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This topic contains 23 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  jab 9 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #158311

    badkitti
    Member

    Gah. I keep looking at mine. I spent hours writing notes (otherwise known as copying notes in lectures and promptly ignoring them despite impending exams) and I have at least 20 folders of stuff (I daren’t count).

    This appears to be my stumbling block. I can’t quite convince myself I don’t need them. The information is probably available on the internet or I could buy a book.

    Maybe next time I move……

  • #161805

    bandicoot
    Member

    Old University Notes

    do you need them for your work?
    do you need them for anything else?
    did you pass the exams already? are you done with that study?

  • #161807

    MellieTX
    Member

    Old University Notes

    Recycle them- if you have to question it, you don’t need ’em.

  • #161809

    Sky
    Member

    Old University Notes

    Set yourself free….let them go!

  • #161813

    toberead
    Member

    Old University Notes

    If you have access to a scanner that will load up multiple sheets at once, you could scan them in. It’s very quick and you’d have them all just in case. You probably won’t need them, but you never know – I work in science and I have sometimes wished I’d kept my notes. I recently changed jobs, and I wish I had my old analytical chemistry notes, which were very extensive and much better organized than most textbooks on the subject.

  • #161815

    nellieb
    Member

    Old University Notes

    How old are these notes?

    If they are recent (within the last few years) and relevant to what you do, keep them. Or sort and keep the ones that pertain to your job and toss the rest.

    If they are not recent, scan the ones you might need and recycle the remainder.

    Let us know what you end up doing!

  • #161826

    badkitti
    Member

    Old University Notes

    I teach science so they could be relevant to my work, but at a higher level.

    I can’t face scanning them in – I’d be there for weeks

    They are badly organised.

    I finished that degree in 2002.

    They should go in the recyc shouldn’t they.

    Right, decision made!

    Thanks guys

  • #161860

    Anonymous

    Old University Notes

    I agree with your decision, badkitti,
    I’ve been teaching science for 22 years now and the notes I took for college courses have proved to be useless. Textbooks, slightly more helpful but the information is available on the Internet in updated and in interesting formats.

    Really, the science curriculum materials at grade level are so stuffed with content that we need to declutter them as well.

    More than once I have had a major purging of materials, or scanned and purged them. Those saved scans NEVER get accessed. Save youself the time!

  • #161874

    bandicoot
    Member

    Old University Notes

    congrats on your decision!
    just reading about is giving me the courage to go through stuff a bit more ruthlessly.

  • #161892

    Anonymous

    Old University Notes

    Even scanning the materials begins the process of deciding what to keep. It takes time to scan and you start making decisions on what is even “scan-worthy”.

  • #161903

    repete
    Member

    Old University Notes

    @badkitti If you can get the information somewhere else and don’t really need the notes, recycling is great.

    My husband used my notes to study for his qualifying exam and continues to use them occasionally to teach his classes which is kind of embarrassing since I wasn’t the greatest note taker, so I really wish I had recycled them, too!

  • #161905

    lhagan
    Participant

    Old University Notes

    I actually just ended up dealing with this myself. I had boxes of notes and sketches (I’m an industrial designer) cluttering up my basement for the last 6 years that I just had to do something about. Unlike the original poster’s, they were very well organized, for the most part at least.

    I was able pare the original six boxes down to less than two using simple criteria such as: (1) is it remotely useful information, (2) is it something that can’t easily be found on the internet or in a book I have, (3) is the information easily accessible — for example, homework sets, labs, and exams usually don’t meet this requirement. I kept most of my sketches.

    I still didn’t want to keep the two boxes, though. In addition to taking up space, they can’t be searched and I have to go down to the basement to find anything in them. Scanning is the perfect solution, but unless you have a commercial-quality, high-speed scanner, it’s really not worth the time and trouble to do it yourself. So I sent my boxes in to Pixily using their bulk scanning service. They pay for shipping (both ways) and secure shredding if you want. Their rate isn’t that cheap, but they did a very nice job and returned high-quality, searchable OCR’d PDFs of everything, properly grouped and labeled based on the file folders I sent in.

