Monday, December 3, 2012

Jazz Up Your Machine

You don't have to sacrifice style for speed. Below are seven ways to add visual appeal so that when you first see your machine each day, you feel good about it. Make it attractive to you.

1. Put your name on your machine.
Not only will this protect you in case of a lost or stolen machine, it has a powerful psychological effect. Seeing your name on your steno machine is a clear indication that you own the machine; the machine does not own you. You are in control and you can do whatever you want with your machine.

TIP:  If you haven't named your machine already, do that. Give your machine life.

2. Bedazzle it
Add as many or as little rhinestones as you please. We can all be stellar stenographers.

3. Create your own interchangeable Plate.  
If your steno machine has interchangeable plates, like the √Član Cybra Student or Stentura Protege, make your own interchangeable plate by tracing then cutting the outline of your machine on a thin notebook cover, folder or card stock. Yes! It's that easy!

4. Add Pictures .
You can use the wallet-sized photo of a love one or a cutout of something related to your wishlist or goals.

5. Use stickers. 
Try the scratch and sniff kind. Trust me. It will be fun!

6. Place a cute pen in the pen holder
The flower pen is my personal favorite. 

7. Get inspired.
Tape a meaningful fortune cookie saying to the face of the machine.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Words from Work #1

Below is a list of words that I encountered in my assignments today that either caused me to hesitate or I decided to brief.

Ambiguous - MIG
Ambiguity - MIGT
Chronologically - KLOL
Chronological order - KLOLD
Declaratory - DLORT
Dispute- SPAOUT
Entitled - SBAOILTD
Final summary judgment - FJS
Genuine - JAOUN
Highlight - HAOILT
Mediate - DYAIT
Mediation -DYAIGS
Mediator - DYAIRT
Motion for final summary judgment -MOIFJS
Part of - PAFR
Petition - PIRB
Petitioner -PRIRB
Relief- RAOEFL
Uncontroverted - KRUFRTD

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finger Drills #2

These finger drills focus on eliminating weakness associated with -MG and -TS. It is very important to master this key combination to write faster and shorter. 

Instead of coming back for final G when adding "ing" to a word, just add it to the root word. For example, I write assume, SAOUM. In order to eliminate an extra stroke, I stroke assuming as SAOUMG.  

Final -TS is mainly used to avoid having to come back for -S to pluralize a word. "Bats" can be written BATS as opposed to BAT/S. 

The link below will open a new window for you to see the finger drills. Feel free to print and share these drills.

Click here to view these finger drills.


I have been a member of StenoLife since the start of my steno life. Registration is easy and takes less than five minutes. Signing up gives you access to the Brief Machine and The Steno Life newsletter, which can be e-mailed directly to you.

The Steno Life is the official newsletter of the website. Topics such as speed building, court reporting school situations, the overall outlook of court reporting and so much more are covered. If you haven’t read all the issues, start today! They are a wealth of information.  StenoLife has awesome contests and details on how to enter are in the newsletter.

There is a message board, but it is not as active as others on the Internet. It is still a good place to browse.

My favorite part of is the brief machine.  There are over 90,000 briefs in the system.  Simply enter a word in the search box, press “Find.” A window will pop up with a brief. All the briefs are well-thought out and are easy to memorize and stroke. These are not computer generated briefs. 

Road to the RPR: Testimony Practice Routine

Practicing to Pass the Testimony Portion the RPR

My goal is to get my RPR this November. In order to get myself in the testing mindset, I am only practicing testimony at 225 wpm.  Every day I practice only one 225 take. I play that same take over and over again, sometimes for more than an hour. Currently, I am using dictation from

My Routine 

  1. I listen to the take the first time as if I were taking the RPR. 
  2. As soon as the take is completed, I think of all the words that either caused me to hesitate or words that I wanted to write another way (most likely to brief). I write those words in my Hesitation Notebook.
  3. I figure out how I am going to stroke out each word that I listed and write it down.
  4. I practice writing those words. IF I am hooked up to CAT, I will add the words to my dictionary at this time.
  5. I play the take again, this time stopping at every word that I would like to add to the list created in Step 2.
  6. Repeat Steps 3 to 6.

So I do this over and over again until I feel I have mastered the take or if I am out of time. Many times I will find new words I want to add to my list after listening to a take for the fifth time. By the time I feel I have mastered it, I can write smooth and clear and most words will be less than two strokes.

I will go over the list of words for several days after. I will also play the take it came form as a warm-up before I begin the new take of the day.

This routine works great for me, because I can learn a lot in a short period of time.

I DO NOT recommend this routine for students AT ALL. I don't think I would have gotten through school as fast I did (or if ever) had I practiced like what I mentioned above. However, at this stage in my stenolife, this is a good routine for me so I can pass the 225 Testimony portion of the RPR.

Seven Reasons

Why This Works for Me

  1. Practicing is more of a pleasant time.
  2. Progress can be viewed immediately, thereby building confidence.
  3. I am adding more briefs.
  4. I am reducing conflicts.
  5. I am shaping up my dictionary.
  6. I can master the words on my list in a short period of time.
  7. I can track what I am learning.

Finger Drills #1

These right hand finger drills focus on eliminating any weakness associated with E and U.  When practicing these drills, focus on accuracy not speed! With continued application of these drills, your speed will increase simply because hesitation will be eliminated by increasing your control.

The link below will open a new window for you to see the finger drills. Feel free to print and share these drills.

Click here to view these finger drills.

Exercise #1

I used to stroke “in terms of” in three strokes, and “prior to” in two.  I have made these sentences as a way to practice stroking them in one.  I hope these help you as much as they have helped me.

Prior to – PRAOIRT
In terms of – NERMS

Prior to coming here today
In terms of other people
In terms of seeing him
Prior to and after
In terms of web traffic                              
Prior to the attack
In terms of design and placement
Was that prior to his arrival
In terms of policy and procedure
Prior to joining the team
In terms of age
Prior to his press response
In terms of what happened
Prior to the fire
Prior to entering the program