If you like handwriting your notes, but you’re frustrated with typing it later, then this is for you.
Sometimes, you have writer’s block. Or you’re distracted. Or your eyes hurt from the monitor. This is where physically writing articles, emails, and ideas by hand can be a huge boon.
WHY HANDWRITING IS SO GREAT
– Write more reflectively and true to yourself when writing by hand
– Eliminate the endless distraction of the Internet… no longer are you one tab away from Facebook
– Have more freedom to create when you can sketch, draw, and not be limited by the characters a standard keyboard provides
I’ve written several pieces of content by hand: some automation posts for my networking group, two of my Amp Your Results articles, and dozens of sensitive emails were first written on my yellow legal pad as I went for a walk outside.
As someone who used a moleskine back before the days of Evernote, wandering away from the computer to write is absolutely liberating and freeing.
WHY HANDWRITING SUCKS
BUT what’s the biggest pain-in-the-ass when you do this?
You have to spend all this time afterwards… TYPING. OUT. EVERY. LAST. WORD.
God. Who has time for that? I sure don’t. The mere thought is enough to make me want to burn all my notes before the ink even dries…
And don’t get me started on automated transcription services. If you rely on them alone, you’re in for a hell of a ride.
So what ends up happening? All my best ideas, book notes, and thoughts just don’t get typed up. They just sit on my bookshelf and collect dust until I pick them up months or even years later – when the ideas are already stale.
ELIMINATING THE BARRIER WITH AUTOMATION
Now, I’ve automated the process. And now you can bask in the benefits of handwriting your:
– RBT posts
– Sales copy
– Blog content
– Meeting notes
– Thoughts & ideas
– Negotiation scripts
… all without the hassle of transcribing them yourself!
Here’s what the system will look like in your life —
1) You hand-write your notes on a paper pad
2) You scan the notes into your computer OR take a clear picture of them with your phone (I use CamScanner for Android: http://ampyr.us/camscanner-install)
3) Drop the PDF or picture into a folder in your Dropbox
4) Get the typed out transcription in your email in ~20 minutes!
Here’s how to set it up —
Step 0) Sign up or hire the following services:
I use Fancy Hands for all sorts of automation, so it’s worth it to get an account with them.*
* This is not an affiliate link. I just love them that much.
Step 1) In your Dropbox Public folder, create the folder “fh-transcribe” without quotes.
Step 2) Follow this link to my IFTTT recipe.
Step 3) If you’ve taken my advice and gotten a Fancy Hands account, enter “email@example.com” into the To: box.
If you have your own assistant, just put their email address there instead.
Step 4) Tweak the email script as you like. You have to use the <br> tag to indicate a new line (it’s like hitting the Enter key in Microsoft Word). If you don’t feel comfortable with HTML, just keep things simple and don’t mess with those brackets. I’ve had a lot of success with this simple instruction.
Step 5) Click the Add Recipe button.
You’re done! The system is set up.
Now if you want to play with it and get clever, I’m telling you — DO IT!
Some examples of playing with this recipe:
– Have Fancy Hands load your transcriptions directly into Evernote.
– Reword the email template so that you can get your voice recordings transcribed.
– You can even have Fancy Hands automatically add items to your todo list.
This system is nearly impossible to break, so feel free to make your own tweaks and have fun! Remember: Even if something goes wrong, just go through my steps again to come back where you started.
THE TRUE LESSON OF THE DAY
Now why did I share this system with you? The main lesson is this:
Automation is a tool that gets you better results by eliminating barriers to doing the things that enable you the most.
Personally, my creativity is set loose when I’m writing on paper. But it wastes so much time typing out those notes. The COST to get that BENEFIT was too high. In that case, rather than give up on it entirely, it’s better to just spend 15-20 minutes thinking of a way to LOWER that cost. When you automate a process, the cost is nearly free.
You can automate or semi-automate around ANY barrier in your life. If it’s too complicated for IFTTT, then you can find other ways to do this (in the form of checklists, structure, organization, to name a few).
Now that this huge barrier to handwriting your notes has been lifted, tell me either in the Comments or hit Reply if you’re on my exclusive list:
What is ONE barrier that’s standing in your way, and a system like this or a checklist could eliminate the barriers in your way?