Every morning I take my dog Molly for a walk. The birds sing, Molly poops, and I think (Not necessarily in that order). And for many years I wrote things down when I arrived home after my walks.
Very recently I decided to flirt with voice recognition to capture ideas. The results have been remarkable. The technology has become so good that I can talk freely into my iPhone 5 and most of what I say is picked up. I record directly into Evernote. With an open note, I walk with my phone in my hand. As ideas come, I dictate.
And I’ve become better at it. When I started I would stutter and stammer, worried about how things would sound. I was preoccupied with whether the voice recognition was going to work.
Last weekend on an hour walk with Molly I dictated ideas into 11 separate new notes. Many of these are rough drafts for blog posts. I’m working with the Mayo Clinic Center for social media on a project. Last week I outlined a nearly complete document while on a walk.
On my arrival home, I open up my MacBook air and all of my comments are right there in Evernote. I title and tag the notes. Most of them go into my Sparkfile notebook where ideas for writing sit and simmer. Sometimes the notes are part of project notebooks related to my work at Baylor College of Medicine.
I’ve always had thoughts while I walk, but the ability to capture them has improved my productivity. I can’t stop the ideas that come to me at the most unusual times. Now I have a way to grab them.