Dealing with Note Pads in a Digital Age


I like note pads, the type you fold over, often referred to as legal pads, because I found a graphed type that fountain pen ink works really well on. I used them extensively for about 4 years, and have enjoyed them, but they started to build up on the shelf and I had to make a decision about how to keep them. Another issue was that the bindings of many were starting to brake. The rubber glue used on them doesn’t last forever.


With a stock of more than 30 pads I set about to scan them using a broken printer and an SD card. 300 bpi is good enough to show my hand writing and I scanned them in black and white because the speed was about 3X faster than using color. Now all of them are scanned into .pdf files.

Luckily I had numbered them, which made the labeling of files a lot easier, and I back everything up in multiple places. The ideas is that digital data is much more accessible than the paper copy, I can print a page if I think it contains an important piece of information.

I still use a note pad, but have gone back to keeping a journal on my Alphasmart Neo. It is the best way for me to get the ideas down, always has been and probably always will.


I think if you want to digitize our notes make sure the scanning resolution and type of paper is right for reading later. If you use a highlighter than you will also have to scan in color which will take longer and make a bigger file size, but it will be saved for the future. Good luck, and keep writing!


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