Recording an audio journal

4 minute read

I do like to write in my journal how I explained in a previous entry, but I also enjoy talking a lot. When I’m in my office alone, I speak aloud to my self regularly. I explain things and even congratulate myself when things go well.

Around eight years ago, on my commute from Barcelona Sans train station to the company office, I had approximately 20 minutes of walking. I could do that by tube, but walking was doing me good. Those were hard times. The company wasn’t treating us well, and the development team did not agree with the solution or the management. During that time, I started to talk to myself along the commute while I was explaining to the situation, the good and bad things and brainstorm different solutions. At one point, I decided to start recording those conversations with myself, and since them, I’m doing it all the time.

Sometimes in the evening, while the family is getting ready to go to bed, I go for a quick walk in the park beside my house. There, I do my recording. I explain the day and show appreciation of the good things and try to find solutions for the daily problems.

At times I do it every day and some others I do not record for weeks. I do not need it to be a regular task of my daily routine. Instead, I do it when I feel the need. That way, I do not repeat myself, and the content is always interesting. For example, last year, I ended up with a hundred audio recordings.

Like everything, I like to do it right. I did create a personal process to do the recording. That process, like the rest of them, is continuously reviewed for improvements. Like any other flow process, it is lightweight, and to get the most of it, I searched for the best tool for the job. Now those tools are part of what I bring with me everywhere. They are always on my backpack.

The recording process

The process has three separate parts.

  • Recording. In this phase, I record and do nothing else.
  • Processing. When it is time to process, I create, configure, and push the recording it to my diary and my backup storage.
  • Store: There is a moment that I store the file in the right place to make sure I will never lose it.


That should be hassle-free, but I want the best quality. In the beginning, I thought about buying one of those small recorders and bring it with me all the time. Something like the Zoom H1n. That would be very cool, but then I’ll need to transfer the file and manage that device. Discarded that option, I decided to record directly on the iPhone, but the microphone there is not close to my quality standard. Finally, I got the Shure MV88. It is a small condenser microphone that connects directly to the iPhone Lightning connector. It comes with a handy hard case to protect it. That makes it perfect for throwing into my backpack. It is always at hand to record, and the quality is fantastic.

On the software side, I was lucky to find Ferrite. An awesome iOS app that takes care of the recording and the automation needed to create a nice mix with a backtrack. What I do with Ferrite is:

  1. I do the recording using the MV88.
  2. Using a template I create the final project. The template includes an intro, automation of recording levels, add tags to the final archive as well as naming it correctly. It also includes a cover and some other MP3 tags.
  3. Export to the final format, as well as creating an archive for storage.

But, as I explained before, in the initial phase, I do the recording in Ferrite with the MV88.


On reviewing my GTD, there is always a task to process any pending recording. Processing is quick and straightforward. It is just:

  1. Open Ferrite
  2. Create a new project from the template
  3. Drag in the raw recording
  4. Export the final recording
  5. Create an entry on DayOne with it, adding some comments and tags.
  6. Save it into my iCloud storage with a shortcut.

More than processing it is handing the product and put it in the right places. The whole thing takes me some minutes, and I can do it anywhere.


In the last step in the processing section, you can see that I save all my recordings in a folder in my iCloud account. That is a good back up already, but I like to keep it in my vault. I have a Synology server where all my documents are backed-up. it includes any doc, video, or audio. In the case of the audio Journal, I did create a ruby script that double-check tags, cover and file names, and move it to the right place. It is a double check and standardization.

As can be seen, the mechanics are already including in my daily process for managing any docs. It is part of my GTD, and I am very happy to count already with tons of recordings of my life and thought.

A sample

If you did read all that, I am sure you are curious about the final result. So thought I could do a small extra entry fo you to see how does it sound. Here it is.

Audio Journal Sample