Scannable & Evernote are two of the best apps I've found for downsizing and digitizing!
If you have a smart-phone, you need these apps. I do not make a statement like this lightly. I’ve been using Evernote as a journaling program for the past seven years, it’s a digital tool that allows me to make and fill digital notebooks, on any and all of my devices. The app continuously syncs my e-notebooks with each other via the cloud, so the notes all stay current. No worries about having different versions of documents in different places.
My nephew, Stephen recently turned me on to Scannable for Evernote, and he also told me about the book he has been using to master the applications, The Essential Evernote. Ever since, I have enjoyed a productive new relationship with E-Note, and have been using Scannable to digitize this formerly analogue life.
For example, I turned two messy folders of tear-sheet recipes, and three linear feet of cookbooks into a digital notebook called, "Recipes for the Road." This exists on Evernote in all my devices. Truly, I wasn't using all those cookbooks, just a handful of pages from each one, so it made sense to donate the books, and work with my digital files on a tablet when I want to cook something interesting.
I have been snapping scans of my LP record jackets, making a fast digital notebook of the one remaining milk-crate of records that I sill had in vinyl, music that I might want to find again. And this scanning was a quick way to create a list that I could check against the library in my Mac Pro, to see what I’ve already replaced.
But, the 600 cassettes, (down from 700 :-/ ) mix tapes and all, turned out to be another matter.
I pulled them out of the bottom of the closet, and began to scan in the song lists and tape titles. By the time I did a couple hundred of these, I was trembling, hyperventilating, and getting ready to cry. My brother and sister made many of those tapes for me, and I made many tapes for their collections. When one of us bought a new LP, we immediately taped it for the others. I was stopped in my digitizing-and-tossing-out tracks, when I considered the many, many hours--the absolute labor of love that went into the task of neatly writing out the song titles on those impossibly tiny lines! I realized, that while I could replace the whole albums with digital downloads from the Apple Store, or on CD’s, those mix tapes were, in fact, irreplaceable.
I called my brother, Ed, and pulled him away from his work day to talk me down. In that moment, it all caught up to me, I felt like I was throwing my whole life away, and this collection of music, that honestly hadn’t been played in this format for many years, was something I just could not part with. He listened, and was very kind. Then, he told me of a device, that looks like a walk-man cassette player, but with a USB jack, that plugs directly into your computer or tablet or iPod, and converts the old analogue tapes into mp 3’s. It's a good thing too, because, by my totally scientific random sampling, six cassette tapes in their sturdy boxes weigh one pound, x 600 tapes, um, that's 100 pounds of plastic. That's weight, I just can not afford to add to my RV.
InnoLife USB Handy Portable Cassette to MP3 Digital Converter Tape-to-MP3 format for ipod, ipad, Smartphone, Tablet, PC, Mp3 Player Mac or Windows, with Headphones. (Catchy name, that.)
My "handy" converter arrives tomorrow, and I will begin the process of digitizing those old tapes. And, for sure, I'll use Scannable to shoot the song lists. Then, I can put all this plastic out on the street in boxes, where the denizens of my fine city will free-cycle it--perhaps mocking, or maybe appreciating our musical tastes.