If you’ve ever had an idea (and weren’t at your computer), then you’ll love this new 3-step process I’ve created for capturing my ideas while on the go.
I decided to create this process after my drive to the airport. While in my car I began listening to some podcasts and inevitably, I had some ideas. The problem was, I didn’t have an easy way to capture them.
Until I developed this new process, my options were:
A) Try to text or email the idea to someone while driving – which obviously isn’t safe.
B) Try to record a voice memo – which turning into a text document afterwards required a whole bunch of other steps (and therefore didn’t happen).
c) Try to “remember” the idea for later when I was near a computer – and you know that never worked.
Once I got to the airport, I had a little time before my flight so I decided to finally figure this out.
With the help of a recording app, a web service and my assistant, I now have a super simple 3-step process that virtually guarantees my ideas are captured. What’s even better is that when I need to reference these voice memos, I have an audio version, a text version and they are searchable as soon as I get back to my computer.
Here’s how to replicate this process:
Step #1 – Setup a Dropbox Account
DropBox is a web based service that I use everyday to store and share files. I’ve tried many others like Box.com and Google Drive but the reason I continue to stick with Dropbox is because it’s so darn easy to integrate into other areas of my business.
It’s free to setup a basic account which gets you up to 2GB of storage but I upgraded to their Pro account for $10/month because I use it a lot and needed more storage (which is still a bargain).
So for this “Voice Memo” process, you’ll need a Dropbox account and the free plan will definitely be enough storage to get you started.
Step #2 – Download the DropVox App (works with iPhone and iPad)
The “secret sauce” of this process is the app called DropVox.
There are many apps for recording your voice but this one keeps things ultra simple and does exactly what I needed it to do.
It has one button – record. Then, it automatically uploads the recording to your Dropbox account and puts the audio file in whatever folder you want – I put mine in a folder called “DropVox” (you only have to select this folder the first time you use the app).
Pretty straight forward right?
Then all you need to do is “share” the Dropbox folder with your assistant, ask them to check it each day for new recordings and transcribe the files (they can find the latest files by clicking the “Modified” link to sort the files by recent activity).
[note color=”#fefaec”]TIP: When I record an idea, I try to first record the title of the voice memo, then leave a 2-3 second pause. Then I record the idea. That way my assistant knows what I’d like the title of the memo to be.[/note]
Step #3 – Add The Transcription To Evernote
For some people, this step may not be necessary because you could easily add the transcribed files to the same Dropbox folder (which I also do as a backup) or even just have them emailed to you.
However, Evernote has become my digital brain and it’s the tool I use to organize my ideas. So because of that, I wanted the transcriptions also added to my account so that I could easily search/find them (or any content within each transcription).
One other thing I would suggest is to ask your assistant to also list the Dropbox link to the original recording at the bottom of each transcription. That way if you ever need to listen to the original recording again, you can easily find it.
[note color=”#fefaec”]TIP: Have your assistant also tag each voice memo transcription with a specific tag in Evernote just in case you have trouble finding it through the regular search (mine is “transcription”).[/note]
Now when I’m driving, I just make sure I have the DropVox app open. Then when I’m hit with a flash of brilliance (smile), I just press record knowing that the ideas will be ready for me the next time I need them.
Building a business is hard enough but I’m finding the more time I take to create these types of processes, the more efficient I become.
Do you have a process or “hack” that helps you be more efficient?
Let me know in the comments below.