Both. I can't see a way around conventional paper notebooks for note-taking in the near future. I could fill boxes with the ones I've already filled with scribbles.
I made a conscious decision to keep my notebooks for just two to three years - even though I was previously advised to keep them for seven. I can't find any reference to the statue of limitations on defamation actions in Australia and New Zealand (where I live), but the general rule in the US is two or three years (it varies from state to state).
I've tried Evernote - and use Microsoft OneNote which is similar in some respects. They're good products, but not really practical tools for dealing with the sheer volume of paper notes I make.
I guess I add an entire reporter's notebook to my collection each week. Scanning that lot in to my PC would take hours and I'm not sure there would be much benefit. As the story at my site says, my handwriting is barely readable on paper, when scanned into the computer it is indecipherable.
I don't usually record interviews - find it inefficient.
Maybe I should learn to love the voice recorder. I think I would if speech recognition was good enough to automatically churn out a transcript.
Funny, I was a press conference in 1981 where a company showed off speech recognition hardware and said "within two years it'll be able to turn a conversation into written notes". Almost 30 years later we're still waiting.
"I'm not sure why most people aren't typing in their notes "
Because it isn't always practical when you're reporting on the run and it can be a distraction.
Last week I was at a, by New Zealand standards, large press conference where a number of journos were sitting on chairs tapping away on laptop computers. They seemed more focused on keeping their computers stable, plugging things in and the process of tapping than on the event itself and asking questions.
Then when the formal stuff was over, those of us with paper notebooks managed to run up and grab individuals for quotes while the laptop users were still struggling with their gear. You can't chase someone down a corridor with laptop cables trailing everywhere.
At another recent event, a journo in front of me spent a large part of the press conference scanning Gmail and other web pages - clearly incoming emails from her office were more important than the story.
Let's not lose the discussion—whatever works for each person is cool, whether that's a laptop or an Etch-a-Sketch.
I think (?) what Steve was saying was Why don't you start typing out your notes when you have free time?, though I think you said something earlier about having a prohibitively large amount of notes that would have to be transcribed.
The benefit of Evernote is that a search crawls text in notes, not just titles of notes, which makes referencing way more efficient than if you were to, say, dig through a "box full of old reporter's notebooks."
Transcription is out partly because of the amount of work concerned, but also transcribed notes carry less legal weight in defamation cases. At least, that was true in the past. Have things changed in recent years?
I go back 30-odd years and have worked in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I know years ago original notebooks carried far more weight than transcribed notes - but all my journalism law books (I have versions for each country) are more like collectors items than records of current practice.
Which is a good reminder and to go out and find a more up-to-date edition and then read it.