We love writing in our leather journals, but we know that ink fades, paper degrades, and the pages can get ripped. It’s liberating to hand write the original, but it’s also perfectly okay to digitally preserve and index the pages once you’ve filled them up. Here, we’re going to talk about ways that you can preserve your journal.
Use a Word Processor
If you’re more of a writer than an artist and you’ve got a little bit of time, writing out what’s on the pages into your word processor might be just the trick for preserving your deepest thoughts. While you’re transcribing your journal, you can relive the moments, use flashes of genius in your personal life, and inspire yourself in the process. You can use the commenting feature built into most word processing software packages to annotate those old sections. Here’s how to do it in Office 365.
Make a Physical Copy of your Journal
Making a copy of your journal means going to the copy shop and laying each individual spread of pages on the glass and pressing the start button. You’ll get a single copy of it, and the quality will be restrained to how savvy you are with a copier. Depending on your copier and your journal, you may have trouble getting a clear image of any writing near the spine of the book because it won’t lay flat.
A physical copy of your journal is great if you want to have one for consumption and one in the archive, but it’s lousy if you want to preserve your journal and save space at the same time. Fortunately, many digital copiers scan as well as print. And you can even do it with your phone.
Scanning your Leather Journal
Here’s where the options really open up for preserving your journaling. Scanning your journal can get you a much cleaner copy. A scan is a series of images of each page of your journal. Many copiers can do this, but scanning can run into the same problem as photocopying. There is a much better way these days.
If you’re interested in taking pictures of your journal, you can do that with your phone and then put them into Evernote (a really neat note-taking app) or OneNote from Microsoft. This works very well for taking snapshots of your pages and then preserving them. However, you’ll need to rig your phone up to a tripod, light your book well, and have a way to have your phone take photos remotely to get the best quality. A better way is to send your journal off to a book scanning company like Blue Leaf or 1 Dollar Scan.
OneNote and Evernote are also able to convert your notes into searchable text, preserving the meaning of what you’ve written. The OCR (optical character recognition) is not as accurate as it is for printed text, but it can be useful. You can also get OCR scans from the above two services.
Storing your Digital Journal
You can keep your documents in the cloud on Evernote, OneNote, Drop Box even Google Drive. Keeping them in the cloud means you don’t have to worry about losing files. However, you should always keep the original copy and keep a copy on a USB drive near you just in case you ever lose access to the cloud.
The storage capacity of USB drives is phenomenal. You can easily get 128GB of information on a flash drive. With each high-resolution scan taking up (at the most) 1MB of space, that’s a lot of pages and backup for your journal writing. Using a USB drive is also good if you fear for the security of a journal. If you choose to save the scans as PDFs, you have the ability to password-protect each of your entries to keep prying eyes away from private thoughts.
Electronically preserving your documents allows you to keep the valuable content of your journals around for a long time, perhaps far beyond the life of the journal that you’ve chosen.
According to the Dalai Lama: “The only way to achieve immortality is to share your knowledge with others.” Safely copying and digitizing your journals contents for future generations may be the first step towards a brilliant legacy.