My commute to my full time job is about an hour, depending on the day and season. I spend most of my time listening to NPR or talk radio. I’m going to be branching out and trying audio books for the commute as well.
Mostly though, during my drive to work, I’m thinking about the day ahead and on the way home, trying to decompress from my day. On either end of the commute I find I do some of my best thinking in the car. The problem? Capturing all those brainstorms and great ideas once I reach home.
In the four years I’ve been making this drive, I’ve tried a number of different things to try to remember all the amazing ideas, taglines, blog post brainstorms, etc. In the beginning, I had a pad of paper in the car that I would scribble random thoughts down at stop lights or in traffic. The hazard in this was that my notes were frequently so illegible that when I sat down to read them I was wondering why I wrote something about elephants in the hall ( no clue what I was trying to reference here). I tried doing quick texts to my email (not while driving!) but those notes end up sitting in my email without being acted upon. I often call and leave voicemails for myself on my work phone, but that has not been as successful as I hoped because I get to the office, write down the notes, and then a number of things happen that keep me from my great idea. By the time I get to that notes pile on the desk, I’ve run out of steam and time to execute the great idea.
I know there must be a better way to capture the brainstorms and thoughts that happen between point A and B, but I’ve yet to figure out the best system for me. Of course the larger question might be that I have too much static in my head to remember these great thoughts, that I am too distracted to concentrate on what’s going on in my brain. Since that’s a whole other can of tomatoes, I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions for brainstorming on the fly and remembering it later!
My dad used to have this problem all the time, so he bought a mini tape-recorder and kept it in his car. That way whenever he thought of something, he could grab it and easily press record and talk out the entire idea – it’s a lot safer than texting/emailing and generally more legible than scribbling ideas down on paper! Good luck! I hope you find something that works for you 🙂
Thanks for the idea Lauren! I might try that out 🙂
I did the same when my daily commute was 3.5 hours and I had jsut started grad school. I used a voice recorder app on my phone and then just spoke into it when I thought something… then the notes where always on my phone, and since my phone is with me, they are always accessible.
What type of phone do you have? If it has some sort of voice recognition, you should be able to record notes.