Picture this: you’re in your car, and your last meeting ran long, so you’re running a few minutes behind. In your head, you are cycling through a list of everything you have to do, including taking notes about today’s meeting – “Remember that new budget number the client gave you! Tell Bob about the update to the contracts we talked about. Schedule the follow-up meeting.”
You pull into a parking spot and pull out your tablet to save your meeting notes to the cloud, tapping through pages of export>save as>etc. while your files upload, you scroll to your smartphone recording app to create a reminder for yourself about that budget number… what was it, again?
If this sounds familiar, or like a situation you think you might find yourself in, it might be time to re-think your workflow.
Is your tech made for your workflow?
First thing’s first, smartphones are amazing devices, but there is also a proliferation of sophisticated recording technologies out there that can fit virtually any lifestyle and recording need. When you’re choosing a note-taking or dictation solution, be sure that it best fits your needs.
For on-the-go professionals, if you’re choosing a recording app, consider accessibility. Can you access the app from your home screen? Does it have a car mode for safe recording? Is the app seamless and secure? How about battery? You ask a lot of your smartphone throughout the day, and that shows in your battery life. However, the average smartphone usually touts under 20 hours of battery life, meaning that busy professionals might be caught without power at a crucial moment during a long day.
On the other end of the spectrum, for moderate to heavy recorders, you might want to consider a dedicated device. If that’s the direction you want to take, can the device easily connect to the cloud? Does it have accessible and simple-to-use features? What about a touchscreen, built-in speech recognition and other features?
When deciding on what technology to use to streamline workflows, keep the following in mind:
- Design: We may be tempted to find a single app or device, and try and force it to work the way we want. Instead of using workarounds to fit into a device’s workflow, make sure on the front end that the device fits into Are the microphones in the right place? Are the record buttons accessible on your home screen? Small features like this can go a long way when you’re trying to take notes on the go, and save you time and frustration in the long run.
- Functionality: These days, everyone’s talking about security, memory and battery. If you’re considering a new smartphone or dictation device, do some research in the market to make sure that devices are compliant with the AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), and that it has capabilities to encrypt files in real-time. Same goes with a new app.
- Connectivity: Again, there are hundreds of workarounds you can use to get that third-party app to connect to your Dropbox to upload files onto your computer. But before travelling down the long road of export>save to>etc.>etc.>etc., look at apps and devices that automatically connect to your existing workflows and allow you to send files quickly to yourself, an admin or a colleague.
Are you using your smartphone to dictate? What apps or devices have you had the most success with?