I wanted to share a little about what I’ve learnt about audio file noting and put forward the idea that your choice of software isn’t the key decision.
So what is?
Let me explain. If you know what the Enigma Machine is you may have heard of it because:
- You know who Alan Turing is,
- You’re a history buff with a penchant for WWII
- You’ve seen The Imitation Game.
For those who aren’t, Enigma was a machine built by the Germans for sending encrypted communications between troops.
The way it worked was the secret to its success.
At its core, it used simple substitution encryption to scramble messages, for example changing A to I and E to T.
However, this alone would have been easy to break. What made Enigma so challenging was the fact that the formula for scrambling the letters would change every time a key was pressed, and the only way to be able to know how to unscramble it was the key list which was updated every day.
Without this common codex, once scrambled, the message would stay scrambled even if it were being sent to someone who had their own Enigma machine.
If you already know the story you’ll know this was the catalyst for Alan Turing designing the world’s first computer.
It was only once they were able to do this they were able to use that computing power to run through all the potential scenarios and decode the message.
As a result, they were able to get advance notice of what the Germans were going to do for many many months and is generally agreed to be one of the most important turning points of World War II.
The point here, as it relates to audio file noting is this: it’s the common framework that makes this work efficiently.
This isn’t restricted to audio file noting either.
It’s just as important if you’re creating a video blog, recording a client message, dictating a process and any number of other things I use audio for to get things done faster.
Frameworks provide structure, and structure makes things simpler.
Take the video blog above example.
It’s an excerpt from a live training session I ran a couple of years ago and, like all training sessions I run, was created based on a very specific way of structuring and delivering content.
You see, I’ve seen people stand in front of a room for the people with the best content and yet not get the structure right and lose the room. Converse I’ve seen people with fairly simple content absolutely nails the delivery and get rave reviews.
The same is true of video blogs. A video blog with a clear hook, singular message, and a concise, compelling delivery is always going to outperform one that is all over the place.
As well as being the key to consistency, they also make it easier.
One thing our brain is very good at doing is looking for shortcuts.
It’s an evolutionary advantage if you can do things in a way that doesn’t chew up so much energy, which is why often it’s habits that you don’t even think about that are the ones that are easiest to ingrain.
If you’ve ever jumped in your car late at night, driven home deep in thougth to suddenly reflect back, “Holy Moly hold on a sec, how did I get here?” you’ll know what I’m talking about.
That’s your brain going, “Okay, we’ve done this before. We know how to drive a car. We know the direction”, switching your pathfinding from a superconscious awareness to a more subconscious level so you can get on with thinking about other things.
Similarly, at some point in your life you realise that when you open a door is usually something on the other side like a room, or the floor or something else that was safe for you to enter.
You take it for granted that when you walk through the door you’re generally not going to force a cliff, ever since then, like most of us, you just take it for granted. You’ve developed an automatic ability to deal with doors without a whole process of, “What’s this? Is it safe? What do I do?”
There are certain things we’ve learnt work in certain ways (most of the time) which we can automate our reaction to, leaving us to deal with the world in a faster way that requires less computational power.
When you have a framework, you’re making this happen intentionally.
And when you can turn this power onto helping make sure you can tick the boxes of file noting sooner, getting a better quality of rich data on record and getting the data into your team’s hands sooner, that’s when the results flow.