The days of string books are over. If you worked in the newspaper industry years ago, it was commonplace to clip your stories, photos and other work out of the pages and paste them into a notebook to document your work.
Since content creators have increasingly shifted to a digital landscape, archiving methods have evolved too. And, I haven’t kept up.
Do You Digitally Archive Your Content?
Sure, I’ve taken screenshots of important articles and proud moments online, but I don’t have a regular, ongoing archiving system in place to catalog each bit of published content. This misstep was highlighted a few times over the past month when a friend asked me about my (non-existent) archiving system and during the application process for a writing project.
I was unable to retrieve a specific writing sample that had been published years ago because the publisher did a website redesign.
Poof! My content was gone.
Yes, I have back-ups of my copy, but it’s not the same as final edited and formatted pieces wrapped up with a byline, photos and infographics neatly positioned on a company’s website near the online equivalent of a masthead. (Yep, I’m still a newsie at heart.)
I’m Loving This Plugin to Archive Blog Posts
As you might imagine, I’ve been scouring the web for a digital archiving service, app or plugin that does exactly what I want. I’m looking for something free, easy and completed in just a few clicks.
There are dozens of digital archiving services out there that offer automation and customization for a fee, but if you’re on a zero-dollar budget, I suggest trying Full Page Screen Capture, a free Google Chrome browser extension.
Update: As of July 2021, this Google browser extension has been discontinued. Here’s a link to current screen capture options for you to explore.
I‘ve been playing with Full Page Screen Capture this week and so far, it meets 90 percent of my needs. I simply click on the gray camera icon on my browser bar while viewing a webpage I want to capture, and in a few seconds, it’s recorded. I’m able to access the PDF file in the extensions’ storage area, or save it to a folder on my hard drive. The capture is able to accurately record the entire page, even what you see after scrolling down, without creating visual page breaks.
Here’s a portion of the screen capture of an article I wrote for Indy Life. When I converted it into a JPG file in Photoshop, it divided it into two letter-size files. This is page one.
It’d be nice if a future extension update included the original website URL on the document and the resolution could be changed. The default is 96 dpi for an 8.5″ by 11″ page, leaving the text difficult to read comfortably.
Although I know archiving is important, it’s shuffled to the bottom of my to-do list many, many times when prioritizing active writing tasks. To get back on track, I think I’ll add this simple digital archiving step to the days when I update my writing portfolios.
Do you digitally archive your online work? Tell me what program you use and how you make it a fluid part of your content creation (and archiving) process. I’m all ears!
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Note: This post was last updated on July 16, 2021.