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Tuesday Tip #30

Tip Tuesday is a recurring feature. If you'd like to share a tip, please do so.

Today I have a tip from our lovely friend in Greece, Ann Marie (who still doesn't have a blog!).  We had a similar tip a couple months ago, but Ann Marie offers some different ideas and commentary so I wanted to share it anyway.  Besides, if it's being suggested more than once, it must be good!

May I share with you my greatest writing, teaching, list making and memory aid; the mini tape recorder. You know those reporter- gadget -thingies. I have been using one of these amazing inventions since I was 14 and studying hard for my O levels in England. As well as recording ideas and paraphrasing sections of huge text books (highlighting and copying passages is so tiring) it's the most amazing way to get down your ideas for a plot, re-write or theme for a new book...BEFORE you go to the local supermarket and the elusive idea gets buried under an avalanche of corn flakes and cleaning agents! I carry my recorder (about the size of a mobile phone) with me wherever I go. I'm an English language teacher in Greece so I'm constantly using it to record new vocabulary for my students to help them remember the correct pronunciation of a word. Every student has their own tape which they keep and it helps them immensely. My husband, who is writing a thesis, uses his gadget to "catch zee ideas" ( well, he speaks like that 'cause he's Greek!) when he drives ( if the donkey has run out of fuel) to university. He records ideas and recites studies he has read and then goes over it at night. My 2 boys also use their recorders when preparing essays to 'brainstorm' ideas before they write. They also use it when learning German and English swear words and find it hysterically funny. I would advise you
NOT to pass on that tip to your offspring though ....

I have one that's a little obsolete (it works with rechargeable batteries) but you can find tiny little digital things that are so light you can have them with you wherever you go. Get one with a counter though, as this helps you to find the exact place you want without wasting time. I teach until around 10 o'clock at night so I work REALLY late at my writing. I use this wonderful invention as I'm pretty sleepy and can't be bothered to write notes. I keep it beside my bed at night just in case I have any flashes of inspiration....I'm still waiting...maybe I got the wrong model?

Honestly, all you writers out there, it's such a versatile 'MUST.' If you can't afford one then most mobile phones have a voice recorder so you could try that instead.

Good luck...oh, the other really funny thing is actually hearing what you sound like...most people don't believe their voice is like THAT!! If you are horrified by the nasally tones, the BEST thing is you can delete your creative idea and nobody need ever know!

Thanks Ann Marie!  I still haven't picked one up, but I definitely plan to.  It sounds like such a great tool.


  1. Great idea! I had one in college for interviews and have thought about using it again when I drive. Now I think I have to.

  2. Hi Piedmont Writer! Honestly - I couldn't do without mine. Something else which I'd forgotten to say.
    I used to create fairy stories and dialogues with my brother when we were kids. We used to add lib. and then write up the 'roles' on an ancient rickety typewriter. A few of our 'honoured friends' would be given their scripts and a whole LOAD of fun was had by all...
    Let your imagination run wild and...

  3. I'm going to figure out how to do it on my phone and follow your advice. Thanks, Ann Marie. I have thought about it before but you are very compelling here. And the sad thing is, I have lost ideas before, in the car with no way to write them down, and the fact is they really seem brilliant when they are gone! Probably if I had saved them by recording, I wouldn't have such thoughts of grandeur and I'm sure that would be good for me.

    Thanks, Casey!

  4. Every time I start talking to myself in the car I curse myself for not having one of these yet! I swear I'm going to get one. Soon.

  5. I love my mini tape recorder (or digital voice recorder as it may be).

  6. I've pondered this . . . my Oldest Daughter sometimes phones herself and leaves a message--I thought that was a great idea! I will text myself sometimes, LOL! Great tip.

  7. This one of the those tips where you want to slap your forehead and ask: why didn't I think of that? Especially since I have a mini-tape recorder collecting dust on my desk. Time to see if that baby still works. :)

  8. Hi Tina - I love the new look.
    Just be careful if you use your cell phone; mine only records for 1 minute! Make sure you check the capacity before you use it - don't want to lose your masterpiece! THANKS for taking the time to comment ladies!

  9. Elana - what brandname running shoes do you wear??? I'll send you a lovely twine necklace from Greece and you can wear it (afore-mentioned gadget - thingy) around your neck at all times..lovely!

    P J H - glad you've already seen the LIGHT!

    Erica - you came! Thank you! Is this the VIOLIN WIELDING OLDEST DAUGHTER? She's smart!

    Pam - blow them cobwebs away and get yourself the best personal assistant ever...they don't talk back unless YOU press the button..

    Guys lets shout HI CASEY - You are sorely missed. ENJOY YOUR HOLS - but come back soooooon!

  10. Hi Ann Marie! I got sucked into a Tuesday vortex of some sort and missed this awesomely awesome tip! I love it. If you happen to check back, can you tell me how you get the stuff off the darn thing? Do you transcribe to the computer? Inquiring minds want to know. Because that is the follow-up that I would struggle with.

  11. Hi Ann Marie! Glad to see your tip here. Now if they can only invent a donkey-dung powered recorder. :P

  12. HEY LISA - I just read your tip now...aw, you're not going to let me forget the donkey-dung-chicken thing huh...? On the other hand - seriously, can you imagine what the benefits WOULD be to the environment if we COULD do something.....mmm...got my thinking cap on....