Evernote App Center Spotlight: Quicktate for Transcribing Audio Notes

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 30 Jan 2012

Posted by Kasey Fleisher Hickey on 30 Jan 2012

  • App: Quicktate
  • Platform: Any
  • Price: Monthly and Pay As You Go Plans available
  • Type: Transcription

For those of you who use Evernote’s audio feature to record notes, you’ll find today’s Evernote App Center to be very exciting. Quicktate can actually turn lengthy voice notes into text that you can easily search for and access anywhere you have Evernote installed.

An introduction to Quicktate

Unlike some transcription services, Quicktate does not use voice recognition technology but rather, employs its own team of pre-screened professionals that transcribe voice recordings. Because your audio notes are transcribed by a real human being, the accuracy of the transcription is remarkably high, and the turnaround is surprisingly quick.

Quicktate transcribes both long and short voice notes. A 60 minute voice note recorded in Evernote can be transcribed in about 4-6 hours. This means that if you attended a meeting in the morning and recorded it using the audio feature in Evernote, you’d get the transcription before the end of the day. A 30 second voice note can be transcribed in minutes.

How it works

To start using Quicktate, first create an account. As part of setting up your account, you’ll be asked to authorize Quicktate to access your Evernote account. After you’ve linked your accounts, anytime you create an audio recording in Evernote, the recording will be sent to Quicktate for transcription, and the transcribed text will go straight back into the original note in your Evernote account.

You can record an audio note in every version of Evernote. But if you’re on the go, you can also call (888) 222-NOTE and dictate your recording to Quicktate. They’ll transcribe your recording and create a new note in your Evernote account containing the results).

Why would I want to transcribe long-form audio?

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to record and then transcribe a long audio note. Here are a few ideas:

  • To capture and search everything discussed at a business meeting. There’s no better way to know what each person said at a meeting than to record and transcribe the entire meeting.
  • To capture speeches and lectures. Whether you’re attending a class, or a conference, you can record a speaker and forget about having to feverishly take notes.
  • To write your book. Ok, you might not be an author, but if you are writing a book, blog post, or article, you might want to speak some (or all) parts of it to capture nuanced dialogue and emotion.
  • To record an important event. Whether you need to capture the scene of a car accident, or a business deal, dictating the events happening around you might be the easiest way to capture them. Transcribing these notes might be the easiest way to find and remember them later.

How would you use Quicktate and Evernote together? Tell us in the comments.

The Evernote API

Quicktate was able to do all this thanks to the open, free Evernote API. You can also create amazing Evernote-integrated apps and products. Take a look at our developer site for more information.


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28 Comments RSS

  • emtunc

    If you can integrate this with the PlayBook Evernote app then that would be an instant win! 🙂

    • Quicktate

      We will look into this. Thank you!

  • Andy

    I find your service VERY interesting. I like the concept and use audio notes frequently. However, my question is security. The idea of having an actual person listening/accessing my account does worry me a bit. My question is this: If I activate Quicktate will your operators have access to my NON-audio notes. I have bank information that I feel is secure in Evernote, but may not be if I give your application access to my account.

    • Quicktate


      Quicktate people cannot see anything in your account.  

      When you click “ENABLE” that authorizes Quicktate to receive audio files only. 
      It also allows our server to post the transcript to your account.  This is electronic.  We don’t actually log in.

    • Rahil Pirani

      Hi Andy, take a look at MobileAssistant as well ( They provide a similar solution and are HIPAA compliant (excellent security)

      • Quicktate

        Quicktate MEDICAL accounts are HIPAA compliant. The medical files, however, aren’t transcribed as Quickly as General dictation.

      • Rahil

        You are in-fact correct about how HIPPA works, however, as far as turn around… I normally get my transcriptions back VERY quickly with these guys… not saying that Quicktate doesn’t do the same…

        The main reason I mentioned Mobile Assistant was their security standards with HIPAA… some users (such as myself) require a secure solution (i.e. working with confidential information, it is important that the transcriptionists understand and adhere to HIPAA compliance)

        For general Dictation I do think that Quicktate has a great solution!

  • Otte Rosenkrant

    I agree with the PlayBook comment – when this works on PB it will be a definite must-have.

