Collecting Things by Voice on Apple Watch (Reminders, Just Press Record, OneNote, ...)

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by AFG, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I bought my Apple Watch mainly to be able to look at my calendar, be notified when I need to go to a meeting, on my wrist. (Unreliable because of synch problems - but that's another post.)

    Unanticipated benefit: being able to collect quick items - To Dos, ideas, set appointments - easily, by voice, on my wrist.

    Q: what are the best watch apps people have found to do this?

    0) Surprisingly, Apple's standard Notes app is not watch enabled.

    1) Apple's Reminders app is watch enabled. It can be used voice-only - "Hey Siri, remind to to write up idea about cache coherency". Small problem in that it times out, so can only use for short notes. Bigger problem is that it can only be used when connected to cloud, which is unreliable in the canyon I live in. Biggest problem is that I have Reminders on my watch stopped synching with Reminders on my iPhone/iCloud two weeks ago. Apple Genius Bar guys unable to help. (https://forum.gettingthingsdone.com/threads/reminders-stop-synching-apple-watch-iphone.14365/)

    2) The "Just Press Record" watch app is great. Doesn't need to be connected - it will record a voice file, which you can have transcribed later. Plus, you have original voice recording to double check. Problem: not 100% voice controlled: I frequently find myself having to poke buttons on my watch with my nose. Problem: the process of requesting a transcription, and then moving the transcription to my main tracking system (in my case, OneNote) is onerous.

    3) I just realized that Microsoft OneNote has a watch app. Transcribes directly to your OneNote Quick Notes section, saves work. Problem: not 100% voice controlled, so requires poking at the watch screen, with finger, or nose if hands are full. Problem: must be online to use.

    Q: what other "quickly collect items on your watch" options are there? Bonus points for 100% voice controlled, offline, records speech as well as transcription, and easy to transfer to other apps.

    --

    Similar but different:

    I am into QS (Quantitative Self) - monitoring moods, etc., figuring out when I am working well and when I am not.

    I also likely "Hourly Chimes", at circa 5 minutes before the hour.

    I have tried various "Time Chime" apps, but the app that I have found works best for me so far does both QS and Time Chime: iMoodJournal. I have it pop up onto my wrist at 5 minutes before the hour during the work day, and prompt to record how I am feeling - Great/Good/Meh, etc. Tells me the time.

    iMoodJournal also allows you to speak a diary note.

    This isn't really what you want for a GTD-style collection app when an idea pops into your head. But it is similar.

    Problem: not 100% voice controlled. Problem: 6 taps to make a record. Problem: exporting not automated.
     
  2. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    None. Siri doesn't know Polish language. For me Apple Watch is just a fancy gadget with funny faces, a timer and two daily alarms (lunch and dinner). I don't even use it for running since cheap GPS watches have better user interfaces based on real buttons (not on touch screens). It's dangerous to run and simultaneously look at your watch trying to press the appropriate icon! :mad:
     
  3. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    Agreed.

    I currently wear two watches, Apple Watch and an older FitBit Versa.

    Apple Watch for Calendar.

    FitBit for activity tracking. (No GPS, but I can mainly track steps, hills, duration, and try to get my heartrate up.)

    Apple Watch fitness stuff too slow to update.

    FitBit notifications of calendar events are transient, not the same as actually having a calendar on wrist.

    Just Press Record might be useful to you - but you would have to transcribe the audio manually. Unless you know of tools to take the audio file, and perform speech-to-text. The audio file does appear to be a somewhat standard format, accessible via iCloud, so the transcription might be doable automatically.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  4. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I use my Apple Watch every day to check my calendar, add actions to Things, get directions, for notifications,text messages and phone calls, and as a timer. I’m quite happy with it.
     
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  5. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I was similarly happy with Apple Watch Calendar and Reminders, until they stopped synching, as described in https://forum.gettingthingsdone.com/threads/reminders-stop-synching-apple-watch-iphone.14365/

    Even the guys in the Apple Store Genius Bar can't fix it for me.

    (Haven't tried a full iPhone Factorey Reset yet - because that takes weeks to recover from, manually reinstalling and reconfiguring everything. (Reinstalling from backup does NOT fiox.)

    "add actions to Things" may be a good addition to this list of "apps that work well for voice notes on an Apple Watcxh".

    Q: does Things need your cell phone to be connected to make such voice notes? I live in an area where cell coverage is spotty. The "Just Press Record" app is the only app I have found so far that can take voice input when disconnected and then transcrive when connected.

    Q: is Things 100% voice controlled? Or do you have to touch your watch with your finger (or nose)? So far, Apple Reminders is the only 100% voice controlled watch app I have found (and it stopped synching, and I can't get it to synch again).
     
  6. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    Things uses Siri to transcribe speech to text, and needs a connection to Apple’s servers. You can enter items with voice alone, but need a finger to check items off, and for other things.

    If you think about the implications of the above, you should conclude that there really aren’t 100% voice-controlled apps which don’t need a connection to the internet. Just Press Record is a special case because it just stores your speech when there is no connection. Sorry. Maybe someday.
     
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  7. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I can hope.

    A modern smartwatch has more than enough CPU power to do speech recognition. E.g. the 1st Apple Watch had Apple S1 running max 520MHz, >512MB of DRAM, and 8GB of flash. Circa 1996 I was using Dragon speech recognition on a circa 100MHz x86. That was speaker dependent, sure, but all local.

    Just Press Record would meet my voice to text note taking needs, if it could syop recording on a voice command.
     
  8. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I am happy to report that, now that my Watch and iPhone are synching again, but the new-ish version of Reminders on my Watch allows me to designate most of the standard GTD lists by name when speaking to Siri.

    In the past, the only lists that Siri recognized were Grocery and Shopping.

    Works
    Agendas
    Anywhere
    Calls
    Computer
    Someday/Maybe
    Projects
    Errands
    Home
    Office​
    Fails
    "Waiting For"
    At least for me, "Hey Siri, add item to my Waiting For list" is converted to text as "waiting for a list".
    But "Waiting On" is accepted.​
    Other - Offline Fails
    I use separate lists for Online and Offline. Online works, but "Hey Siri, add item to my offline list" is interpretedf as "off-linwe list", and creates a list called "line". Connected/Disconnected works​
    Other
    Qualifications like "Personal Computer list" and "GTD Nect Action list" also work.​

    No need to use the @ in front trick, at least not in Watch/iOS/iCloud Reminders, which allow user specified sort. You can say "Hey Siri, add item to my at sign agendas list" to get @agendas, but that's a hassle to speak.


    Verbosely
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Agendas list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Anywhere list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Calls list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Computer list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Someday Maybe list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Projects list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Errands list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Home list"
    • "Hey Siri, add item to my Office list"
     
  9. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    So now I am back to thinking about using Apple iCloud/iOS/Watch Reminders as my GTD next action lists, moving them out of OneNote, leaving only project support in OneNote.

    Probably won't switch, since linking between Reminders and OneNote is a pain.
     
  10. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    For decades, I have used a pocket digital dictaphone for this. While this may seem antiquated, I can't beat the simplicity - separate buttons to power on, to record and to stop. I can easily drive whilst operating it as I don;t need to look at the display. When I am dog walking and listening to a talking book on headphone from my smartphone, I can use this independent device to easily make audible notes. When I get back to my office, I put this physical dictaphone into my inbox for GTD processing.
     
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  11. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    That's the reason why I'm still using iPod Shuffle for running. No screen, no touch-screen, just one-function buttons.
     

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