Capturing actions on the go

Hi there! A lot of my best ideas come to me whilst commuting on my bicycle. Unfortunately this creates a bit of an issue in that I can’t stop to note them down :-( I’ve tried Siri capture via my Jabra 65t in ear buds, but the combination of wind noise and my inability to remember the (simple!) syntax/difficulty in processing words whilst cycling means I find this quite a challenge, and more often it’s just frustrating so I give up!

Interested in anyone else’s strategies for capturing on the go therefore… maybe I should ditch OF for this part of my workflow and aim for a PUshToTalk dictation solution… just a pain to have to transcribe into actions later tho…

Welcome any bright ideas - thanks!!

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I‘m afraid, if the speech detection is to bad because of the noise, every method to capture text will fail equally. You could try different headphones, but I wouldn’t give that to much of a chance. If you can’t get text into your phone you need something else. E. g. record your voice, for example with the „Just press record“ app (or built in voice memos). Even if the software doesn’t recognize what you‘re saying, you yourself will probably remember if you listen to it afterwards. At least if it is just a short sentence like a task. This will make a little extra work, as you have to go through your recordings after your workout. But the process is not much more work that capturing a task is in the first place.

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Thanks - that press to record app looks good, may need to get an Apple Watch now to control it! Think this may be the only thing that works realistically… welcome any other thoughts people may have too…

If you do get an Apple Watch consider Drafts for capturing.

My practice is to capture in Drafts and sweep the inbox once a week, moving some drafts to OmniFocus tasks, deleting some, and keeping others as notes.


I had an idea for this which I don’t think will quite work for you because your phone is probably locked and so will run into difficulties with the necessary actions, but maybe it can give someone else an idea, so I’ll post it anyway.😂

Basically, I thought about trying to solve this with a shortcut (and Toolbox Pro), which you could trigger by voice (you would still need to remember a magic incantation but it might be easier):

  1. Use the ‘Record Audio’ action to record audio. This is the first place your phone will need to be unlocked. (Then, just to get around a bug in Toolbox Pro, an ‘Encode Media’ action.)

  2. Use the Toolbox Pro ‘Get Text From Audio’ action to try to work out what you’ve said. This might be the next part where you run into difficulties - you also need a ‘Wait to Return’ action which won’t work if the phone is locked.

  3. Use the ‘Add Item’ OmniFocus action, with the clipboard (from TBP) as the item name, and the audio as a variable in the ‘Attachments’ section. That way, if you’re lucky you might not have to transcribe it manually, but you also have the recording there if things don’t work out that way. (Which, on Mac, you can ‘Quick Look’ at to hear, for example.)

Thanks will check it out!

Nice solution, many thanks! But alas, yes the phone is locked … grrrr!! Someone else may be able to utilise as you say :-)

As an ex cycle commuter I’d recommend a different approach. As As you ride, consciously create a mental list and write it down when you stop. It is a good practice for your memory, and is safer.

I use two ways to get actions into OmniFocus.

On my phone, I use Remind Faster as it is much simpler and faster than the OF interface. This drops reminders which OF then picks up.

On the go, I use an Apple Watch and Siri to again create an apple reminder, which again OF picks up next time I open it.

As a side note I can really recommend Shokz headphones (I’ve got two sets) for both cycling, running and working (from home). Lightweight, long battery life and as your ears are not plugged/covered you can hear traffic (but no good in noisy traffic). I use the version with the boom microphone for all day battery life on constant Teams meetings.

Agreed. Just that I have difficulty retaining ideas that long personally! I’d be stopping every 5 min unfortunately. Defo safer approach you suggest however - thanks.

Thanks. And I will check out the shockz headphones

Apple Watch may work better than headphones if you are safe to bring you hand towards your mouth. Noise rejection on the watch is really good when brought close. You can then use the ‘remind me’ for Siri and have Omnifocus scrape that into your inbox.

Thanks - good point… will give a go when my watch arrives…

In this instance you could use the Drafts complication.

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