Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Archival Assistance



Okay, first of all, let’s get this said and out of the way right off the bat. I’m crazy, OCD to the point of insanity, have project-itus to an unmanageable degree. This is all true. I hear you. I agree.

But hear me out, okay?

A couple of things have converged this week that has caused this latest niggling idea I’ve been having to jump right to the forefront of my mind.

1. Brett asked me when it was we went to see Midsummer Night’s Dream last year and it took me a little bit (not ages, but a bit) to track down the info in my journal. (It was November 20, by the way)

2. I lost a journal. Yes. That’s right, I… *sob* I lost a journal! I have ransacked my room trying to find it to no avail. I’m hoping beyond hope that (for some strange reason) I have left it on my desk at work, because otherwise it is in Melbourne and if that’s the case it’s gone.

3. I learned today that LiveScribe pens have an accompanying piece of software that translates the handwriting into text - which is the only (and I do truly mean ONLY) thing which has stopped me from actually buying one every single time I walk past them (and pick them up, and study them, and sigh forlornly that it doesn’t do quite what I want). Anyways, I have now purchased one and it’s on it’s way.

4. While exploring the pen options (I decided on a 4GB Echo, in case you’re interested) and accessories, I found these…

 

journals

…Livescribe compatible journals. *swoon* Can you blame the OCD archive-inclined part of my brain for being very excited about this? Confess, you want one too know. I know you do.

ANYWAY! With all these things coming together at the same time I decided to stop thinking about indexing my journals and actually do something about it.

But then I thought, wouldn’t it be great if I could index and search my blog at the same time?

Oooh what about the lists and logs I keep - like books read through the year and so on (shush, we already covered the nerdery), that would be good to include also.

Oh! And photos! AND TUMBLR! OMG! YES! BEST IDEA EVER!

By now I was in full on organising mode. How great would it be to simply search a particular person and have any and all blog posts, journal entries, photos, appointments and so on all collate and be at my finger tips? That would be amazing. Surely someone has considered this wonderful idea and created a program for this. Everyone would want to use it, after all…

Yeah I came up with nothing. There was a brief crazed moment where I considered creating it myself, and selling to geeks and librarians everywhere (with a syncable ipad app, naturally) before I realised that I have zero programming knowledge at all. I was very sad.

So basically it’s just me and my scanner, but I would greatly appreciate some input. I’m thinking PDFs are the best format - with longevity and searchability in mind. Individual files for days could be made, being merged together into one master file at the end of the year.

I scrapped together a (very) rough mock up of what I was considering so I had somewhere to start from and this is what I came up with:

 

page example 1

(all comments about my not completing my to-do list, will not be well received. I’m looking at you, Courtney)

 

But then I thought… this doesn’t really fix the problem, as images aren’t searchable. Okay, mock up #2.

 

page example 2

That does fix the problem, but I’m not entirely happy with splitting a spread in half. Suggestions to eliminate this would be appreciated. Perhaps very small text boxes down the bottom as I will be able to read off the scan itself? The same problem will occur with photos, but captioning them should do the trick.

I also threw together a blog post example (ignore the squiggles, I’ve only just realised they were there).

page example 3

Anyways. That’s it. My crazy new project that I have no plans to start before Christmas but please, throw any ideas, problems, solutions my way. Thanks!

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