In December, I bought myself a digital voice recorder for Christmas. I got the Olympus WS-210S Voice Recorder, which had great reviews.
I love it! It's come in really handy for genealogical research. Below is a list of ways you could use a digital voice recorder in your own research.
If you are considering purchasing a digital voice recorder, I recommend the one I purchased. It has great features at a reasonable price, and I'm able to do all the things listed below. Regardless, you need to decide what you want to use it for and do some research to find one that suits your needs. Also, pay attention to customer reviews; there may be shortcomings, but they could be ones you could deal with if the price is right.
Interviews & Oral Histories
This is a great way to capture oral information from family (or those who knew your family members). Many of the digital recorders allow you to upload files to your computer and save them as digital media files; this is a great way to preserve these memories.
Research Notes & Ideas
If you're in a hurry, recording information orally is much faster than transcribing by writing or typing. You can then enter information in a notebook or your computer later. It's also a great tool when you're away from your computer or don't have your notebook, to capture various ideas, whether a research lead or a blog post.
The one thing I've been using it frequently for is cemetery research. I rely mainly on photographs of the stones, however, for those hard-to-read ones, I was previously writing the information down. Now, I pull out the recorder and transcribe them orally. I state the photo number and say the information on the stone.
Do you have a digital voice recorder? What do you use it for? Post some comments and let me know...I'm always looking for other great ideas!!