We know what we’re doing, kinda.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Anders Jilden

We’re building an app called Sound Off. We’ll make it easier than ever to take time to reflect. It’s a little like keeping mindful voice notes.

Things are moving slow and fast all at once. Here’s the breakdown…

Branding

Before everything, we spent a few months defining our brand. Launching Sound Off was always going to involve a lot of talented people around the world. We chose to take time to set the tone early on. We wanted a cool, refined and timeless look. We’re stoked with our speech marks icon, taken from the ff at the end of our Sound Off wordmark. …


It all started with a voice journal

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Samuel Ferrara

Lockdown was weird. We’re all in agreement.

Pre-lockdown, I was happily living in London, writing magic tricks for TV magicians. It’s an odd job, I know. Since the age of nineteen, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and work on some of the best magic television series — like Netflix’s Magic For Humans.

By accident, I happened to be in Devon when lockdown began. On my own, with only five pairs of boxers and no raincoat.

And so, in Devon, I spent the entirety of my lockdown. …


Audio Journal Apps Boost Saving & Spending

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Dave Hoefler

Sounding off is a little like keeping an audio journal. All you do is open up the app, hit the sound off button and sound off about your day. I wrote in the past about how audio journaling can help you meet your goals. Elly often writes about the psychological benefits of audio journaling. A practical benefit I soon discovered was its impact on my relationship with money.

I, like many, became interested in minimalism and the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) community back in 2020. …


My News Years Resolution ft. Audio Journal Apps

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ales Krivec

I started sounding off during the first lockdown of 2020, and it changed everything. Sounding off is a little like keeping an audio journal. All you do is take out your phone, hit record, and sound off about your day.

It’s fun, easy, and it tricks your mind into processing all those thoughts and feeling you’ve been putting off. Along with fooling your brain into holding yourself accountable. Elly writes a lot about the psychological benefits of audio journaling. Spoiler: there are many scientific benefits, and it’s way easier than keeping a written journal.

I’m a big fan.

Three ways I will audio journal my way through 2021…

Anytime, Anywhere

I love about audio journaling because it’s so easy to sneak it into your normal routine. At the moment, I tend to sound off for a few minutes every evening before bed. I’m going to try sounding off when I’m getting ready in the morning, while I’m driving, and on the weekend walks. Slipping sounding off into my everyday life makes it feel less forced, and more like a welcomed release. …


Here’s a barely used trick that works a like a charm

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bjorn Snelders

I’m not a fan of all those targeted ads that sell you mind-blowing courses to ensure you meet your goals. I tap away immediately and wonder what on earth I liked on Instagram that day to mess up my algorithm.

I went to spin class once. My Ex convinced me to go together with her cousin, who was training to be an instructor. Her cousin was a no show, and it was a strange and somewhat entertaining experience. …


Audio Journaling vs Meditation Apps

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Joshua Earle

Like a lot of people, I found it impossible to meditate. No matter how long I sat cross-legged, trying to think about absolutely nothing, I simply couldn't do it. Things kept popping into my brain. You get told to keep going, you’ll start to feel it after the tenth or eleventh try. I kept going, but it didn’t get easier.

I wanted to meditate to clear my mind and improve my headspace and general wellbeing. But I also wanted something immediate and easy, that builds over time, and is personal and unrestricted.


Here’s what you need to know…

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alex Knight

Reader: Hey, what’s an audio journal, Rory?

Rory: It’s a little like a written diary, but with voice notes.

Reader: Do you ever listen back to them?

Rory: Nope, maybe one day but for now I simply sound off each day.

Reader: Do I have a name, or do I need to be called Reader?

Rory: You can have a name mate, what name do you want?

Steve: Steve.

Rory: Sorted.

Here’s What I Found After 30 Days

It got less awkward.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t awkward at first. Talking out loud takes some getting used to. You also need to dodge that tiny urge to listen back. After a while, you actually look forward to sounding off. …


How to keep a voice journal with an App?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Martin Jernberg

During U.K. Lockdown One, I began keeping an audio journal. It helped tremendously. I always wanted to keep a written journal but never had the right pen or notebook and I worried about my spelling and my grammar and my handwriting and that my sentences might just go on and on endlessly. Audio journaling gracefully side-steps all these barriers — you simply open your phone, hit record and sound off.

Science says you should journal, so give audio journaling a go with these handy tips:

1. Don’t Listen Back

It’s a funny urge that’s unique to audio journaling. When you write a diary entry, you rarely have the urge to immediately read it back. Try to think of audio journaling like sending voice notes to Future You. Maybe, one day, you’ll listen back. For now, though, it’s just like sending a voice note to a friend on WhatsApp, just hit record and send. …


An Easy Way to Establish Your Startup’s Voice

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Pawel Nolbert

Brands have personalities. Great brands have well refined and fully defined personalities, like Glossier and Nike. Not so great brands have half-defined personalities. Terrible brands don’t have defined personalities at all. Choosing not to define your brand's personality is a terrible decision. If you don’t define your personality, the public will.

A well-defined brand personality has benefits:

  • You’ll be more relatable and approachable
  • Your team and contractors become in sync
  • Marketing, packaging, design becomes easier
  • Overall decisions get made with confidence

Joey from Friends has a very well defined personality.


A Simple Trick to Spotting Great Ideas

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Shreyas Sane

I write television, mostly. I wouldn't say I’m a great writer. At best, I’m a good storyteller. Over my seven years in TV, I’ve fine-tuned a simple trick for knowing when you’re onto something. It goes as follows:

Step 1: Tell Everyone Your Idea

And I mean everyone, don’t discriminate. Tell people you trust, people you hate, people's kids, grandparents, and strangers. Tell people you know will hate your idea, or never in a million years use or watch it. You’re gonna want a wide pool of people in order for Step 2 to be effective. Oh and don’t worry, ideas are worthless and people are highly unlikely to steal them. 99.9% …

About

Rory

Sound Off Co-Founder. Telly, Board Games and Magic Writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store