Phone calls are a great way to gather information about your family members and fill in your tree (you also might be interested in why it’s so important to talk on the phone and tips for phone interviews). It can be hard to take notes when talking to people, so I like to use this app for recording phone conversations when talking to family members about my tree.
The easiest way to record your call is to open the app, but don’t start the recording yet – you should always get permission before recording someone. Minimize the app and call your relative. After taking some time to say hello and reconnect (but before asking questions about your family), ask permission to record. A good way to phrase it might be something to this effect: “Thanks so much for taking time to talk with me today – I am really excited to learn more about our family! I want to remember everything you tell me, but I have a hard time taking notes when I’m talking. Would you mind if I record our conversation so I can easily remember what we talk about?” Once they give permission, flip back over to the app and hit the record button.
If you get some good stories during the recording, you also might want to ask permission to type out the story and share it with family members. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial for loading stories onto FamilySearch. As a thank you, it would be thoughtful to send them a copy so they can have it in their records also.
Tips for Recording Phone Calls
One thing to be aware when using this app is that your voice will be louder than the other person’s voice. You should find a spot that is very quiet to record in and sit down for the conversation. I am always trying to do things when I talk on the phone and I have to admit that in my last recording I was walking from room to room and dusting while talking (it was a conversation with my Grandma so I felt very comfortable). When I was listening to the recording I could tell when I was walking because my breathing was heavier. Guys. I am not out of shape (at least not when it comes to walking). But dang can this thing pick up sound!
You also might want to practice with a close friend before using it in an interview just so you have the hang of it. It’s super easy and I think you’ll really enjoy being able to refer back to the conversation!