as long to edit it. So really, I think that I about break even timewise. It really just depends on whether my hands need a break or I need a change of pace. I found that I can spend a lot more time speaking into my computer then I can typing into it. Of course, this really has to do with the cool factor, it's just more fun to talk to my computer than it is to type. It feels less like work. I'm still working with the software. Would I buy it again? Sure, but only if it was on sale.