Photograph Your Old Notebooks

I'm a bit of a pack rat, and in my home now my stuff is starting to overwhelm me. I have too many books, so I started throwing book give away parties, in which people can come with whatever books they don't want and give them away. People come to the party and walk away with whatever they like. What is left behind I donate to the library, who either use the books or sell them to raise money.

Another problem I have is an enormous bunch of old notebooks from classes. I think I have all my notes from high school, university, and graduate school, and I think it would add up to about 10 feet of bookshelf space. And these are not pretty books for a shelf. They end up in boxes in my filling basement. I can't seem to part with them. They seem irreplaceable. A part of my past. I think I figured out a solution.

I photograph them.

Digital cameras, even relatively cheap ones, photograph text well enough to read. I just open each spread of the notebook, snap a photo, and move on. I save sets of photos as "notebooks" on my hard drive. Now I feel I have a record, and I can recycle a lot paper and free up space.

One notebook I did required about 250 photos, which took me about 45 minutes.

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Alexander said…
A faster alternative is any modern copy machine with copy to PDF or, even better, a dedicated document scanner with an automatic feeder. I have a SnapScan S510 on my desk which is just marvelous. The PDFs contain the OCR'ed version of the text and are searchable (this will not work for handwritten notes).

I also use it for all incoming paper and non-electronic forms.
Marcin Rybacki said…
It would be great if there was a software which would not only allow to archive hand-written notes, but also recognized the words and indexed them. If this soft would be free it would be superb as well :)

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