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  2. Transcriber's Guide to being a Take Note typist

What do I need to know to apply to Take Note?

What do I need to know to start work with Take Note?

You need to be aged 18 or over, and a good command of the English language and a typing speed of at least 65wpm. As you are paid per minute of audio, and not per minute of your own time, it really wouldn't be worth your while at anything less than this speed. We also have quite tight deadlines to meet which is why we require such a high typing score.

You will also need to be based on the UK and planning on only completing transcription work while you are in the UK.

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Do I need to be self-employed?

You will need to register as self-employed if your application is successful. For more information about self-employment in the UK, please visit the HMRC website.

Will I have to pay you anything?

NO! We pay you for the work you do, that's the deal.

How does the application work?

It's done in three stages, all online, and consists of a typing speed test, an English language test, and then the grand finale will be having a bash at transcribing an audio file yourself.

The first two stages are assessed by the system as you go along, but the last stage will be marked individually by one of the team.

You can begin your application here.

If I'm successful...

What will I be doing?

Listening to audio of focus groups for market research, interviews and conferences, etc. and typing it up word-for-word. We also have medical, legal and media transcription work available for those who are experienced or wish to become trained in these areas.

What equipment will I need?

A computer, a fast and reliable broadband connection and a pair of high-quality head/earphones. They don't have to be overly expensive but they do need to be of a better standard than a pair you might receive with a mobile phone, for example. Look for 'in-ear, noise cancelling' earphones to receive the best quality for this type of work.

What programs will I need?

All your transcription work will be done within your web browser - we'd recommend Google Chrome as that works best with our system.

How will I receive the audio and how do I send my work back?

Take Note has its own work distribution Portal, which you will be given access to upon successful completion of your application. You will be assigned work in the Portal, and will complete and submit it within the system.

How do I take on work?

We have a shiftbooker on the Portal, which you will need to fill in on a weekly basis. You will make a note of which shifts you would like to do and you will automatically be sent a file to complete for that shift, as long as there is work available. You may also be made aware of other work available via email. Should you wish to take on a file when you are not on shift, you can get in touch with us on live chat at any time to request work.

Can I self assign myself files to type?

Once you have some experience with Take Note, you will be able to assign your own files.

How long are the deadlines?

These will vary. We will always ensure you have adequate time to complete your file, on the proviso that you are typing at a speed of at least 65wpm. A standard shift will contain between 60-75 mins of audio for a full transcription.

What happens if I miss a deadline?

If you’re going to miss a deadline, the most important thing is to let us know as soon as possible and keep us informed of your progress. If you are consistently missing deadlines, you’ll be taken off the books. We are very proud of the quality of our transcribers and so we don't have time to tolerate those who do not take the work seriously. It really is a job and not a get-rich-quick scheme.

How much transcription can I do in a day?

As much as you like, if we have the work available, although please don’t bite off more than you can chew! Regular breaks are a must, and we recommend that for every 90 minutes of typing you do, you take a 10 minute break.

How much work do you have available?

We usually have more than enough work for everybody who wants it.

Is there a minimum amount of work I need to take on?

No. We recommend signing up for at least two shifts a week to guarantee a healthy invoice at the end of the month, but you’re free to take on as much or as little work as you’d like.

Am I under any obligation to accept work?

No, you’re not, although if it’s less than 24 hours before your shift you’ll need to let us know you’re not available. If you’re consistently unreliable and dropping out of files, it will affect the work we can send you.

What are the rates of pay?

For verbatim transcription the rates of pay start at £0.46 pence per minute of audio (not per minute of your own time). This will increase depending on the number of speakers in the audio. You will start with verbatim transcription and then train in other file types later on, which are paid at different rates. It should take you no longer than three to four times the length of the audio to type a verbatim transcription, although it will inevitably take longer than this as you find your feet.  This is why your typing speed is so important. Please think carefully about whether you are suitable before progressing.

How do I get paid?

You will be paid directly into your bank account within the first fourteen days of the month.