"Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?"
– Talking Heads, "Life During Wartime", on the album "Fear of Music", 1979
If you know me well you know that I always carry a pocket notebook and a pen. Have done so for about forty years. Often I have full size notebooks around as well. These things are full of musings and mullings, sketches, shopping lists, scrawls, passwords, and phone numbers. Once a notebook is full, or worn to falling apart, it gets tossed into a box and stashed somewhere, usually in a closet or an attic or a dank basement.
Last year I decided it was time to disinter and digitize these relics, as I have previously done with old photographic negatives. So I bought a travel case and brought them to Sri Lanka with me when I returned here from my last visit to the USA.
Using my trusty point-and-shoot camera and a tripod, as well as a borrowed black shirt of Karen's for a backdrop, I spent days and days snapping high resolution photos of every page of every notebook. I got a crick in my neck from turning the pages. Every shot was quickly backed up to the Cloud.
Later I wrote a program for the Mac that let me annotate each archival image with dates, tags, and comments. This will let me quickly search the archive from a computer. I could do research on myself! Or just enjoy some sweet nostalgia. And maybe start putting together those long awaited stories...