For the last seven years, I’ve used the Mini Recorder Control to document every ‘phoner’ I’ve done as a freelance writer. Like the Recorder Control from Radio Shack, it acts as the go-between for a land line headset and any recorder with a 1/8″ mic jack. However, this one’s about about half the price. Since it’s light and compact, mine is always with me in a little pouch stuffed with a notebook, pens and a Griffin iTalk Pro that allows me to record direct to my iPod. Over time, I’ve upgraded from a desktop dictation machine to a handheld mini-cassette recorder to two different versions of the Griffin. The only item in my “bag of tricks” that hasn’t become obsolete or pooped out is the Mini Recorder Control. Interestingly, I found many of my colleagues in journalism school had independently discovered this exact gadget.