What Do You Need to Learn?

What could you be doing better, faster, and more efficiently when using your Case CATalyst software? How do you know what features you should learn to make a significant, practical difference in the amount of time you spend editing, or improving your dictionary?

One way to find out is to hang out with other reporters, to see what they do and listen to their questions and learn by asking your own questions. However, in the time of Covid-19 and staying safely socially distant, that’s not easy unless you’re attending a virtual conference. As you read in last week’s blog; Stenograph is about to have a nifty alternative called Ascend Training by Stenograph, but you have to wait until September 14th for that particular option.

Another option, especially if you’re eager to earn continuing education credit before an upcoming deadline, would be to contact a Stenograph Certified Independent Training Agent. But when they ask you what you want to focus on in your training session, how would you answer that question? Actually, the best answer to that question is to work with the training agent to determine what topic is the one you should focus on learning to make the biggest difference in your accuracy, efficiency, and production time!

Several of the Stenograph Certified Independent Training Agents offer an edit analysis or efficiency assessment session to determine what features you do and don’t use to make recommendations for further training that would be of most benefit to you. Agents such as Terri Bautz, Sharon Fox, Rene Moarefi, Grace Molson, Larry Paiz, Jill Suttenberg, Pam Szczecinski, Sharon Vartanian, and Richard Wyble, provide a variety of services that can help you determine which practices and features could make the biggest difference.

When writing realtime, having someone view your realtime screen while you write may enable them to see what you do and don’t correct on the fly from the writer; what options were in use and which ones were not. There are other types of analysis for realtime that can be done by having the training agent review files that you could send to them and they could analyze. For example, if they directed you to export the Brief It suggestions from your latest job format and send them the .CSV file, the trainer could see your highest frequency phrases or words that didn’t get briefed. They could help you determine whether the reason you don’t write shorter is a matter of CATalyst suggestions not working for you, and helping you to improve the quality; or if the suggestions are fine but you haven’t had time to make use of them yet, perhaps they could help you learn how to more easily practice and incorporate the most-needed briefs, and help you prioritize. They could analyze your power define dictionary to see which commands you have at your disposal and whether you have customized it to your needs. They could look at your personal, case and/or job dictionaries to see what commands you’re most commonly using and which you’ve never used. They could see how you’ve defined phrases with punctuation and translate settings regarding punctuation to determine if you can save a few strokes and some editing time with regard to punctuating. They could see which features you select and determine whether further modifying settings files might get you more accurate results that save you editing time!

For edit, they could watch you edit and see how often you type text or replace vs. use globals; whether you hesitate to define when you could. They can see whether you are pressing more keys than necessary to perform certain commands or using the mouse inefficiently. They could look at your keyboard map and see which commands you do and don’t use, which helpful shortcuts you have not assigned (yet), and whether any standard key assignments could or should be modified to prevent unnecessary, time wasting errors. They could look at your display and see what might be distracting and help you eliminate that! They could look at your standard pages and parentheticals to determine if those include files were built efficiently, using fields and tables, and set up in a way where you can fill in the information that changes from job to job and adjust margins as needed to make things align and fit as desired in a matter of seconds, or a few minutes, max. And of course, they could see how you’re currently handling your indexing and if it isn’t as efficient as simply pressing a single key or clicking a single button to create your index, help you to achieve that massive effort and time savings!

Some of our training agents have added additional services outside of CATalyst and CaseViewNet training since the onset of the pandemic. Pam Szczecinski, a Stenograph certified independent training agent for 30+ years said, “In addition to offering CATalyst, CaseViewNet and BCS training services, I’m now also offering moderator services for remote depositions. When the pandemic began and it became clear that reporters needed to quickly shift from in-person to virtual service providers, I listened and learned what was needed. I became skilled on Zoom web conferencing, began teaching webinars and one-on-one sessions helping court reporters learn how to provide the top quality services their clients expect of them. I also quickly saw that not only did reporters and firms need training, their clients did too, so I added a Zoom moderator service to my list of offerings at my web site: tutor4computers.com. Having a moderator allows the reporter to focus on taking down the testimony and keeps the attorney attention on the witness, making it easier for everyone to do their job.”

How much could a Stenograph Certified Independent Training Agent do for you? Maybe it’s time for you to find out!

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