Christopher Watkin – Research Hacks # 6: Capture every important thought you have, even on the go

I’ve shared Christopher Watkin’s previous research hacks before. He now has a new one up – Research Hacks # 6: Capture every important thought you have, even on the go

His point is a good one, and his chosen device is a Dictaphone. But of course, most people have a device that can do this already with them – a phone. I use AudioMemos, which I also use to record my lectures, but there are plenty of others available.

You can read the rest of his Research Hacks here.

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3 Responses to Christopher Watkin – Research Hacks # 6: Capture every important thought you have, even on the go

  1. Chris Watkin says:

    Hi Stuart! Thanks for the repost. I tried recording notes with a smartphone for a while, but the reason why I now prefer a dictaphone is that, for me, an exclusively hardware button solution works best. I tried to remap the hardware buttons on my old phone so that I could go from “off” to “recording” with one button press on my Android device, but I couldn’t get it to work. What I love about the dictaphone is that I can go from the device being off to me dictating in a couple of seconds, with only one hand and without having to look at the device at all. No unlock codes, no touch screen: I just feel my way around the buttons. This means that I don’t need to take my eyes off what I’m doing or break my stride to record a note (handy if I’m walking down the street). It;s also great for recording a whole series of notes over a period: I don’t have to keep unlocking my phone or calling up a particular app. I also sometimes listen to blog posts or other material on my phone and make notes as I go (via text-to-speech: I’m planning a future post on it as it saves me heaps of time) and for that I like having the device I’m listening on and the device I’m dictating on distinct so that I can pause/unpause and record/stop the two devices independently with different hands.

    • stuartelden says:

      All good points, and clearly this works best for you. My point wasn’t to say you were doing anything wrong, just that the idea of capturing ideas was so good, that it could be done with a simple app solution on phones most people have anyway – no essential need for a separate device. But yes, if this becomes a major part of your work practice, then I can see the benefit of a second device.

      • Chris Watkin says:

        I agree: it’s horses for courses. An app-based solution is very convenient, low on clutter and low on maintenance. One thing I loved when I used to record notes on my phone was automatic syncing: if you use OneNote/Evernote or set up your app to sync automatically with a cloud storage provider like Dropbox or Google Drive then all your audio notes are automatically downloaded to your computer (and any other synced devices) just after you make them.

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