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Never Lose a Good Idea: Voice Memos

August 17, 2018 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Never Lose a Good Idea: Voice Memos

It seems that we always get the best ideas at the most inopportune times: lying in bed, driving down the freeway, in the middle of cooking dinner.

In these moments, the last thing you want to do is pull out a pen and paper and start jotting down ideas. Writing down all your ideas down is time consuming. And it isn’t exactly convenient when your mind decides going 65 down the freeway is a good time to give you your best ideas.

There’s a pretty simple solution to this dilemma: voice memos.

After years of losing great ideas (I have been cursed with collecting ideas while driving) when I finished a thoughtful car ride, I decided to look into my voice memo app. It sat in the ghost town of all the other apps I never used but in this moment, it was the perfect solution.

So, the next time an idea popped into my head during a long car ride, I said ‘hey Siri, take a voice memo’ (here at BOT, we advocate for safe driving).

And then I started talking. I talked for 3-5 minutes on my idea and went on a few tangents, but I captured my thoughts when they were fresh.

That 5 minute ramble became a blog post in just a few hours! Because when it was time to write, I avoided staring at a blank page.

How I Use Voice Memos for My Business

Voice memos have become an integral part of generating blog content for Bright Orange Thread. Once you start using voice memos, jotting thoughts on a cocktail napkin seems prehistoric.

After I record my thoughts, I send them along to my team. I’ll admit it, I’m not the greatest writer out there. Deliberately I have expert writers who do the hard work and translate my thoughts into prose.

Voice memos get my point across more clearly than a haphazard email summary sent from my iPhone. Plus, voice memos capture specific turns of phrase I use to enhance the writing with my tone of voice.

Tips for Recording

Whether you’re using an app or an automatic transcriber, here are some general tips you’ll want to follow when recording, courtesy of Descript.

  • Before you start recording, make sure you have a recorder you can trust. You’ll kick yourself when you check back later and there’s no recording to be found.
  • Go somewhere quiet. Background noise makes it difficult to go back and listen to your recording or to transcribe it. (but remember, I have been successful in the car)
  • Consider investing in some headphones with a good audio recorder. It’s going to make transcribing later a million times easier.
  • Get comfy. Hopefully you’ve got a slew ideas to keep you talking for a while so take a seat, relax, and start brainstorming!

Transcribing your Memo

You won’t always have to transcribe your voice memo, but if you are looking to see your ideas on paper, particularly the longer your memo.

If you have a short memo, feel free to transcribe it yourself. But if it’s a longer memo, you’ll want to look into a transcribing service.

You have a couple different options.

Rev is  a transcribing service we’ve used. With $1 dollar a minute and a 12 hour turnaround. (We often have the transcription returned in less than 2 hours.)

Instead of sending it to a transcribing service, you can also use transcribing software.

Descript offers a program that allows you to upload your audio file and it will be transcribed in under 5 minutes using speech recognition.

The program lets you directly edit the text you get back to fine-tune it how you like. It also keeps the audio on the page so you can listen back whenever you need.

There’s a bunch of other things Descript does, and you can check that out here.

Descript has a 95% accuracy rate , so don’t expect a perfect transcription (auto speech recognition tools are still in the works). Just make sure you are clear enough in your audio and the ideas you have should shine through, even if the wording isn’t exactly the same.

Get With the Memo

Don’t get caught up on the weirdness of talking to yourself for a few minutes. There’s so many possibilities of voice memos that the benefits outweigh your initial apprehension.

As a expert in my field and a pretty enthusiastic marketer, I can go on and on about different digital marketing tactics. While you don’t need to talk to yourself for hours on end, if you are an expert, you should be able to ramble on for a little bit.

So don’t let that voice memo app stay hidden away in a random folder on your phone. This process saves you the time, the struggle of starting with a blank page and captures your inspired moments.

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