What do I do with the small scraps of paper, hastily scribbled ideas and the sticky notes plastered everywhere!

Scanner - Photo courtsey of sri_grafix at stock.xchng.com

Scanner – Photo courtesy of sri_grafix at stock.xchng.com

After writing yesterday’s blog post on digitizing my genealogy records I started to mentally plan the process. It wasn’t long before I realized I had left out a component.

If you take a quick peek at yesterday’s post you’ll see I’m taking a pledge to reduce paperwork but my plan only addresses actual documents as they relate to myself and my ancestors. If I’m to attempt a paperless desk (attempt being the key word here!) I need to eliminate the small scraps of papers on my desk with hastily scribbled notes and research ideas. Also the sticky notes plastered everywhere!

What do I do? I remembered a blog post some time ago by Marian over at Marian’s Roots and Rambles. I searched through her many excellent articles to find the one I remembered. Marian cites in her post: Taming all that Information! – Part 1

“The capturing of data for me can take these various forms but the filing of data remains consistent. I’m not sure if I discussed this in the webinar or not.  I am not a paper person so I really don’t keep paper files (I will lose them!).
All of my information whether handwritten transcriptions, photographs or scans gets put into a project specific directory in my computer with a long descriptive filename. The longer I have been researching the longer my file names have become! I try to put all the basic citation information (file number, document type, town, county, date) in the filename in an abbreviated way so I can easily search my files without having to open documents.”

So Marian scans her handwritten transcriptions and keeps them in a computer file. She goes on to say:

“Ok, I know some of you are thinking, how does she get those handwritten transcriptions into the computer?!!  Most of the time, unless there is a very good reason, I will scan my original notes and capture them as a pdf or jpg.  That way I can save time by not retyping them and I don’t have to worry about introducing further errors.”

That includes her original notes as well. So there’s my answer to all those many scraps of paper and sticky notes. I can use my Flip Pal, my regular flat-bed scanner or my smart phone to scan handwritten notes and other tid bits and upload them to the appropriate individual folder. I may add a To-Do file to each individual’s folder where I can capture these odds and ends. Eliminating only the paper not the good idea, website or research tip.

Yep that takes care of the small scraps of papers on my desk with hastily scribbled notes and research ideas. Even the sticky notes plastered everywhere. I think this will work. Consistency is the key.

Thanks Marian! I appreciate your help!

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8 thoughts on “What do I do with the small scraps of paper, hastily scribbled ideas and the sticky notes plastered everywhere!

  1. This suggestion is in the “why didn’t I think of that before” category. I’m always typing up my notes (which takes time) or filling notebooks full. But I could just scan what I want to save! Hm…must remember to write smaller and neater. ; }

    • I’m setting up a scanner right next to my desk. Then it’s within easy reach and hopefully I won’t fall behind in keeping everything scanned and up to date. Good luck to us as we go digital! :)

    • Steve – thank you for reading my blog and your comment! You’ve got a point here and I must delve into it further. I do have Evernote but have not gotten in the habit of using it. I’ve never heard of askSam but do plan to investigate further. I have some blog reading to do on your site! Thanks so much for stopping by and the tips!

      • I use askSam more than Evernot, though it does require quite a bit of retyping, But I can see that Evernote would appeal more to people who don’t like retyping. And I keep thinking of new uses for it — like those old photo albums, where you can scan in the picture, and also the written stuff on the back, like the names of the people. And then you can write notes on the people who appear in the picture too.

  2. If you have a smartphone, simply take a picture of your note/s with an app like CamScanner or PDFscan then share to Evernote. Evernote can search text within images

    • Carmel – Thanks for reading this post and commenting. I appreciate it! I do use my smartphone to take pics at the courthouse or library but still having trouble getting into the Evernote habit. It’s something I must do! I definitely see the benefit! Thanks again for commenting. You’ve renewed my resolve to use Evernote consistently.

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