    In all, it cost a few hundred bucks, which I’m sure many of you are thinking is just plain silly. If so, you should dump your notes in the recycle bin right now (if you still have them). The way I see it, I will refer back to some of this information, and paying to have it scanned actually made the information more accessible, thus it’s more likely that I’ll actually use it. I could have kept saying that I would do it myself, but the reality is that I wouldn’t have taken the time and ultimately I’m glad I didn’t waste my time scanning thousands of pages of old notes anyway. My 4-year college education cost a whole lot more than a few hundred dollars, so this was a pretty tiny investment to preserve some of that valuable information.

  • #161970

    Aslaug
    Member

    Old University Notes

    I have notes from 4 different curricula of university – ranging from 1993 to 2006 – I saved a lot of my notes from various degree programs. I don’t think I’m lying when I say that I have NEVER accessed any of these notes since completing each degree (I might have accessed notes from chemistry I when taking chemistry II, etc, but that’s about it). Like some others here I’ve been hanging on to them because…maybe I’ll use them. I think it’s time to throw them out now.

    A related question: Should I still keep my late husband’s university notes to pass on to our 7 y/o son or just chuck them too (so he won’t be burdened by note clutter later)?

  • #161971

    badkitti
    Member

    Old University Notes

    Aslaug – is there a seminal essay or dissertation that your late husband wrote – or a page with characteristic doodles etc that you could save to represent university for your son?

    Mine are also from 4 different curricular – I kept some of the thesis and masters’ stuff so about two folders once pared down.

    I should probably charity shop some of my textbooks as well, but that would be a stap too far!

  • #161972

    Aslaug
    Member

    Old University Notes

    Yeah, I think I have both his PhD dissertation and MSc thesis. Of course, those aren’t in his handwriting. There is a set of flash cards that he wrote all kinds of organic chem reactions on and alphabetized (the man was obsessively organized 😉 ) that I decided to keep.
    Do y’all think I’m not such a terrible person if I chuck the rest?

  • #162013

    bandicoot
    Member

    Old University Notes

    i think it will be fine if you chuck the rest.
    really, i do.
    your son will more than likely wind up in a different field altogether.
    anyway….note taking is part of learning.
    if someone just handed us the notes then none of us would do any work!

  • #162030

    HappyDogs
    Member

    Old University Notes

    I chucked my notes about 10 years ago. I have never once thought about them, until I saw this thread. So there’s my .02

  • #162062

    Mom25dogs
    Participant

    Old University Notes

    I threw mine away but it was a struggle because it represented so much work. I haven’t worked in a dozen years and, yet, my work notes I still have. I kept a spiral notebook on my desk and made notes on everything I did, day by day. It covered my butt many times when people “forgot” something that I did and tried to blame me. Anyhoo, I still can’t get rid of them. I did cull them out and kept a few instead of all of them. I do remember my grandfather was a carpenter and he kept a little spiral notebook in his shirt pocket where he kept notes on hours, contract labor hours, supplies for a job and other things. My Dad still does it just like his father did. One day, I was going through a box of Papa’s stuff and came across a couple of those little notebooks and saw how much he sold a cow for, how much hay he put in one year, how many hours spent in adding a bedroom onto someone’s house and how they only got about $1.00 per hour and how much it cost to finish that project. It was a thrill to see all of this. So if you have room, keeping a couple of representative notebooks wouldn’t be a bad idea for posterity’s sake.

  • #162096

    Malcolm
    Member

    Old University Notes

    Yes, the notes represent a lot of work. But they only REPRESENT the work, they are not it. I finally threw out my notes from Uni in 1995. This will make you laugh – I had finished the degree in 1966!!!! Now there are just the notes from another degree finished a mere 10 years ago… I know it must be done, but it is hard.

  • #162232

    jab
    Member

    Old University Notes

    As a beginning university prof, I use my old notes constantly. Even if the information in them isn’t relevant (which it often is), looking through my notes from undergrad classes lets me see how the prof organized his or her semester. Based on my memory of whether the class was awesome, terrible, or just so-so, I can make decisions about organizing my own curriculum relative to what they did.

    What I did do, though was get a Canon imageclass mf4370dn printer/copier/scanner and scan all my notes to .pdf files. You can scan from the document feeder, so a whole semester worth of notes shoots by in about 2 minutes and then the physical copies are ready to recycle.

    @Aslaug – At the risk of bringing down the wrath of declutterers everywhere, personally, unless you’re really hard up for space, I’d say keep the notes and let your son decide what to do with them. Sure they’re “only notes,” but the way they’re organized may give clues to the way your husband’s mind worked on fresh information in the way that a prepared and revised document doesn’t.

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