paper to grunting
September 12, 2014 10:38 AM   Subscribe

HAve you switched from paper notes and reminders to using some sort of dictation? How did it go and was it easier to handle volume?

I'm a chronic note taker. I've never been able to keep to any system and usually use scaps of paper. I had mild success for a short period using index cards, but then i needed a supply of index cards all the time and it wasn't convenient. The types of things i note are ideas, shopping lists, to do lists, books/ music/ articles / movies i come across and want to not to consume at a later time.

taking notes on little ripped pieces of paper and even cards for this purpose doesn't work for me because they tend to accumulate everywhere, on tables, in corners of bookshelves, desk drawers, my purse, car dashboard hole thing, etc. A notebook never worked because it's too much for me to carry around in my purse (I like small purses, and dont liek to carry a lot of crap.

I have a small DVR that i can start using. It has some decent features as far as recalling certain messages at a set time so i can go over my grocery list in my after work hours for example. Does anyone have any tips or pointes for trying a switch to using something like this rather than paper? I also have a smartphone so i can use that as well.

Bonus round: I like journaling, but writing is sort of hard for me, the process is slow and gives me many mental blocks. Does anyone have any pointers for attempting to do an audio journal?
posted by WeekendJen to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wunderlist is a great app and you can sync your list with other people. For example, my bf and I share grocery list, movies to watch list, fix-it list...
posted by St. Peepsburg at 12:20 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I still use paper notes but I keep everything in one place. At work I have a junior-sized lined spiral notebook and I take all notes there. For personal I have a little Moleskine where I write lists, thoughts, etc. At home I write reminders on the whiteboard on the fridget.
posted by radioamy at 1:29 PM on September 12, 2014

I keep a paper notebook system (bullet journal FTW, which consolidates all possible lists into one place), but I also use a voice recorder for on-the-go notes. I find it makes a real difference from an iPhone, which has too much friction in the way of actually opening the voice recording app (by which time my thought has gone to the birds). I take it with me everywhere (it's tiny) and also keep it by my bed at night so I can disgorge all the thoughts that descend on me in the darkness, quickly and easily and without turning on the lights. I just have a daily reminder to transfer my voice notes to my bullet journal (and I process that once a month for really big ideas into my long-term note storage, which is on the desktop and backed up in three places).

if you're interested, I bought what the Wirecutter said the best voice recorder is, and it is, in fact, everything they say it will be.
posted by idlethink at 4:29 AM on September 13, 2014

(instead of transferring to a paper journal, you can always just keep a chronological folder archive of your voice notes, with a running index of what's in those voice notes. The problem with audio is that over time it's hard to skim and find out what's in them without some amount of meta-level processing like indexing).
posted by idlethink at 4:31 AM on September 13, 2014

Have you tried using your smartphone for this? It seems to meet all your requirements. For example, iPhone is preloaded with a notes app (where you can either type or dictate using voice recognition) and a voice memos app (just creates lists of your brief audio recordings; doesn't transcribe).
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

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