Recording Devices


  • So many folks are used to having their smart phones nearby 24/7, which makes these devices a perfect place to begin Recording and Listening. It is easy to use your phone to R/L almost anywhere you are. Most smartphones already come with some kind of voice recording app that is free and simple to use.
  • On the iPhone, for example, you’ll see an app called “Voice Memos.” You can easily record yourself talking and then text or email that recording to yourself. The Voice Memo app offers a feature of naming each recording. This makes it easy to create a system in which you categorize as you go. For example, “Money/Daily Abundance.”
  • Some Android phones come with a recording app. If yours doesn’t, click here to read our section on apps for a couple of suggestions.


  • If you’re someone who totes your tablet with you wherever you go, you can choose to use this as your recording device. As with smartphones, the right app can make it easy to use your tablet to R/L. For some folks, tablets aren’t as portable as phones and may be less suitable for R/Ling on the go. But if you tend to have a tablet within reach at home, it can be a good choice for stationary R/Ling.

iPod Touch

  • This is a portable electronic device similar to an iPhone but without the phone capability. It comes with many of the same apps that an iPhone comes with, including a recording app.

Digital voice recorders

  • These are portable electronic devices dedicated to making voice recordings. Good ones can be had for around $50. In this price range, Sony and Olympus are the most common brands. Ask for recommendations at your local electronics store or search around on the Internet — you’ll find tons of reviews for various digital recorders. As you’re researching, pay attention to what features are important to YOU. Some folks love to have lots of bells and whistles. Others prefer streamlined simplicity.
  • The main thing to think about when buying a digital recorder is whether you want to be able to upload your recordings to another device. To facilitate sharing your recordings between devices and programs, look for a recorder that produces files in MP3 or WAV format and that can connect to your computer via a USB cable.
  • If you purchase a recorder that does not allow you to connect to your computer and upload files, just know that at some point your recorder will fill up and you will need to purchase another one. (Hopefully this will happen more quickly than you expect!)
  • One recorder with continuous play is Olympus WS-801.  The Sony IC Recorder ICD-PX370 also has continuous play. When purchasing a recorder, please be mindful of double-checking information, as models and their features may change over time.
  • To organize recordings in iTunes, Google "organzing music in iTunes."

A note about R/Ling on retreat:
While retreatants at the Monastery aren’t permitted to have electronic devices with them, digital voice recorders are permitted. So if you use something other than a digital voice recorder for your usual R/Ling, you’ll want to acquire one to bring with you if you attend a retreat.