Which shorthand method should I learn?
August 30, 2015 4:23 PM   Subscribe

I want to try learning shorthand as a way to more quickly transcribe interviews. I'm open to recommendations for typewritten shorthands, but think I might prefer something handwritten, so I can use it even when I'm not on my laptop. Ideally, I'd like to be able to easily read it later, long after taking the notes.

I also don't want to be very distracted as I'm jotting things down (I'd like to take notes while I'm interviewing someone; right now, I record interviews and then type them later). Does anyone have experience with shorthand? Gregg? Teeline? Something else?

Also, please tell me if you think it's easier to get faster at typing than shorthand (I type around ~60 wpm, so it seems like maybe I could get faster if I trained somehow).
posted by three_red_balloons to Technology (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I learned Gregg and Speedwriting; but I use speedwriting more and don't remember a jot of Gregg.

I have found it takes practice for me to listen and type; I'd suggest you practice that and speeding up transcribing your interviews.
posted by tilde at 4:35 PM on August 30, 2015

Gregg came in handy for me. I used it for my fieldwork observations. For interviews, I used a tape recorder and a stenography machine with a foot pedal because I wanted to get things right. If typing isn't intrusive, you can really increase your speed in a month or so by using a typing program.

Neither Gregg nor typing is as thorough and accurate as taping and transcribing.
posted by Peach at 6:01 PM on August 30, 2015

For what it's worth, I've had it as a goal for a couple years now to learn Gregg, and there are some great free resources online (see particularly here) ... But I haven't really gotten very far because it requires an up front time investment that I just haven't been able to give it.

Probably you'd be happier sticking to an alphabetic shorthand like the aforementioned speedwriting, which has the advantage of being usable both when handwritten and when typed.

All that said, I still do hope to find the time to learn Gregg properly someday. I understand one you've mastered it, it can be much faster than alphabetics, and some people talk really fast!
posted by solotoro at 4:42 AM on August 31, 2015

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