Updating – from paper to digital

Slice of Life logoI am lost in notebooks and photographs. I need to begin to clear space in my house – well mainly my office. It has two walls of books, a closet with shelves full of supplies for craft projects and notebook after notebook of notes and school plans, and tubs of photos (school related and home).

What do I do this all of this stuff? I was successful at giving most of my teaching materials to my daughter. Thank goodness she joined the “family business” – another teacher.  She, however, does not need all my personal notes and project materials. I don’t have grandchildren who might enjoy all of the craft stuff that is quickly aging.

The decision I have made is to close the closet door for now – I will deal with that later.  I am now going to tackle the shelf of teacher notes, story ideas and teaching journals.  Those ideas and all my photo’s are going into digital files. (This means the boxes and boxes of family photos as well)

I have yet to decide how best to take on this huge task but am excited to go on the history walk of my teaching career. These notebooks hold everything from day to day planning to book ideas.

I have worried about getting rid of the original notebooks but after cleaning out my Mothers house I realize paper fades, molds, collects bugs and to be honest most of the information in these books no longer matters. I don’t need to know the dates and times of field trips taken in 1998.  Really!!

I am currently looking at storing the important facts and ideas in Evernote since it can handle photos, I can e-mail from it and scan documents into it.  I do wish I had moved to digital journaling a few years back but I am not your digital native (read slow learner here).  Paper and pencil have always felt good in my hands.

Things I have been thinking about:

  • What program do I store my notes in – Word, Evernote, ???
  • Do I just file ideas in a time line? or do I file ideas but content?
  • Can I use tags to help me sort and find ideas later?
  • Are the sketches in my notebook worth scanning and saving?
  • I know that Stacy at Two Writing Teachers wrote about digital notebooks some time last year – will review that for information.   http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/electronic-writers-notebooks/

I have a feeling there were be lots of changes and starts and stops until I figure this thing out.  It will be an interesting journal as I wait for real spring and my garden to appear from under the snow.

If you have ideas or thoughts that might make this process easier I would love to hear from you!!   If you have teacher journals – how are you saving them?, what do you plan to do with them when you retire?, do you have a digital teacher journal process you really like?

Yeah for life long learning, and digital files!

  I will have a clean office some day!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
This entry was posted in journals. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Updating – from paper to digital

  1. Dana Murphy says:

    Wow, that’s quite an ambitious project!! I think Evernote is great, I used it for everything.

    I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy this journey as much as you will the finished product! Best of luck!

  2. bevbaird says:

    I can so sympathize with you. I retired last June and I am still tacking 30+ years of papers, units and books. I tried 2 yard sales in Sept. Some went. Then I gave a lot away. But the papers still take up too much space.
    I have used many of the papers for art – for collage, to work on. I figure that many units I can get again. Hadn’t really planned to scan them. I may have to.
    I have so many photos as well – will have to tackle those as well.
    My kids have already told me I have too much stuff. After clearing out my mom’s place I know I need to be proactive.

  3. I struggle with this as well as I have dozens of notebooks and books in many places of my house. I’ve tried online writing at Penzu and using Evernote, but it’s just not the same. I need to go back and look through my actual writing. And the thought of going through all my notebooks and scanning for the purpose of organizing it all in Evernote really freaks me out.

    For now? I keep writing in notebooks. I think someday, it will be a lost art.

    • I know the feeling of needing the notebook. I am still writing my personal journal in a notebook. My ideas don’t flow as easily on a computer but I am working on it. My children still use notebooks and they are more digital native (ages 24 and 30). So it is not gone yet!

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