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paperless Scanning My Life

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Thanks for the link. With the recent fires in Colorado, the story has a lot of merit. Especially the frantic decisions to:

"Quick,
get the 32 boxes of photographs and the 39 photo albums from my bedroom bookcases. Then grab the four cardboard boxes of family papers that are down in storage. Please—very important—take all the framed photographs off the walls."

"Also, please grab my mother's 40 books on phonetics and math in the living-room cabinets and my grandmother and great-grandmother's writing on personality type, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Those are on my bedroom bookshelves."

"Don't forget the six notebooks with my Wall Street Journal articles from 1980 to 1996, or the box with more recent stories under the old pew."

I think I am a bit safer now by using online back up service like Carbonite, photos stored on Flickr, and documents (memories) stored in Evernote..

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I feel much like the author of the article. I have become a digital hoarder. :rolleyes: The ironic thing is that I tend to look at old photos & documents more often, since it's easier to retrieve the digital versions. (I don't have to dig out a box from the bottom of a closet.) Also, as the author noted, it's easy to get distracted as you uncover things you'd either forgotten you had or didn't know you had because you "inherited" them from your parents. This includes getting those old home movies transferred too. In the words of Forrest Gump, "You never know what you're gonna get." But I'm surprised that the author got an angry response from one friend/family member. I only share a (relatively) small portion of what I digitize. After all, it is my life, eh? But I do share many things that I think others may be interested in. The responses I get normally range from indifference ("That's nice - thanks.") (usually the older people) to appreciation. And a lot of what I share will hopefully be helpful/informative for future generations of our family. OTOH, the future generations may be inundated by so much in the form of family photos, videos, audio recordings, scans of letters, etc that they may be sick of it all. :P

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Hi. My name is Grumpy, and I am an e-hoarder.

So, I definitely sympathized with the plight of those poor people having to flee their homes. But, thanks to Evernote, my paper stuff is the least of my worries. In fact, it might save me from having to scan in a few of those things I think I might need someday, but know that I won't.

Sending old pictures/letters/other stuff to people? I don't know about that. I might mention that I came across something, and ask if they would be interested in seeing it, but beyond that, I wouldn't be sending unsolicited messages dredging up people's past, especially if it involved divorces and the like! Time heals all wounds, right? Except, when a well-meaning relative starts sending you things like this :)

Well, I guess my view of this stuff is probably outdated by now. I learn more about my Facebook friends in a year than I ever knew about my real life friends without Facebook accounts. I suppose that kids growing up in this world will take it as a matter of course that photos from the first time they went skinny-dipping in the lake are now public record complete with tags, tweeted comments, and facial recognition :)

One thing I like about Evernote is that these are my personal memories, and I feel like I have more control over what I share, who has access, and so forth.

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I wouldn't be sending unsolicited messages dredging up people's past, especially if it involved divorces and the like!

Definitely agree with this. The only thing I have sent that I was hesitant about was a letter I found that my late nephew had written to my parents. My nephew died ~25 years ago, so I sent it to one person I thought may appreciate it. I added a note describing what it was & a disclaimer that I wasn't sure if she would appreciate it & apologies if it was something painful. I also added that if she was glad to receive it, that it was ok to forward to others she may think would appreciate it. Not only did she appreciate it, but she forwarded it to a couple of other people who also appreciated it.

On the flip side, about five years ago, I ran across several telegrams that were sent to my late in-laws when my husband's sister was born ~65 years ago. I scanned them for us but included the originals in a gift to her on her 60th birthday. She was very surprised.

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I wouldn't be sending unsolicited messages dredging up people's past, especially if it involved divorces and the like!

Definitely agree with this. The only thing I have sent that I was hesitant about was a letter I found that my late nephew had written to my parents. My nephew died ~25 years ago, so I sent it to one person I thought may appreciate it. I added a note describing what it was & a disclaimer that I wasn't sure if she would appreciate it & apologies if it was something painful. I also added that if she was glad to receive it, that it was ok to forward to others she may think would appreciate it. Not only did she appreciate it, but she forwarded it to a couple of other people who also appreciated it.

Yep. Care and discretion. That's the way to go with this stuff. We're headed into uncharted territory here with our external brains -- with great power comes great responsibility :)

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I find myself agreeing with most of what has been said here about sharing. I was surprised to read of her one friend's angry reaction to being sent letters she had written, but I suspect there are things I'd be embarrassed to read that I wrote in my teens (really bad poetry).

I have some old family photos with my husband's uncle and his first wife. They had a child and he's in some of the photos. But we have no idea how to contact them and only a daughter from his second marriage is available to us. What do we do with those photos? I have no idea. Same thing for the set of dishes my mother-in-law was given by her mother-in-law, the same girl's grandmother with specific directions not to pass them to the granddaughter. Sigh. People are more complicated than digitizing.

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People are more complicated than digitizing.

So true! Digitizing it all is easy compared to relationships, especially with family members. Just finished season 2 of the Borgias. Fortunately, I haven't met anyone from a family quite that dysfunctional myself, but I shudder to think what they would have done with some of the digital resources we have these days! I am sure the pope's Evernote account would be an interesting read. Someone ought to set up an account in his name and make a shared notebook of his diary :)

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It does make you wonder about the fate of our digital archives in the far (and not-so-far) future. Letters from the US Civil War (about 150 years ago) and earlier are considered very valuable to scholars. Letters, business papers, and such from more than a century or two ago are primary sources for historians. Going to the extreme, clay tablets of inventory lists and bills-of-sale from ancient Babylon are treasures. Even the most mundane "paperwork" from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China give us invaluable information about how people lived.

I don't particularly want people looking at my digital archive now...but I should be able to set a statue of limitations, say 100 years after I'm dead, that will release stuff to historians. I'll bet Evernote is thinking in those terms.

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It does make you wonder about the fate of our digital archives in the far (and not-so-far) future. Letters from the US Civil War (about 150 years ago) and earlier are considered very valuable to scholars. Letters, business papers, and such from more than a century or two ago are primary sources for historians. Going to the extreme, clay tablets of inventory lists and bills-of-sale from ancient Babylon are treasures. Even the most mundane "paperwork" from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, or China give us invaluable information about how people lived.

I don't particularly want people looking at my digital archive now...but I should be able to set a statue of limitations, say 100 years after I'm dead, that will release stuff to historians. I'll bet Evernote is thinking in those terms.

Evernote is an exciting product in this regard. In my research I work with documents from the 16th century that reveal precious little about their authors, and I have to tease out details after combing through thousands of these things. If only they would have had Evernote back then! My job would be easier (actual insight into private thoughts) and harder (so many notes and todo lists!).

Evernote calls itself a 100 year company, but you never know, we (me and Evernote) might be around a little longer. Evernote could be my BrainPal and I could be a soldier in the Colonial Defense Forces (that's all I can say for those of you who haven't yet read Scalzi's Old Man's War -- I don't want to give it away). Maybe Evernote will make an appearance in Don's next book :)

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