If you didn’t read Part 1 about how using a voce app can change your life, read that post first. You’ll learn some cool ways your voice recorder can be used as your own personal coach.
I love using my voice app like a personal coach, but I also use it in another big way. In today’s post, I’ll share how I use my voice recorder to journal, as well as a list of 6 other ways your voice app can become your best friend.
Using your Voice App as a Journal
I’ve always journaled in one way or another.
Not the day-to-day kind of journaling (although I did try that in my younger days), but the periodic, desperately-needed-release-of-emotions type of journaling. You might relate.
I journal if I’m feeling down, insecure, depressed, stressed, worried, fearful, full of doubt, overwhelmed, anxious or confused. I also journal if I wake up in the middle of the night with swirling or obsessive thoughts spinning in a loop and that just won’t turn off.
I’ve journaled on paper, and I’ve journaled on a Google Doc. In fact, I have an ongoing Google Doc that has many entries going back years.
Journaling is more than just getting your thoughts and feelings out of you and onto paper or into a file, though. So much more.
Why I Journal
Therapeutic: Journaling is like a therapy session. If you want to vent, do it! Get that anger or frustration out of your system (keep it to a few minutes, though, and then move on).
Once you’ve finished venting, if you need it, taking the time to journal can get your thoughts and feelings out, as if you’re talking to a trusted friend who has your best interests at heart. You can be completely honest with yourself. You don’t have to worry about being judged or rejected.
Calming: Journaling helps to calm you down if you are upset or if your thoughts are spinning in your head. By getting all your feelings out and thinking things through, your emotions soften and you become calmer.
Reflective: You’re able to not only think about how you feel while you’re writing, but you can reflect on your decisions and actions from the past and consider the future.
Insightful: You can learn new things about yourself and also have aha moments that lead you to make changes or important decisions.
Generates Solutions: Sometimes, by writing out your thoughts and feelings, you end up solving a problem or coming up with a useful idea.
Makes you Feel Better: When you remove the negative emotions by working through them, you not only feel calmer, but you end up feeling more self-assured and confident that you will be ok.
Reveals Growth: When you look back on your journal entries over time, you can see incredible growth. Revisiting past difficult times also teaches you that you are strong and that you can handle obstacles that come your way.
Now that you’ve seen some ways journaling can benefit you, let me share one of my journaling aha moments to show you what I mean
About a year after being diagnosed with breast cancer, it was the middle of the night in March. As was common practice for me, I was thinking about ways that I could leave my teaching job because I was always so busy and so stressed in my job (at a private school with high expectations and demands).
I fully believe now that all our stress is self-created, but nevertheless, teaching is a demanding career, and I needed to get out.
After being awake for quite a while that night, I recognized that I wasn’t going to be falling asleep any time soon (can you relate?), so I got up and went to my computer.
I poured my heart out onto the pages, and after a while, the lightbulb went off. I knew I had to make the leap and retire from teaching.
I knew to the core of my being that this was the right thing for me. My whole body felt the shift, and my soul knew it was the right decision. Journaling gave me clarity and led me to the place I needed to be.
Based on all the clarity and aha moments I’ve had while journaling over the years, I know the huge value.
Sometimes, when I feel down, I might think, oh, I should go journal, but then I don’t really feel like it. On those occasions, I usually tell myself,
“Get up and do it because you don’t know what magic will happen. You don’t know what discovery you’ll make about yourself.”
I’ve experienced the benefits of journaling so many times before, that even if I don’t feel like doing it, if it seems like I need it, I do it.
If you’ve already developed the habit of journaling, or you’re just getting started, then you know the value too.
If you don’t yet journal out your thoughts and feelings in some way, I’d encourage you to give it a try. For some, it just takes a little time and your willingness to sit down and be with yourself.
Using a Voice App to Journal
In recent years, I’ve discovered a new way to journal. I still write out my thoughts if I need to, but now, I often turn to my voice recorder on my phone when I need to have a good talk with myself.
If my emotions are high, and the issue is internal, talking to myself, while recording it, has been very helpful.
If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that I’ve struggled with sticking with a healthy diet. Like many people, I work at trying to eat healthy food more consistently.
One late night, when I was awake again, I slipped out of bed and went to another room where I wouldn’t disturb my husband. I was feeling low, so I hit record on my voice app. I just talked with me. Well, there was some talking, and some crying.
When I finished, I realized that a lot of what I talked about was very familiar. I could see how I was continuing a pattern that I’d been repeating for many years.
I’m not totally out of the woods. I still work at ending this pattern (eating really well and losing weight, and then veering off track with crappy food for periods of time and gaining weight); however, since I had this aha moment, I’ve been able to make some changes.
