Capturing Ideas in Your Car and On The Go

Inspiration for research ideas, new insights on theological concept or text, or yes, blog posts often (at least for me) happen when I am driving. These inspirational thoughts are often fleeting and at the peril of my memory. Mind dumping your thoughts proves to be one of the best ways to “remember” thoughts later. Especially in todays world where we are “always connected” and are minds are racing with the other 125 obligations we have to do that do. We need a simple way to capture our thoughts instantly before we forget them. This is one of the reasons I use Siri integrated with OmniFocus so I do not forget things that I have to do. But what about when you have that amazing idea for a research topic?

I created an audio recording using DropVox in my car this morning. It contains most of the same content that is in this post. Listen here!

DropVox

Enter DropVox (iOS and Mac). Gone are the days of carrying around a tape recorder.[1] DropVox is a simple app that does one thing but it does it well. Open the app, begin recording, click the big red button to end the recording, and then it uploads an MP3 file to Dropbox for retreival later. That’s it! Simple. Beautiful. Elegant.

I changed the setting so that as soon as I open the app it automatically begins recording. This method works best for my workflow because I am often in the car when I want to record my audio. I can open up the app either by using Siri[2] and initiate brain dumping my thoughts into audio. I have also strategically placed the app in the bottom right of my homescreen so I do not have to look down to figure out where the app is and I can keep my eyes on the road.

The Process

When you first open up the app it will ask you to link the app to your Dropbox account. That’s it. You are ready to go. I find it helpful to change one of the settings to begin recording when you open the app. This is just one less step you have to do when driving. Once you are finished recording click the big red button and it will automatically save the file in the DropVox folder within Dropbox.

Brainstorming

Another useful scenario is when you are brainstorming.

I find I think better when I am either writing or voicing my thoughts. Keeping my thoughts in my brain stagnates them and I never can get beyond the intial idea. So next time you are at your desk and trying to think through a concept try to audibly articulate what you are thinking and listen to it after before you write.

Purchase

iPhone (universal app[3] - $1.99) - DropVox - Record Voice Memos to Dropbox - Irradiated Software

iPad (universal app - $1.99) - DropVox - Record Voice Memos to Dropbox - Irradiated Software

Mac (Beta, free for now) - Download


  1. Up until a couple days ago this is what I did. Albeit it is a digital recorder it still forced me to remember to transfer the audio to my computer for later.  ↩

  2. The only issue I run into is that Siri often times opens up Dropbox instead of DropVox.  ↩

  3. By purchasing either the iPhone or iPad version it will work on both devices.  ↩