Ever made plans or laid out action steps while on a business call, and wish you had taken notes? Maybe you were on your Bluetooth headset while driving, or you couldn't find a pen. Or maybe you just plain hate scrawling anything on paper at all.
Enter Tote Notes, a brilliantly conceived app that pops up after voice calls so you can dictate notes before you forget any important details. It not only records voice notes, it e-mails them to you, and even transcribes them to text so you can easily search for them later.
Here's how it works. Download the app and go through the quick setup process. First, tell it whether you want Tote Notes to activate after every call, or only after calls during "work hours" (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Next, enter the e-mail address that you want your Tote Notes sent to. From there, every time you end a call, a Tote Notes dialog box will pop up asking whether you want to record a note. If you do, anything you say will automatically be recorded and e-mailed as an MP3 file, along with the contact info of the caller (if it's saved in your phone's address book), and a transcript of your recorded note in the body of the e-mail. In all of our trials, the app worked like a charm, and the transcriptions (powered by Google Voice) were more or less spot on.
The free version of Tote Notes only allows a maximum recording time of 30 seconds; the Pro gives you 2 minutes. Either should still be enough time to get out all of the important details.
One thing we think Tote Notes can improve on is its settings; we wish we could set a custom activity period. For instance, we might want to set our workday for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays (wouldn't that be lovely). Also, it would be really nice if we could set Tote Notes to pop up only after calls with specific contacts.
Overall, we think Tote Notes is a great tool for busy professionals who often arrange meetings, make deals, or discuss other important details over the phone. It provides a uniquely convenient way to take notes, works beautifully, and best of all, it's free.