Voice Recorder as Inbox on GTD

    GTD is the most time-tested time management system. But there is one delicate place in it ...

    GTD requires you to add everything to your inbox: thoughts, contacts, affairs, etc. ... People write something more or less important, and leave small things and information in their heads. This is where the problems begin.

    Why are people too lazy to record everything?

    Most often, this is not laziness, but simply uncomfortable tools. After all, what is usually used as an inbox? Either a smartphone or a small notebook.

    However, sometimes this is inconvenient:

    • You are driving. You come up with a valuable thought that should be written down. But what can you do? Do you really stop because of this?
    • Winter, frost minus 30. You walk along the street. Again, something needs to be recorded. Will you get a smartphone? Yes, he may not even react to pressing his icy fingers! Run to look for a warm store?
    • Or you are a writer and several “ingenious” lines occurred to you. Where to put all this if you are not at the computer? But such insights often occur away from the workplace. Take out a notebook and start writing on your knee?

    Of course, here you will begin to be "lazy"!

    With a voice recorder, all these situations are solved simply:
    • At the wheel, you can easily dictate anything without being distracted from the road - eyes are not needed!
    • In the cold, you can dictate through the mittens. Checked - sound quality does not suffer.
    • Long sentences? You dictate them in 5 seconds!

    Why do many, even knowing about the recorder, refuse to use it?

    Objection No. 1. Why do I need a separate device? There is a smartphone!

    To use a smartphone you need two hands and eyes. A voice recorder requires only one hand.

    Not a single voice recorder application is even close in convenience with the simplest voice recorder. I refer you to an article that I wrote already here on Habrahabr: “Smartphone or voice recorder: which is more convenient?” .

    About my dictaphone, all its “chips” I wrote here . Inexpensive, but very comfortable. However, I did not have other voice recorders))

    Objection No. 2. Voice recorder is an extra intermediary.

    Additional barrier. You enter the assignment as if twice. Once into the recorder, and a second time into the system.

    What to answer?

    You are not required to use the recorder as the only inbox. You can use it when it's more convenient. For me, for example, 90% of the tasks go to the recorder, and the remaining 10% are shared between the smartphone and the computer. You can have it 20% -40% -20%, for example.

    Objection No. 3. “I'm embarrassed.”

    Yes, there is such a moment. When you just start walking with the recorder, you feel uncomfortable. A sort of Stirlitz)) But aren't these just cockroaches in our head? I think people are already used to all kinds of devices: wireless headphones, fitness bracelets, smart glasses and watches. The recorder will surprise few. And people get used to it ... gradually.

    These were objections, let's move on to the benefits.

    Advantage number 1. Deep statement of the problem

    Now you can not just abbreviate, somehow, "scratch" the task. With the recorder, you can add detailed comments, some related thoughts. You can even sing a melody or portray some kind of emotion))

    Advantage number 2. Easy to enter tasks

    Voice recorder is the easiest way to set a task. It is just like inhaling and exhaling. Your hands are busy, it's dark, you're in a hurry somewhere - all this is not an obstacle in order to get a voice recorder.

    Advantage number 3. Ease of capturing audio information

    Sit in a meeting, and has some important discussion started? You can simply turn on the recorder. And do not scribble the abstract at a furious pace, getting confused and panting. It's comfortable.

    Or, for example, you can "shoot" while running the phone of the girl you like. Ask her to dictate your number. This makes an interesting impression on the girls. Now she definitely will not forget you))

    Advantage No. 4. Convenient work on the go

    With the advent of the recorder, I discovered work on the go:
    • I can dictate the article on the go. For example, this article was dictated.
    • I can make a real brainstorming session on some difficult task or project. It happens, I go out onto the bike path, stuff earplugs in my ears and go! Very creative atmosphere ...

    I consciously introduced work on the go to dilute the sedentary one. In total, it turns out to work like this for 1-2 hours on average.

    Advantage number 5. Convenient work with a personal assistant.

    I am writing purely theoretically, because I never had a personal assistant.

    It seems to me that such a “Voice Recorder + Personal Assistant” scheme will be convenient for many managers or just people who can afford it.

    You send notes and tasks recorded per day to the assistant. And he decrypts them and digitizes them (brings them to the scheduler, to Evernote, to Google Contacts, etc. ..). Isn't it great?

    It is a pity that my current recorder is inconvenient for this. I would like the recorder to send its recordings to the cloud via Wi-Fi. Now you have to connect the cable - it is inconvenient.

    When to decipher all this?

    Yes, all this will have to be deciphered sooner or later. I do this in the morning when I plan my day, do an inspection of the entire task tree, etc ... I take the recorder and start, recording by recording, listening to it. Something flies into the planner. Something in Evernote. Something in Google Contacts and so on.

    Working with the recorder rarely takes more than 3-5 minutes. Is that a lot?


    Few of us can “boast” that it is rooted in an office chair and never leaves the computer. For everyone else, in my opinion, the recorder is the perfect inbox on GTD. Only then could I instill a GTD when I got a voice recorder.

    And how do you work with the Inbox in such cases (driving, freezing, on the run)?

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