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sightless capturing

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  • sightless capturing

    Whether I am brainstorming goals, projects, or tasks, or, for that matter, outlining a potential book or lecture, the traditional process is to use some kind of capture tool (sequential, such as Word, or non-sequential, such as Mind Manager) to capture, organize, and edit my thoughts.

    Question is, suppose I like working outside. Suppose I have trouble seeing my laptop because of outdoor glare. Is it workable to use speech recognition software to capture my thoughts outside and, when I eventually move inside, change modes to arrange and edit?

    The heart of this question is what is writing? I believe it is not simply capturing thoughts -- it is seeing them on paper and, once seen, re-arranging and modifying the expression of those thoughts.

    So, the question is, has anyone separated the capture and the editing of thoughts? Will what I am thinking of work?

    Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts.

    Regards,
    Rob

  • #2
    Originally posted by ArcCaster View Post
    So, the question is, has anyone separated the capture and the editing of thoughts? Will what I am thinking of work?
    Not sure I understand the question, but I'll give it a shot!... To my mind, whether I'm writing or capturing thoughts verbally, I'm starting by "drafting" my ideas, which I will then edit, rearrange, etc. If you're using voice recognition software - which is what I understood from your post - then the words will be "translated" into writing. Because they were initially produced in a verbal way, instead of directly from thought to paper, there may be a slightly different feel to the way you edit, but I would think you'd soon get used to the difference in syntax and rhythm...?

    In short, I don't believe in a writing process that doesn't allow for separating capturing and editing. They're two antithetical states of mind...

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    • #3
      I would think you could use sightless typing as easily as sightless voice recognition. Either way, you'd have to make sure the application was turned on and capturing.

      Perhaps there are ways to see your screen. You could put your laptop under a heavy blanket, wear sunglasses to look around at the scenery, then take off the sunglasses to peek under the blanket at the laptop. Maybe there are different kinds of laptop screens. My watch has a black-and-white screen which as far as I remember I can see quite well in bright light. It's not shining -- it just has parts that turn black, and you use light to look at them more-or-less as you look at printing on paper.

      Try googling "laptop screen viewable in sunlight" or something.

      I think a good strategy is to have a screen like on my watch, rather than to turn up the brightness on a screen that relies on brightness.

      This is what I mean:
      "In ordinary LCD displays, light is provided by a lamp behind the screen. Half of the PC’s power is consumed by the backlight. A reflective display, as typified by the Kindle and other E-book readers, has no backlight. The display is illuminated by ambient light so it uses very little power and is viewable in sunlight, but it cannot be viewed in the dark. ..." (I found this on a Google search, here: http://forum.ssca.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=12600 it's just a page I found, I haven't even read it all)

      This is different from the difference between glossy and matte screens: apparently both of those rely on backlighting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Interesting question. I guess I hadn't really thought of it this way, but I've separated capturing and editing of thoughts when I use my BlackBerry 'Voice Notes Recorder' app as one of my Collectors to capture ideas when it is not convenient or safe to write them down. For example, I've had some wonderful brainstorming / thought-capturing sessions this way while driving. Dictation software would be another way to do this, as I believe you mentioned.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by nytehawk View Post
          For example, I've had some wonderful brainstorming / thought-capturing sessions this way while driving. Dictation software would be another way to do this, as I believe you mentioned.
          Yes, I used to plan my soccer practices by dictating in the car on my way to and from work. It worked well. Question is, how easily does such a practice scale for a large project.

          I've been looking at voice recognition software that would allow me to dictate straight into something like Word. Guess I'll just have to try it.

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          • #6
            I've used voice recognition software but found it became a barrier, because I was thinking about how to use it instead of what I was supposed to be thinking about.

            If you're on a laptop, touch typing works, and you can get screen shades to put around the screen, although I found just sitting under a parasol works well.

            If you use an iPad or iPhone, the PowerSupport Anti Glare screen protector combined with it at full brightness works fine even in bright sunlight.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by vbampton View Post
              I've used voice recognition software but found it became a barrier, because I was thinking about how to use it instead of what I was supposed to be thinking about.
              This is exactly what I was thinking about. I am imagining capturing as fast as I can talk, rather than as fast as I can type. I've been touch typing for several decades, so my speed is good, but not fast enough to keep up with my thinking. Was thinking it might be very liberating, as well as productive, to be able to more quickly spew my thoughts into a capture tool

              Over time, touch typing flows naturally and, except for speed, is not a barrier. Maybe a similar time investment is required in voice recognition software to make if work naturally?

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              • #8
                I have managed to work outside by putting the laptop inside a cardboard box that is lying on its side.

                With regards to the writing, definitely better to capture thoughts, arrange in order, then write them altogether.
                See http://www.manageyourwriting.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Suelin23 View Post
                  With regards to the writing, definitely better to capture thoughts, arrange in order, then write them altogether.
                  See http://www.manageyourwriting.com/
                  I just looked at your writing website -- the suggestion to "Draft quick and dirty -- capture your thoughts and then we'll do something with it" expresses what I am hoping to do.

                  Iteration certainly is part of writing. And a trap to avoid is editing as you write -- my hope is to keep that stream of ideas flowing.

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