I am really psyched to present a guest post from Johnny B. Truant, a blogger and business guy I just respect the heck out of!
When Matt asked me to write a guest post about my favorite tool, I immediately started a celebrity gossip piece about Spencer Pratt. Then I realized he actually wanted me to talk about a technological tool, got all mad and huffy, and then started again.
See, a post about a tech tool is actually a lot harder. Because I like and use so many of them.
So I’m going to choose one of the first I started with, and that is probably more universally applicable than the rest, and which I guess I use the most under the most diverse and helpful circumstances. I’ll give you my keystone tool, is what I’m saying.
Jott is a service that allows you to “jot down” little notes to yourself using your voice. They give you a phone number, you call it, you speak your note into your phone, and they send you a transcription. Voila – instant nearly-hands-free note-taking while on the go.
The simplest way use it is to have it send your “Jotts” to your email address. So I’d be out driving around and remember I forgot to cover the grill last night and now it’s going to rain, so I’d pick up my phone, hit the Jott autodial icon on the desktop of my Droid, and say, “cover grill.” When I got home, that reminder would be in my email inbox. I’d cover the grill and save the day.
Why do I like this approach so much? Because I used to spend so much time and energy trying to hold on to stuff in my head so I wouldn’t forget it. Buy birthday cake for son’s party. Take out trash. Remember to file the Jones report on Tuesday. If you don’t get that stuff out of your head, one of two things is going to happen: Either you’ll forget it, or you’ll stress yourself out trying to hold on to that bit of info along with a zillion others. Even when you remember, you lose.
The solution is to dump stuff out of my head, and Jott lets me do that without trying to find paper while I’m driving or walking or whatever. A thought occurs to me, and I instantly Jott it and then allow myself to forget it. It’s brilliant.
Once you get used to Jott and start adding other tools to your toolbox, you can hook Jott up to those tools. I seldom Jott to my email anymore. It’s more common to Jott to Google Calendar (“Meet Mary at 4pm Tuesday”), Remember the Milk (“Send out report tomorrow”) or the “get things done” tool Nozbe. I dump most stuff into Nozbe’s inbox via Jott and sort it out later. Anything I need to do, pretty much, goes there.
Jott’s transcriptions are far from perfect, but they’re good enough that I know what I meant and can note it accordingly. And if you can’t understand Jott’s attempt to decipher what you said (this has never happened to me), you can listen to your original recording and figure out for yourself what you were saying.
I love it. I recommend it. And I say you should get it. It’s only $3.95 per month, and that’s a small price to pay to know you’re not going to forget stuff anymore, or get all nervous trying to keep your mental files straight. Instead, you just Jott it and forget it, like a Ronco Rotisserie.
About the Author: Johnny B. Truant blogs at JohnnyBTruant.com and is a frequent contributor to Copyblogger, Problogger, IttyBiz, and many others.