In the past, my indulging in food and alcohol on a regular basis could last for many weeks or months. Recognizing my patterns, and wanting to change them, has helped me keep those indulgences down to days, or a few weeks max. That’s progress for me!
I may have been able to get the same result by writing out my thoughts, but what is also cool about the fact that I recorded myself with audio is that when I go back and listen to that recording, I can hear the pain. I can remember the frustration and sadness of feeling defeated and feeling trapped in a cycle.
I can also see my growth and how far I’ve come.
6 Other Ways to Use your Voice App
- Business Journaling
Don’t underestimate the power of business journaling. Give it a try. You might be surprised how easy it is to work through issues or emotions related to your business, career or position.
I like to use a Google Doc, keeping my most recent journaling at the top of the page. You can even keep a brainstorming table/list at the top, so you can record your brilliant ideas as they come up.
- Things to Remember
I first started using my voice app to record things I didn’t want to forget. From simple things, like recording the name of a book recommended to me, to something I wanted to remember to talk about with a friend.
- Sharing an Idea with Someone
Although we can create voice messages through Messenger, What’s App and other services, you have to hold the button while you record. Using my voice recorder, I can quickly record my thoughts on a topic and share it with someone (I can then worry about what app/service I’m going to use to share it). I just have to hit record, once; I don’t have to keep pressing while I speak the message.
I use my voice app sometimes because, honestly, I’m a one finger texter (I know…it drives my husband and my daughter crazy!). Not only is my voice app faster, but I can get the tone and emotions in my message, which can be more difficult with texting. For the person I’m sending the message to, they don’t have to read between the lines or have to guess at the tone of my message when they can hear me speaking.
- Storing your Creative Ideas
For anyone who’s often jotting down ideas, recording an audio message to yourself with an idea is priceless. Have you ever had an idea, and felt really energized about it? Then you forget about it, and when you recall the idea, you’re surprised that now the idea doesn’t seem so great? By recording your idea, you can listen to it later to get all the juicy details and emotion that went with your great idea.
If you have a job, hobbies or interests that cause you to come up with cool ideas all the time, you need a place to record those. Recording your ideas with audio allows you to speak quickly and get in all the details easily.
I often get ideas when I’m reading or listening to a book. There will be some nugget or tip I want to remember, or I might come up with my own idea that was connected to the book.
If you leave an idea inside your head, and expect it or hope for it to resurface, you can lose some golden ideas. When you press record, and just speak your idea, you have the passion and tone of voice with the message. When you listen to it later, you have a clearer memory of how you felt about that idea and why.
Sometimes, there’s a recording I’ve made that I know I’ll need to listen to soon; other times, the recordings sit there for weeks or months before I go back and listen to them. It’s at that point, when I go through them, that I will transfer the information to another location (project planning, writing ideas, to-do list, etc.). Once I’ve done that, and the message isn’t one I want to save, I just delete it.
Like I mentioned in Part 1 of this post, you can give your voice recordings a title, and the app keeps the date for you.
- Create your own Podcast or Book
Ever wanted to make a podcast? I’ve heard a couple of podcasters talk about how they recorded their very first episode on their phone. Cool or what? Even if you don’t have all the details worked out, you can play around with your ideas using your voice recorder.
You can also practice speaking out your information (a different process than writing), to figure out how to get a natural flow going. Over time, you’ll get used to hearing your own voice (feels funny at first).
Ever wanted to write a book? Why not spout your ideas into a voice app recording. You could even outline your ideas by chapter. That’s exciting!
- Recording a Brainstorming Session
I’ve recorded conversations with my husband (with his permission, of course) when I’m looking for ideas or need help working through a problem. I record our discussions because there have been many times when we came up with great ideas during our conversation, but then I don’t remember them all later.
Brainstorm with a colleague or during a strategy session at work, so you don’t have to worry about writing things down (which can disrupt the flow of ideas). Get permission from whomever you’re speaking to, and just hit record.
Use your Imagination
There are lots of ways you can use your voice recorder to make your life easier or to help you make changes. Start noticing where you might be able to use it.
More Benefits of your Voice Recorder…Clarity and Convenience
With a voice message, you don’t have to worry about writing out your thoughts on your phone or a piece of paper. Sometimes, it’s much easier to just press the record button and talk.
Another HUGE bonus is when you’re driving! You can make valuable use of your commute time by recording a draft of an email or project idea on your way to work. Talk about a time saver.
Using your voice can be powerful, even if it’s just you speaking into your phone. I hope you can see the benefits of the less-well-known uses of a voice recorder and will give it a try. It might change your life!
Live your true life,