My brother said something the other day that truly stuck in my head. I showed him my finished notebooks and wondered aloud how I should best store them. He saw them, looked at me and in a confused voice said:

Why don’t you just scan them?

I have asked myself the same question since then. Why don’t I just scan them? And also, why have not that thought crossed my mind before? Should I do it? And honestly, I do not have any satisfying answers to these questions yet. Because the thing is, I do get why it is a good idea. Scanning documents, notebooks and so on has a lot of benefits according to me. However, there are also some things that hold me back from doing it.

The benefits
The sad part about notebooks, and paper in general, is that they are not invincible. Moisture, light, dust, mold, fire and, most of all, time are some of the numerous things that can (and in some cases inevitably will) harm your notebooks or paper. The ink may smudge. The paper may go brittle and yellow. The binding may fall apart. You get the picture. You can prolong your notebooks lifespan by storing and handling them properly, but they will not last forever. And, when your journals contain important information and memories that you truly treasure, you want them to last. Preferably forever, haha.

By scanning them and creating digital versions of them, you are essentially giving them an extra life. And, as long as the Internet and technology are still working, an almost immortality. A digital copy cannot age in the same way as a psychical can. It cannot be harmed in the same way. Once you put up something on the Internet, it will stay there.

Making digital copies also gives you the opportunity to create endless new copies of them. You can then store them in different ways, and in that way create a lot of different backups in case something goes wrong. You can put them on USB:s, store them in a cloud software, in folders on your computer… There are so, so many possibilities.

So why do I hesitate?
Well, first of all, I do not really, fully trust the Internet. For some reason, a psychical copy feels safer than a digital one for me. Sure, thieves may break into my house and steal my notebooks… But why on earth would they do that? And sure, someone might read my notebooks without my permission, but again, why would they do that? I trust the people in my life more than I trust the Internet. And now you may be thinking, ‘so what? She thinks that hackers will hack her to read her notebooks? That does not make any sense.’ And yeah, you are correct. It does not. I do not think that hackers have any interest in my notebooks, or me in general. But, my point is that it is more likely for something like that to happen on the Internet than in real life. It is more likely that you will get hacked, or get a virus, than that you will get robbed, or something like that. More common, at least. Just look at the recent Yahoo leak, or “The Fappening” (hate that name). My notebooks are incredibly personal, and I do not want anyone but me to read them.

Another reason for me to hesitate is that it is extremely time-consuming to scan your notebooks, and it can also be quite expensive. Sure, you can scan them with your smartphone for free with Google Drive, Evernote or other apps, but the quality will not be as good. Scanning one page at a time is also more time consuming and tedious. So, if you have a lot of pages to go through, and you want them to be in a good quality, a proper scanner might be better, but those are expensive. I do not have either the time or the money. Not right now, anyway.

So, these are my thoughts and opinions on scanning your notebooks. I am still unsure of it. It is a great way to ensure that your notebooks, and the memories and information contained in them, will last essentially forever. But, digital copies are not as safe as psychical ones, and the process of scanning every notebook can be tedious and time-consuming.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my points? Have you thought about scanning your notebooks before? I would love to hear (well, read) your thoughts!

/E

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