In my line of work, I am fortunate enough to be able to speak to a broad sampling of professionals from every corner of business life. I ask a lot of questions. We brainstorm. Sometimes we chat a bit before tackling the hard information.
In many cases I make a digital recording of the conversation, and I find this to be a useful tool in digging out the subtle details of each client. In many cases, throwaway conversational phrases that are unique to the business, make it into the finished copy after reviewing a quick telephone interaction. I can also let a client speak without interruption and research specific names and designations later.
Like everyone who scratches out notes on a yellow legal pad, I can miss a word here and there. But with the back-up of a recorder, I don’t have to ask anyone to repeat themselves.
Half articulated ideas can be refined and completed. Fact checking is made much easier.
In many cases the complexion of a project can be established through the tone of a voice.
Or when running into a creative wall, an innocuous observation can push the copy through, allowing the project to progress with minimal interruption.
In my workspace, the digital recorder is as essential a tool as the computer and the pen and paper.