An easy writer’s tool

A smartphone is a gift to writers and here’s another reason why.

We had just finished a guitar-led round of folk songs for the local nursing home when Mary turned to me. “Remember the old cassette tape recorders? That sure would be helpful when we learn new songs. We could listen to them over and over.”

I pulled my phone out of my pocket. “I always have a recorder with me.”

iphone1She stared at it. “I have a phone like that.”

“Then you don’t need a tape recorder.”

It’s easy to forget the tools we already carry with us. Not all writers use smartphones – and a few refuse to carry a cell phone. But most of us carry our cell phone all the time. And if you do, check out the voice recorder on your phone.

My iPhone 4s will transcribe messages as I speak into the microphone. I have collected story and article ideas while on a walk, allowing the phone to write down what I’m thinking. It will convert spoken words into text messages or grocery lists.

Obviously, I can record interviews for articles. Once at a workshop, the speaker announced he would do a special poetic reading. Although I didn’t record the entire workshop, I did record his poem. And I’m glad I did, for he did an eloquent interpretation.

There is a bit of a learning curve but it’s worth experimenting with the feature. Very few of us carry a cassette tape recorder with us all the time but most of us have a cell phone.

Have you checked into your cell phone’s features? Do you have favorites?

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