Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Success Tools: Google Voice for Idea Capture

Idea capture is a crucial area for personal achievement and success. It is a key component of David Allen's GTD methodology and a key success secret of creatives, entrepreneurs, and innovators of all stripes. No, you are not going to remember that light bulb flash of an idea in 6 hours, or tomorrow, or when you get around to it. You are going to forget about your new concept, that new product you glanced at at the mall, that new restaurant you passed, that short conversation you had with a potential client, etc., unless you record the memo immediately.

Google Voice is my newest favorite success tool for this process, although it does about a million other things. I use it primarily for voice memos, as a companion to the pocket spiral notebook I carry around, surgically attached to my body (OK, just kidding). How many ideas do you have per day? You may never know until you record them in a reliable way. Google voice really helps. Google voice allows me to call, send a voice memo to myself, and also reminds me about it later when a transcript and audio file show up in my email. If I'm in my car, I can't pull out my spiral notebook and record ideas, but I can speed dial Google Voice in a flash.

Case in point: I was wandering around Costco the other day and, today, 4 days later, I happened to review my Google Voice memos from that trip. At least 6 important (and forgotten) items came up, which I had sent to myself 4 days ago. Now multiply this by 365 days and you can imagine the implications of retaining all of those potentially lost inputs. In my own experience I almost never recall everything I dictated to Google Voice.

I am only scratching the surface of what Google Voice does, but it has already proven priceless.

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