I've been following Publius' and Imron's advice: Transcribe by hand to improve listening ability. Here I'll keep track of the results.
Here's the original thread: https://www.chinese-forums.com/forums/topic/53708-transcribing-mandarin-as-a-learning-method/#comment-412781
To ensure consistency in how I keep this record, I've created my own arbitrary "rules":
-Before starting, I watch aprox. 4 minutes of the video I'll be transcribing, without subtitles. This time is not counted. This is the "step 2" we talked about in the forum thread.
-I transcribe using LAMP player, which allows me to quickly toggle subtitles on/off, pause after each line, and repeat a line, all with keyboard shortcuts.
-I work for 2 25-minute sessions per day, separated by a 5-minute break
-If the break starts when I'm mid-sentence, I leave it there and continue after the break.
-If, during the second 25-minute session, the time's up and I'm mid-sentence, I finish the sentence.
-I'm writing by hand on paper, with a mechanical pencil and an eraser. I designed my own page w/25 8mm squares per row, and left enough separation between rows for corrections. I was previously working with 7.5mm squares, but it felt cramped. I'm attaching the PDF in case you want to use it. It has 2 pages to make it easier to print it double-sided in duplex printers.
-I don't consult any dictionary when I'm writing down each line.
-After each subtitle line, I show the subtitles (toggle with Q in LAMP player) and make corrections. Only now I do consult the dictionary for new words, words I got wrong and to clarify stroke order if I'm in doubt. This correction is done after each subtitle line for immediate feedback, and included in the 25 minutes. This way I got a second chance to get a word right if it appears often within the session.
-I'm sticking only to this particular type of video: Documentary/interview style, clearly dubbed to Mandarin from the original English. Subject matter is very familiar to me. I did watch it in Spanish days before starting to transcribe it in Chinese, so I know the general idea, but I already forgot the specifics.
As you can see, my stats go up and down wildly from one day to the next. I guess I need to complete the first 30 days and average the results to get a better picture of my current ability. I can then compare that result to the next 30 days, and the final 30 days.