You probably think of a phone recorder as a tool for spies, or a way to trap someone into saying something you can use against them. Most people use phone recorders for a far more mundane purpose.
The majority of people who own a phone recorder use it to record conversations so they can refer to them later. The recorder is a memory tool.
It doesn't sound very glamorous, does it? Simply recording phone calls so you can remember what was said is not exactly spy novel material.
Glamour is great, but getting things done right and on time, or understanding complex requirements for a legal case, trump glamour in terms of the important things in life.
Say you use a phone recorder to capture a conversation with a new client. The client wants to clarify the project and get your ideas about how to achieve the ultimate goals of the project within the time and budget you've established.
You spend most of the conversation thinking on your feet, answering questions and making new promises to accommodate the client's wishes. You take notes, but at the end of the conversation you're not sure you've written down everything you agreed to do or change.
Recording the conversation gives you a record of your new parameters for the project. You can confirm every detail of the client's requests and your ideas on how to meet those goals. You spend your time working on the project, not trying to remember the conversation.
This same principle applies, even more strongly, to conversations with your lawyer if you're involved in a legal matter. Lawyers tend to talk fast and use a lot of jargon.
Since you pay for every minute your lawyer spends on the phone with you, these conversations need to be as brief as possible. When you use a phone recorder to capture the original conversation, you can take notes later about points you didn't understand. The next time you talk, you can quickly clarify those points and move on to new business.
You may not think of a phone recorder as an essential tool for simplifying your life, but by keeping records of important conversations, you spend less time asking questions and more time getting the important things done.
Tom Rasmussen has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 15 years, consulting for Fortune 500 companies phone recorder needs.