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08 Jun

Record a text note with your voice and AI

Datum: 2023-06-08 12:09
A man in a brown jacket, white V-neck sweater, and dark blue tie is jogging along a downtown street while recording a voice memo on his mobile phone, all while a car zooms past at high speed.

Siri does­n’t under­stand me! 

How many times have you tried dic­tat­ing a quick voice note into your phone to cap­ture the essence of a meet­ing only to then get back a text tran­scrip­tion of what you said that does­n’t match up with what you said? 

I think I’m fair­ly artic­u­late, but at least I have had to spend unnec­es­sary time clean­ing up the note I made after­wards. Or, I have lat­er pon­dered long and hard on what I meant by bar­be­cu­ing” and semi-trail­er”. I can’t remem­ber myself and my cus­tomer talk­ing about that.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

Quick­ly caught on the go!

The idea of being able to quick­ly record a mes­sage and get it in text form is bril­liant. If it works, you can cap­ture an idea in a flash. You quick­ly doc­u­ment what you agreed on. With­out wor­ries, you add what you promised to your to-do list — even if you’re on the go.

A solu­tion where you are understood

But, at least I haven’t been able to make it work — until now. A few weeks ago though, I did find a solu­tion that has worked bet­ter than any­thing else I have tried in this direc­tion. I can’t help but tell you about it. (Since devel­op­ment in this field is pro­gress­ing rapid­ly now, there sure­ly are oth­er solu­tions — and any day now Ope­nAI’s mobile app will be to every­one, too — so con­sid­er this solu­tion as one among many that works.)

I record a voice note in the phone and a short while lat­er I get an email where what I said is writ­ten down — with aston­ish­ing pre­ci­sion. Espe­cial­ly fas­ci­nat­ing is that the text reflects the mean­ing of what I said — not exact­ly every hm”, mis­take and rep­e­ti­tion I made in the voice recording.

The com­po­nents involved in the solu­tion are: 

  • The RecUp app (iOS)
  • The stor­age ser­vice Drop­box
  • The automa­tion ser­vice Zapi­er
  • The speech recog­ni­tion mod­ule Whis­per
  • The email plat­form Gmail.

Here is how it works

A schematic image showing how I have connected the RecUp app with Dropbox, Zapier, OpenAI and Gmail.

When I record a voice note in RecUp (1), it gets saved as an mp3 file in Drop­box (2). When Zapi­er sees a new mp3 file in the voice notes fold­er, it fetch­es the file (3) and sends it through the Ope­nAI plu­g­in to Whis­per (4), which responds back with the text it has under­stood, and then Zapi­er writes an email in Gmail which it sends to me (5).

Do this:

  1. First, get RecUp (iOS) or anoth­er voice-record­ing app where you can save your record­ings to Drop­box (there are plen­ty of Android apps to choose from).
  2. In RecUp, set up which Drop­box fold­er you want the file to be saved in.
  3. In Zapi­er, cre­ate a zap’ that:
    1. picks the mp3 file from the Drop­box fold­er when it’s saved there,
    2. cre­ates a tran­scrip­tion using the Ope­nAI plu­g­in (you’ll need to have a sub­scrip­tion to OpenAI’s API first)
    3. sends you an email from your own Gmail account (or oth­er email plat­form such as Out­look) with the tran­scribed text in it.
  4. Test it out — and be amazed at how accu­rate­ly Whis­per under­stood you. It’s some­thing else than Siri, that’s for sure!

More Time for the Essential

If you use this solu­tion or a sim­i­lar one to quick­ly make a voice record­ing, you need to spend less time tak­ing notes after meet­ings and con­ver­sa­tions. You cap­ture valu­able ideas on the go that would oth­er­wise have dis­ap­peared into eter­ni­ty. The many small streams of min­utes you save become a large riv­er of hours that you can ded­i­cate to what is most impor­tant for you and your work.

What is your solution?

Have you found anoth­er, sim­i­lar solu­tion to the need for quick voice record­ings to text? Tell me about it! I col­lect solu­tions like this, so I am eager to hear what you’ve found. 

(Have you heard about the oth­er things that I’ve been get­ting help from AI with so far?)

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