Years ago, I was in the habit of spending Saturday afternoons at the Urbana Free Library, poring over the genealogy books in the Archives.

The Archives’ primary focus is Champaign County, which doesn’t help me very much: no ancestors of mine ever lived here. But their secondary focus is the rest of Illinois, and they have quite a selection of material from White County.

My note-taking started out very low-tech, with pencil & paper. Alas, my handwriting was very small, ten years ago, and my eyesight was much better. These days, my stack of scribbled notes is getting hard to read. I keep them on my desk, but don’t look at them much any more.

Later, I went electronic, pecking away at the iPaq (first) and the Axim X30 (later), each with its own folding keyboard. I created a few dozen Pocket Word documents that way, of book excerpts and random notes. But when the iPaq and X30 went away, Pocket Word went away too, and I was left with a bunch of files I couldn’t read. (Why, no, desktop Word couldn’t read Pocket Word files. Way to go, ‘softies.) Converting them to plain text was an adventure.

I had the notion this evening to get all of this (in consistent electronic form and) neatly organized, indexed and searchable. This is by no means a one-evening project, especially with all the handwritten stuff to be processed. But it’ll keep me busy, and away from Minecraft; and there may be significant information buried among the scribbles.

I’ll likely use Evernote for this, if I can figure out how their OS X app works these days. They keep redesigning the silly thing….