It’s August. You’re on a beach, or a yacht, or in the pool, or driving. And suddenly, in your relaxed alpha state, you have the idea. The one you’ve been trying to have for months. It could be a new business concept, a brilliant way to solve a nagging problem, or just a phrase for an email you need to send when you get back to the office. So what to do with these often-excellent thoughts? The least clunky techniques I’ve known of until now – and they are still pretty clunky – are to email myself from my phone, set a reminder, or type it into the phone’s notes section. A problem with all these is that you are unlikely to be able to use your phone at the instant the idea comes, with the risk that it may never revisit you.
Now, regular readers may recall my saying here a couple of months ago that the second iteration of the Apple Watch has led to a rapprochement between me and the Cook/Ive dynasty’s first big project at Apple. It’s not that I didn’t like the first version – just that making the Series 2 faster and water-resistant has elevated it to a near-essential I wear most of the working week, even in the shower or swimming. And now I’ve found this quite brilliant Apple Watch app, Just Press Record, that allows you to touch a big red microphone button on your Apple Watch, record a message, and know that more or less immediately (depending on whether you’re close to your phone and there’s a signal) the message will be captured in the Cloud – and also transcribed. I should add that Just Press Record works on iPhones, but it’s the Watch app that is so startlingly useful.
For ultimate ease of access, elect on your Apple Watch to place the Just Press Record icon in the new dock area, reached by pressing the oblong button under the digital crown. That way you can preserve the big (or minuscule) idea in electronic amber within seconds of having it. The recording and transcription appear simultaneously on your iPhone and Mac. The ergonomics and accuracy are mind-blowingly good. You can even keyword search your on-the-hoof recordings to save having to listen through heaps of them.
Just Press Record is a simple but fantastic idea, brilliantly executed by Open Planet Software, a small company in rural Aberdeenshire. It’s a world-beater.