Using Whatsapp voice notes to catch story ideas on the run


kay, I’m (finally-whooo!) writing in earnest again now, and I have a feeling this little hack is going to be one of my most useful writing tools:

Whatsapp voice-notes!

I’ve found this a GODSEND for capturing ideas.

I’ve carried notebooks and pens around with me for as long as I can remember, and in the supermarket queue (where I have all my best ideas), and I’m often left fumbling with groceries, pen, purse, pad, and phone. Before long, I’ve dropped it all, had to stuff them all back in my bag, or — more usually — thought,

“I’ll pack the groceries up first, and write the story idea down when I get back to the car.”

Which I don’t, everrrrr, because that’s twice as long as it takes for me to forget I even HAD an idea, let alone what it was.

This week, I set up a Whatsapp group called “Novel”, and now all I have to do is press the mic, record the 5- or 10-second idea, and let go. It requires no fumbling, no pen, and no paper. Later, I can just replay it, and the idea is right THERE.


How to set it up?

OK, Whatsapp doesn’t automatically let you send messages to yourself, but you can rig it easily by setting up a group in which you’re the only member. This is done by adding a random contact, creating the group, and deleting the random contact.

    1. Open Whatsapp
    2. Open Menu
    3. Click New Group
    4. Add a random friend to the group
    5. Click on Menu/Group Info
    6. Name the group
    7. Delete random friend from the group

All done — you can now go into the group whenever you want, and record a little voice message for yourself.

Downside? Now, I need to find an extra couple of hours each day to write all the stories… Anyone got any good ideas for that?

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