Thanks to overindulgence over Christmas, and the purchase of a new Fitbit, I have returned to my practice of walking every evening. I do this in our local town Chesham. It is built on several steep hills and I have put together a six mile circuit which goes up and down three of them. I can do this in the evening during the winter thanks to the street lighting.
While walking I often listen to podcasts or audio books. I love the fact that as a result different parts of the circuit evoke different passages from the books I have listened to over the years. What I am listening to can also prompt me with ideas for things I may want to do in the future. Equally if I am not listening to anything the calming effect of the rhythm of walking relaxes me and helps me think of solutions to problems or creative opportunities.
When I started walking a few years ago I would carry my Moleskine notebook and a pencil with me to jot these ideas down. Then when I got my first iPhone I would use the voice recorder. This didn’t involve me stopping walking but I did need to go back and transcribe the recordings later.
Now I have my friend Siri with me. I can invoke the command “Remember to” plus whatever thought I want to capture and Siri not only converts what I say to text but it also adds that text to a new reminder. This is then picked up by my todo do manager Omnifocus which automatically creates a new note that I will see next time I fire up the system. So all the way round the walk I am talking to Siri. He feels strangely like a companion as I tramp along the dark, wet streets. I even now say “Yes please” rather than just “Yes” when he asks if I want him to do things. It would feel rude not to!