Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Print Your Blog!

September 28-30, 2012
@Bloggiesta
#Bloggiesta

I've been a journal keeper for a long long time, ever since my dad gave me a blue notebook when I was 12 and said, "Here, write in this!" I've loved writing over the years.... it's waxed and waned in its regularity, but there's always been something.

My first journal, started in 1977 when I was 12.
(Totally giving away my age, but you all already know I'm old, right?)

A little glimpse of the inside, this entry detailing my 13th birthday .

The journaling went through several changes over the years. Of course in the beginning, I just sat with pen in hand and wrote (in high school I wrote weekly about 10 pages or more each entry.) Then in the early 90s I started keeping it on the computer (just using WordPerfect) and printing it off. Then, I thought that was too impersonal, so I started handwriting it again (which I think was a big mistake since I have terrible handwriting and it's hard to read!)

And then I started blogging.

Suddenly, I felt like my journal was online. Strange feeling. I found myself NOT doing my original mainstream "normal" journal anymore. Besides, I liked what I was doing online, it felt more me anyway.... sort of... in a different way. So I figured this was my new method. And then I thought, so if I want to "save" this in a form that will be accessible no matter what happens (think apocalypse,) I need to print it! I need a hard copy! If this is now my journal, for real, I have to have something tangible to show for it.

So I began to copy and paste my blog posts. At first it was pretty ruthless and ugly, I'm not sure why I had such a struggle, but those first posts are nevertheless copied and in a binder no matter their state of beauty!

My second blog post ever
 (on my first blog which was not the book blog)
 was a monthly reading wrap up!
 Slowly, I figured out a system, which is still copying and pasting, and even though it takes a lot of time (not to mention paper and toner) it seems to go smoother. But despite the issues with doing this, I must say, having a hard copy of my thoughts makes me feel so good.... and complete.

Here's a page from November 2006
(still the original blog and not the book blog yet!)
My first Josh gush...I think.
It looks a little prettier than the above page, yes?
Then I wondered if this is something you all do? Are you feeling the need, as I do, to have a printed hard copy version of your blog? Have any of you found a perfect cost effective way to do this? I have since realized that there are several online places to help with blog printing. Here's a list of the most popular:

These sites will print your blog and turn it into a bound book... for a price that ranges from not much to quite a bit! Depending on the number of pages and the quality of the book:

Blurb.com
Blog2Print.com
Lulu.com

On these sites, you plug in the URL of your page and it will spit out a printer friendly version, which you then print yourself:

PrintFriendly.com
PrintWhatYouLike.com

And a more recent printed post,
a Sunday Salon from early last year.

As for me, I think I'll stick with just the copying and pasting using this simple method:

HOW TO PRINT YOUR BLOG

1.Go through your blog, a month at at time.

2. Make a folder for that month in Google docs (or wherever you like to save your documents)

3. Copy the whole post, pictures and all, if you feel it worthy to be saved. (I don't copy every single one, but certainly personal posts, lists, reviews of books I loved, random posts, anything that would show my posterity, or anyone in the future, who I am)

4. Paste them into the folder you've made (in chronological order,) then go through them all and fix the pictures, or delete them if they are not good, or resize them, etc. and make sure the headings and dates are bold and nice-ish looking. (I also change everything to a small point size, usually about 10... sometimes I change the font, sometimes the colors, whatever my mood and time allows.)

5. Print them! (For me, each month usually ends up being about 20 pages or so, that's a post a day though as I said I don't print them all.)

6. Then three hole punch them and put them in a big binder. (I can fit about two years worth in a big 2 inch binder from Costco.)

All my journals and blog binders.
Big ones on the left are the blog binders.
Little binders in the middle are when I was journaling on the computer.
Random ones on the right are my first handwritten notebooks.
I put my finished printed blogs in 2 inch binders from Costco.

Currently, I'm a year behind in printing! So as part of my Bloggiesta list I hope to catch up on this!

For your challenge,  I'm encouraging you to print at least a month's worth of your blog! Use one of the sites above, try my way, or figure out your own method. Comment here with how it went.

If you have other suggestions for printing blogs and/or/if you are much more experienced than I am, please, let us know in comments what works for you. I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

Participant Prize: From those participating through comments, I'll choose a random winner using random.org to receive a book (paperback) of their choice from Amazon. I'll do the picking a few days after Bloggiesta is over, say Friday, October 5.

Now go buy some toner, paper and binders, then have fun printing!!

(If you are stumbling on this post and have no idea what a Bloggiesta mini challenge is, click here to learn more and join us! We officially start on Friday, September 28.)


36 comments:

  1. I'd so love to do this!! I print online scrapbooks of photos pretty regularly though and that will definitely be my mode of choice. I would never keep up with my own printed versions :( Checking out your links! Thanks!

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    1. P: Let us know what site you find that's perfect for you. It may be perfect for someone else too!

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  2. I'm not bloggiesta-ing this weekend, but I love this! I totally have to start doing this... although maybe only at work, where I can print it for free, even if it's only in black and white.

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    1. Sarah: Awesome! I hope you can find time and get it done... yes... even if only black and white.

