It often happens that I want to take a quick note to self when I have my phone, so I won't forget something, but I want to do it as quickly as possible because I'm in the middle of something else. Later, when I'm doing tasks, I'll have time to dedicate to do it, or make a proper task for it in my task management software.

The shitty way

What I currently do is open up Gmail and write an email to myself. That's takes about 3 times longer than necessary, because I need to:

  1. Unlock the phone
  2. Open the GMail app
  3. Wait for it to load
  4. Press compose
  5. Tap the first two letters of my email address
  6. Wait for the autocomplete box to appear, which can take a long time if there's internet connectivity problems
  7. Click my email address
  8. Tap in the Subject field
  9. Type the memo (in very concise words of course)
  10. Sometimes the typing goes wrong (I swipe) and I have to correct it
  11. Close the GMail app and lock the phone

There are 11 items in this list. I'm looking for something much shorter. Here's how I'm imagining it:

The good way

  1. Unlock the phone
  2. Tap the record button that's on a widget on my desktop
  3. Say the message
  4. Let go of the button
  5. Lock the phone

The crucial part is that the message will be sent as an audio file to my email, so I'll notice it. (I don't want to have to check the app for it, I want it in my email.)

Is there an app that does that?

  • How long are voice messages? If they are just a couple of sentences each, then would a voice-to-text app with automatic email sending do the trick?
    – Tymric
    Sep 5, 2014 at 15:03
  • 1
    In which case you could check the seven candidates on my Mail2Self listing ;)
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2014 at 15:27
  • @Timmy They're usually between a few words to a few sentences. The problems with voice-to-text apps are that they require internet connectivity, they take a few seconds, sometimes they get it wrong and you need to correct them. Huge waste of time. I want the audio sent to my email as an attachment. If, in addition, there'll be text-to-speech in the email title, without any added delay, then that's be great.
    – Ram Rachum
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:42
  • @Izzy none of the seven apps there are useful to me. I want audio without voice recognition.
    – Ram Rachum
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:44
  • @RamRachum I don't know of such an app, but I'm trying to think of workarounds. Do you have a second smart device or access to someone else's phone? In that case, you could send yourself a voice instant message using Whatsapp or Jongla. You just have to hold down the mic key, record your message and release it. It automatically sends to the target recipient. The catch is that it has to be a different person
    – Tymric
    Sep 5, 2014 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


I use Google Keep for things like this.

  • Unlock the phone.
  • Tap the microphone icon form the Google search bar (top of screen).
  • Speak your note: i.e. "add note test the rain"

Or you could choose to use Gmail for these notes, or Evernote, or GTask.


The Keep widget has a microphone button which records audio notes. Therefore, if you place that widget onto your screen all you have to do is tap it and speak.

I haven't tried any of the other apps for note taking or for audio notes, so I can't give you more details.

The above steps were tested with Android 4.4.4 on a Nexus 4 and the process works as explained.

This is the microphone I am referring to from the Google bar:
enter image description here

  • I tried Google Keep now. Way too many steps. It doesn't work from the general Google search bar, you have to start the app. Then it does voice recognition, which is a nuisance (it requires connectivity, it takes a few seconds, you have to make sure it works, correct it if it fails... ugh) and then you have to confirm after recording. Way too many steps.
    – Ram Rachum
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:40
  • Do Evernote or GTask allow taking an audio note quickly?
    – Ram Rachum
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:40
  • @RamRachum What Android version are you using? I have edited my answer.
    – slybloty
    Sep 5, 2014 at 20:52
  • I'm using CM9 on Galaxy SII. When I installed Keep I couldn't see any widget in widgets list. I also tried the exact microphone icon you took a screenshot of, and after recording Keep wasn't one of the options.
    – Ram Rachum
    Sep 5, 2014 at 21:46
  • @RamRachum I don't know what to tell you about that OS and its behaviors. But the process I explained and those apps provide what you're looking for.
    – slybloty
    Sep 5, 2014 at 22:56

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