  • Petter

    What languages are supported? Only english?

    • Quicktate

      English and Spanish.

      The turn-around time for Spanish is not as fast as it is for English.

      We will be adding additional languages based on user demand.

  • Alex

    Sounds great. – Do you intend to include other languages? Would be interested in German.

    • Quicktate

      German would be a priority when we add more languages.

  • Guus

    does this work for non-english audio’s as well, I’m dutch??

    • Quicktate


      See above replies.

      Dutch is not currently on the drawing board.

  • Kevin

    This sounds like a good idea. But I have a number of issues with it first, I can only imagine that you must be using people in India or the Philippines to transcribe. If this is the case it just seems a little bit weird but someone from another country would be translating my personal thoughts etc. into note form.

    But where ever your workers come from, I’m still very uncomfortable with the idea of anybody reading my notes. If you’re talking about Day to day office kind of stuff, I suppose it’s alright.

    But as a creative person, I’m not sure I would really want someone to know my deepest most innermost thoughts. Sounds like a great idea but the human component is too sticky for me good luck

    • Quicktate


      We understand. Some people won’t share their “deepest most innermost thoughts” with even their best friends.
      The transcription is a great tool and can be used with whatever material you feel comfortable dictating.

      A lot of users dictate their to-do lists, authoring ideas, letters, meeting notes and even simple things like their grocery lists.

  • Kay

    What is the cost of quicktate and mobileassist after the free trial period?

    • Quicktate

      Quicktate Pricing.

      There are several plans, some have monthly fees and some don’t. There are pay-as- you-go plans too.

      • Rahil Pirani

        Mobile Assistant has a special offer for evernote users (… I believe its a 20% discount using coupon code EVERNOTE

  • Evernote User

    Before getting to the price, which I assume is not cheap, there could be confidentiality problems in having a third party transcribe meeting notes.

    • Quicktate

      Links to Quicktate’s Privacy, Security and Confidentiality details and policies are at the bottom of all of our web pages.

      Further, the Quicktate transcribers do not have access to the User’s names or contact information.

  • Judith Bush

    I am delighted by this product, but i am rather puzzled why i can’t tag the notes i want transcribed. I use voice notes mostly for quick reminders while i’m in the car to when i’m in the office. I rarely have to listen to the whole note before i remember what the issue was: these don’t have to be transcribed. However, there are plenty of times when a full transcription would be useful. If i could tag those “quicktate” or put them in a particular folder for transcription, that would be attractive.

    • Quicktate


      Based on initial user surveys, there appeared to be a greater preference to tag “excluded” notes, rather than “included” notes.

      Nevertheless, this issue will be further discussed with our development team.

      You may find the transcription of the short notes to be quite beneficial and attractively priced so that you’d want them transcribed as well. For instance, (based on the first 700 words of the Economy Plan), the following transcript would cost five cents ($0.05): “Grocery store, get milk, eggs and bread.”

      Reading these “quick reminders” in Evernote would be far more efficient time-wise than listening to them.

      • Jason Fox

        Has this changed back? Now it seems like you do have to set which notes to be included. That seems to add an extra, bothersome step.

  • Janine Reed

    I have been typing up notes from the audio that my boss emails me. My hand is getting very sore from stopping and starting the audio with the mouse all the time as I can’t keep up with his normal speech. Can you please advise if there is a foot pedal that I can use with my lap top so that it makes the stopping and starting, replaying etc. easier. Or are there keyboard shortcuts so that I don’t have to use the mouse as much? I would love your help. Janine Reed.

    • Quicktate


      You might want to check out Express Scribe.

      However, from a time-efficiency standpoint, if your boss had a Quicktate account, you wouldn’t have to type any of these audio notes 🙂 and you wouldn’t have a sore hand or risk a carpal tunnel injury.

      Any he’d get back his transcribed notes pretty quickly 24×7, even at 2 in the morning. A 3-minute audio note is generally finished in 5-10 minutes.

  • Tom Rooney

    I am very interested in this but I am curious about the pricing, can you give me some indication as to what the costs.

    Thank You.

  • skinnycat

    Ah, they use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to transcribe for pennies, then charge you a fee.

    Just create your own Mechanical Turk account and do the same if you need transcription often. It will save you lots of money.