Approaching Transcription and Markup
Technically, we are doing two processes: we are transcribing and encoding.
When first getting started, you may be more comfortable approaching these as two separate tasks.
I would encourage you, however, to not get too far into transcribing your document before you start encoding. I say this for two reasons:
1. Early in our workflow you will need to transfer your draft file in progress to the server, and at that point, the material you have transcribed to far should be marked up as much as possible.
2. When working in TEI-XML, transcribing and encoding are really one process. You are reading the document and using TEI-XML elements to describe how it looks on the page. If you transcribe first as plain text, you will either have to use your own system to record aspects of the appearance of the text, and then later translate that into TEI-XML, essentially duplicating your work. Or, if you don't come up with a system to document the appearance of the text, when you start doing markup, you'll need to go back to the document images and do work that could have been done the first time through.
A good guideline would be to transcribe no more than one page before you start working with XML. I think in most cases, once you have transcribed a page and then marked it up, you will see how the two processes can actually be done simultaneously.