I’ve been using a nifty little tool which has helped me organise my ideas for writing and website work. It’s such a simple idea, I can’t believe I haven’t used a voice recorder before now.

mental clutter image

Courtesy of lauraneff

I was complaining (Yes, I know you might find that very hard to believe but on a rare occasion I have been known to grumble and bemoan) about my lack of focus, how I am so easily distracted and mentally vague due to ideas buzzing in my brain. Unless I transfer those ideas from my head to something more tangible they shoot around my head like a little ball in a pinball machine. I’ve got to do this immediately else the ideas will be lost. Know what I mean?

I’ve tried writing little sticky notes but they just got lost. I tried having a notebook but I never had it on me when I needed it. So then I tried taking notes on my phone but found it too hard, too slow, too laborious with my one finger typing on the phone keyboard. Plus my mind ticks a lot quicker than I can type on the phone. I’d lose my train of thought to easily and be right back where I started- distracted.

voice recorder phone

The free voice recorder app is a convenient tool for taking notes, creating audio reminders or recording narrations.

And then my husband-who-is-very-smart, suggested I use the voice recorder on my phone. What a brilliant idea! (It’s so clever I nearly considered leaving this part out of the blog post and claiming the idea as my own.)

Yes, I am one of ‘those’ mama’s. You know, the ones who have a phone glued to their hip at all times. No, it’s not for facebook or email (Well, not ALL the time) but because I can always be contacted by Mr. Smart-Hubby and the children. However I am meandering again. Back to the point. (See, you’d never have any idea that I struggle staying focused if I didn’t tell you, right?)

I created a shortcut on my phone desktop and within 2 seconds I have my voice recorder open and ready. I can spill, albeit in my jumbled fashion, my scattered thoughts into the recorder and it’s done! No longer are the ideas roaming around in my head. They’re tucked away on my phone, ready for me to deal with at an appropriate time. Once the initial idea is out of my head I can then begin to fine tune those thoughts and / or focus on the activity I was engaged in before the light bulb moment.

I am rarely at a loss for ideas… it’s in capturing and storing those ideas that I need help. If I’m having difficulty with a website design or site issue, sometimes I’ll have an idea of how to solve the problem while I’m doing something completely unrelated; like showering or watching softball or cleaning the bathroom. Usually that idea will have to stay in my head while I’m doing the activity which causes me to appear vague at times. But not any more! I just record my idea into my phone and it’s gone! My mind is free to enjoy the task that I was doing- I can be in the moment again.

Ideas won’t keep; something must be done about them.
~Alfred North Whitehead

This hack can easily be beneficially adapted and used with children, especially auditory – linguistic learners. Can you imagine the various ways to use this trick in your family? In your homeschool?

  • Try having your auditory-linguistic child narrate a chapter of his book. Have them record their key notes as they are working through a textbook. They can easily record events, dates, proper nouns, etc.
  • Send a child outside to play for 20min and then hand them a voice recorder- think of the possibilities!
  • Come on, brainstorm with me… share an idea or two in the comment section.

What tools and tips help you to be productive and organise your creative ideas?