How to save your ideas for later
Let’s say you’re driving down the road, and you have dozens of business ideas exploding in your brain. You can’t risk losing them for fear you will forget, but how do you safely get them recorded so that you can turn them into actionable ideas?
Of course, jerking the car off the side of the road and scribbling on a notepad, the back of a receipt, or a napkin from your glove box is always an option, but there is a certain amount of risk involved. Like getting hit on the side of the interstate, getting a traffic ticket for reckless driving, or worst of all, not having a clean napkin and a pen that writes.
Start with your phone
If you were an alien life form, you could simply force your thoughts into the mind of an unsuspecting human host, make them write everything down for you, and then collect your ideas in a neatly written format at your convenience.
I’m not an alien, so I’ve found a few ways to collect my thoughts without having to resort to telepathy. Assuming you’re not an alien either, and would prefer not to write and drive, maybe you will find these techniques useful.
Let’s start with that mini-computer in your pocket: yep, your phone. I promise they are the closest to a telepathic instrument we have so far, and everyone has one. So why aren’t we mind-melding yet? With the recent scientific advances in brain-to-brain communication, it certainly may be on the horizon.
Until mind-meld and telepathy are mainstream, here are a few simple ways to start making the most of your current pocket toolbox.
Use recording software
- Google Keep – available on both Android and iOS. The coolest thing about this app is that it will transcribe your voice memos to text if you want, so you could record an entire interview, blog post, or sales letter, and then convert the audio file to text. It won’t be 100% accurate, but it should be a very useable place to start.
- On iPhone, use Voice memos. It’s a native app, so it comes pre-installed on your iPhone. Just ask Siri to open it, or type Voice memo in the search box at the top of the screen. This app won’t transcribe your audio files like Google Keep, but if you are just saving reminders or ideas, you may not need a written version anyway. Or if you’re saving sounds like your kids screaming in case you ever need to torment anybody, there’s nothing to transcribe anyway except “Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh!”
- Evernote has a voice recording feature that is very clear and simple to use, so if you use Evernote a lot, it might be worth saving your audio notes there directly.
Use speech to text
- iPhone native speech to text software. You can access this quickly from Notes, or any other app that has a keyboard. Just tap the little mike next to the space bar and start talking. Other apps you could start from include Evernote, Trello, and Pages.
- Siri or the non-iphone equivalent. These artificial intelligence helpers tend to be pretty clunky in terms of speech interpretation, as I’m sure you’ve noticed if you’ve ever tried to use Siri to text, but with some practice they are useable.
- Dragon dictation, or some other dictation app. There are literally hundreds available, both free and paid, so pick one that makes sense to you. Dragon just happens to be the one I know best.
I’m not recommending the use of video while you’re driving down the road, but if you’re not driving and just want to save a quick thought, video is a quick and easy way to do it. It could also make sharing your thoughts with your team or audience via social media very simple and fun. Just open your camera, switch it to video, and turn the camera to the selfie-cam. Voila – magic idea capturing device!
Use your phone the way it was originally designed to be used
- Call yourself and leave a message. This one fails big time if you don’t check your messages though, so make sure you routinely check your answering machine or voicemail and get your thoughts on paper.
- Call someone else, such as an assistant or coworker, and talk through the idea. My sister is typically my go-to for bouncing ideas around and generally getting things out of my head, and she will often remind me of things I said later on. If you have an assistant, have them take notes and email them to you. My sister refuses to do this without pay, sadly.
- If all else fails, go back to the telepathy model. It would definitely work in Roswell, so maybe it will work for you. If you have success, feel free to let me know how you did it via email. I’ll be busy engineering a protective bubble to keep you out of my head, so I won’t have time to grab coffee with you.
Seriously, there are dozens of ways to get words and thoughts out of your head and into your regular world, even if your computer is indisposed and your trusty pen and paper are out of reach. So leave that poor human host alone and start recording your dreams, the book that you want to write someday, or your perfect sales pitch. Happy telepathic adventuring!
Hi, my name is Lynn. I am a former piano teacher, creative copywriter, and daughter of the King. I have two little girls, a husband I love dearly, and a stack of books to read someday that is taller than I am. I love dark coffee, wholesome living, and well-crafted words.