Using of voice recorder

I'm thinking about setting up a system of recording ideas and journaling with a digital voice recorder. The reason for this is that I really like how easy it is to get in to a stream of thinking when you don't have to fumble with pen and paper.

What I have left to figure out is a good way of organizing all those audio files. Of course they are on a hard drive, but how will I be able keep track of them as they grow in numbers, since they are not searchable.

Perhaps the best way is to listen through the files every once in a while and transfer the useful ideas into a txt-file. I guess that I will be piling up on a lot of useless information otherwise because of the earlier mentioned ease of getting into a stream of thinking.

I have been searching the Internet for information on this subject without much success. Is there anyone here who has got some experience of/thoughts about this?


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Voice Notes

I have thought a lot about this. Things I own that record voice: MP3 player, phone, laptop, camera, desktop, olympus vn240-pc digital voice recorder. The last one is the one I use. All the others are too big, or require me to power them on, wait, peck through menus before recording. Stick with a single-purpose device. It's small, records instantly, and if you get one with USB connectivity, will automatically pull your voice notes into a directory. Also, many devices that allow you to record and then dump onto your computer have a fatal flaw: they stamp the recordings as being made when you download them, not when you spoke them. Digital voice recorders keep the time you spoke attached to the file, which is crucial for reminding yourself of context.

Also, forget about computer transcription ("Speech to text"). Even though it works under ideal conditions with something like Dragon Naturally Speaking, in my experience it only works well with a good microphone and a quiet room. Even the same microphone plugged into my voice recorder in the same quiet room, then dumped into Dragon, was basically useless.

My personal plan is to keep using this inexpensive, quick, handy portable until I am famous enough to be followed by a film crew and a stenographer ;)

Good luck,


Voice Notes

While driving for any distances, I keep an inexpensive mini-cassette recorder handy to record all the random but developing ideas that hit me when I have the music/radio off. I also use it to record parts of reports, course materials, and other things so I can do notes while pacing (which is when my mind churns most rapidly).

It didn't take me long to realise the signal-to-noise ratio of recording while thinking aloud. I amassed a half-dozen tapes that were cluttering a drawer simply because I couldn't take the time to listen to myself babbling just to hear an idea or two. (Note to self: a podcast might not be a good idea.)

Finally, I resolved to do one of the following. Either stop what I'm doing and jot down rough notes and keywords (to be expounded upon later), or to force myself during that evening to listen to the recording while I'm doing something semi-mindless like preparing supper or a snack, while noting the occasional (if not rare) valuable idea or concept on paper.

Sometimes using a recorder works well, especially when I'm forced to focus on preparing a lesson or dictating an article, but those times when I ramble in the hopes saying something important or insightful are rarely productive. Your mileage (and insightfulness) will certainly vary. ;-)

all my best,

Are you creative professional? Get a digital recorder!

If you are in a creative field, or just have to keep track of a lot of details, I highly recommend a digital recorder. These pocket-size recorders use flash memory to record hours of information. I've carried one everyday for the past four or five years and fined them indispensable for jotting down notes electronically.

They are especially useful when you don't have a pen, or are driving and want to record ideas and notes. Details like phone numbers, directions, plot twists, clever dialogue,and that sort of thing. Widely available in electronic stores for between $20 and $60. You can also get them on eBay for a very cheap.

I recommend the Sony models, because of the location of the record button -- -- its easy to find in the dark. You can get them in anything from one hour to 72 hour capacity. I'd recommend something in it to 2-20 hour range.

As I tell my classes. If you buy one and only use it to remember a single idea and you later sell that idea for $4000.... It's well worth it.

Hope this helps,
comedy writer guy