in Personal

The digital voice recorder – an underutilized productivity tool

About a year ago, I purchased a little digital voice recorder at the suggestion of one of my professors during the MBA program at Alabama.� He originally suggested it as a tool I could use to improve my public speaking abilities (I dont enunciate as clearly as I shouldanyway).� When I purchased the device, I decided I would get a decent one that had digital storage (yes, tape ones still exist) and had a way to export to a PC (in this case, via USB).� Now devices with these specs will run $40-$80 usually (at least they did about a year ago) – mine was somewhere in the $50-$60 range.� Seeing as how I spent a nice chunk of change on the thing, I decided I would try to make as much use out of it as possibleand its been great.

The two main things I use it for that are really helpful are listing off TODOs and keeping track of ideas (usually new business ideas).� I realized these types of thoughts seem to pop into my head at completely random times – usually when Im not even thinking of anything related to them.� But if I didnt write them down, Id either forget them or worse – keep thinking about them over and over so I wouldnt forget them.� If youre a David Allen follower (the author of Getting Things Doneif you havent heard of it, look it up on Amazon – great book), you know that the main thing he advocates is getting this type of stuff out of your head and into a place you can trust which frees you to move on to other, more productive, things.� Well, this little voice recorder has been the perfect solution for me.� Im not a big fan of paperI just dont like re-reading notes for some reason, and Im usually not near a computer when I need to write this stuff down, so the voice recorder has proven itself to be quite a handy little tool.

Ive recently been trying to use it to help get to sleep.� If youre like me, you have tons of ideas and random thoughts going 1000 miles an hour through your head when youre trying to go to sleep – for whatever reason my brain just doesnt like chilling out if there is something else to think about.� When I get some idea stuck in my head and have this problem, Ill just use the voice recorder to capture it and any other thoughts Id like to continue with the next day – after that, its much easier to fall asleep.� Its quite strange, but it works.

So – the next time you have too much on your mind, you might want to think about picking a digital voice recorder up.� Even if you dont buy a dedicated device, many cellphones and most PDAs have a similar feature built-in so why not give that a try?� It might be just the thing youre looking for to make you that much more productive.

Oh, and by the way, most of this post came from my recorder – so they even help with blogs!