Tending the Archive

This weekend has been all about de-crapping the office. As I noted last weekend, one of my goals for the year is to reduce the physical contents of the space by about fifty percent. And as I also noted then, much of the bulk around here is basically boxes upon boxes of old notes, drafts, scrawls, and other ephemera related to writing.

Saturday I gathered a bunch of the non-writing stuff and sorted it out between the shredder, the recycle bin, the trash can, or the box of stuff headed for the local charity, and today I dropped off the recyclable and charity-bound stuff. While I was at the office supply store unloading a dragon’s hoard of old toner cartridges (really, what was I thinking keeping them?), I decided to look at scanners.

I saw a lot of sleek, sexy scanning hardware, but alas, most of it was outside my price range…and honestly not the world’s best deal for what I would actually use it for. But I did ask about a hand-held scanner like this one, and based on what the sales dude told me, I decided to give it a try.

In short, I was told that while the quality of the scans wasn’t top-notch, it was good enough for archiving documents, and that the store saw a lot of customers who purchased that particular scanner for use in library and genealogy research. They’d take the little standalone, handheld unit with them on research trips and use it to quickly gather information from books and records for later digestion.

Which—that sounded like it could easily multiclass into an archiving unit for ratty old writing notes, so I bit the bullet and brought one home.

In the couple of hours between returning from the store and eating dinner, I was able to scan about 150 individual documents with the thing, most of them anywhere between 15 and 20 years old and in sore need of scanning and sorting.

I really couldn’t be more pleased with the speed and ease with which I’ve been able to process half a box of junk. Sorting through old papers is sure to go faster now, I’m looking forward to being able to quickly and easily move new notes and scribbles from corkboard to the hard drive as well.

The march of progress continues on Monday, and it’s my goal to have much of the old papers scanned, if not fully organized, by this coming weekend.

With any luck, I might actually find the office closet floor!


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