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  3. I've thought about doing this, but didn't know logistically how to do it. This is such a great idea! A great addition to the Bloggiesta weekend. :)

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    1. Teacher: I hope my steps make sense to you and you can figure it out and do it. :)

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  4. I've been using Blurb for the past 5 years of my personal blog! It is fantastic and the quality is great! It is a bit pricey to order your book, but I think it is worth it!! I would like to backup my review blog and/or get a hard copy as well, but I'm not sure how I'll go about doing it.

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    1. Kami: Let us know if you look into doing Blurb for this. I'd love to know if you make it work.

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  5. I think this is a fantastic idea and something that I have been wanting to do for years. I have checked out Blurb but wasn't certain about the cost - not certain i wanted to spend that much. How much do you estimate it costs you to print out your blog per month? You copy and past into a google doc...it accepts the photos? Is it easy to rearrange without terribly messing up the layout? Your way of doing it seems more feasible for me not only in the saving of my blog, but the simplicity of it and not feeling like I am giving away my first born child to just have a hardcopy. do you copy and paste from your published post?

    Anyway - thanks for putting this back on my radar. i am not official participating in bloggiesta but I am going to do this challenge.

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    1. Ibeeeg: Yes, if you have lots of pages, which our blogs do, Blurb will cost a bit. I have no idea how much I spend doing it on my own.. the biggest is if you end up using a lot of toner (which I have no way of measuring since it's being used to print stuff non-stop around here.) But per month, I'm sure it's just a few dollars. Yes, the google doc accepts the photos and I can play with it a bit to make them smaller, and etc. Sometimes that part does give me grief, but for the most part, it's okay. And yes, I do copy my published post.

      Good luck!

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  6. Oh - instead of leaving your blog in a 3 ring binder, you could have it bound together at a Kinkos or Office Max for very little. Also, I am anal, but I would place my pages in a page protector instead of three-hole punching the actual pages ---it saves wear and tear on the paper. ;)

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    1. Ibeeeg: I would love to do the plastic sleeves, but have decided against it for... yes cost reasons... and it would take up tons more room and things like that (and take more time.) But I agree, it would be nice. I may ponder the binding at Kinkos some day though. Hmmmm.....however, sometimes I still stick a handwritten journal page in there, so then it's nice to have the three ring binder.

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  7. I know if you're on Blogger (maybe wordpress, I'm not sure) you can print a blog through blurb.com - just import and print in a hardbound form! I've thought of doing that with my blog, but never got around to doing it...

    Your option is definitely cheaper though! I'll have to think on this...

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. Jac: Let us know what you decide! A nice hardbound book from Blurb would be so cool!

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  8. I LOVE this idea. I'm also a journal keeper but it's never occured to me to print out my blog. FANTASTIC! I'm in. Mini Challange accepted!

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    1. Tammy: YES! This is what I like to hear! Good luck!

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  9. I too keep a journal.... I don't think I will actually print my blog out... but I do need to back it up more often. I can't image how much information and hours of posting on my blog I would lose if my blog were to just disappear! Just thinking about it makes me shutter!!

    Angie

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  10. I, too, keep a personal journal. I do copy and past my book thoughts into a file I keep on the computer and usually at the end of the year I print it out. I never thought about printing the blog out. I do need to be faithful about backing it up.

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    1. Nise: Printing your thoughts out even is nice. I would love to look over things like that in years to come.

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  11. I've saved the links to My Pocket (also learned from Bloggiesta :D) and I'm definitely going to take a look at it! It should be fun to have my blog on paper!

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    1. Mel: That Pocket thing really is pretty cool, huh?

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  12. I've thought about doing this, but the cost of toner and paper just kills me! I really only have my book reviews on my blog, not a lot of personal stuff, but if I had a personal blog or recipe blog or something, I'm sure I'd want to print things off.

    I do back up my blog every month!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Kristilyn: Just print off the personal stuff then... little by little and the paper and ink.... you won't even notice.

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  13. You know I didn't even think about printing my blog until I finished reading a Zombie book last night. For the organizing mini challenge I am planning to print my reviews and keep them in a binder with my schedules. Thank you for sharing the sites and tips! Now I just need a working printer.

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    1. Ang: Yes! Sounds like a great plan!

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  14. I just printed my blog! It's fun to see the work on paper!

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  15. Now I have to make a trip to Walmart for ink tomorrow because I must try this! I'll let you know how it goes!!

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    1. Reading Angel: Sweet. I hope you found some not too expensive ink!

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  16. I would love to do this but it's just so much paper and ink! I don't think my parents would approve of this, lol. It's a great idea though!

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    1. Kaili: Just do a little at a time! Little by little...

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  17. It never occurred to me to do this and I'm not probably going to do it just now but I've put this into Pocket and will definitely be looking at doing it at some point. Great idea!

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    1. Lisa: Yes, do look into it for later. I think you'll be glad you did.

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  18. This is an awesome idea. I have started copying and pasting into Google Docs and will start printing as soon as I get a paycheck and buy ink. I am obsessive about keeping my thoughts and that's why I started blogging. This will be much easier with my personal blog than my book blog though, for sure. A question, though. Do you print comments also?

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    1. Lisa P: I don't print comments, though I think that would be fun. I just haven't taken the time to figure it out. It might work if you use one of those methods I list above where you plug in your URL and it gives you a printable version.. comments included. Maybe?

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