Since I started logging electronically in the early 2000s, it certainly has been a made ham logging much more versatile and is considered a required tool for most hams today. There is so much you can do, with LoTW, QRZ.com, HRDLog, Clublog, etc. for tracking awards, confirming QSOs, and contest logging.
Since I got started a bit late with electronic logging, I actually went back and wanted to log past contacts that were done on paper. When I initially started with this idea, I only went back to when I received my current callsign, K2AS, in 1997. So I only needed to go back maybe 10 years or so, and a big chunk of that time I had moved QTHs and was off the air for a while.
I couldn’t see an automated process working, as my handwriting was not great and I have trouble figuring out callsigns I wrote down in my log, much less expecting an OCR to be able to read it.
Initially I tried to utilize the current electronic logbook I use, Ham Radio Deluxe, but it proved to cumbersome for the task of transferring paper logs to PC. I tried a few other ones as well, but they have too many features and are designed for real-time logging.
The tool that I finally came across which makes the manual transfer of written logs to PC is called Fast Log Entry by DF3CB.com. It is a simple program that saves files in plain text format, and also will export to ADIF format. It has a simple method of log entry that includes a number of simple shortcuts to make it as easy as possible.
There may be other methods out there I’m unaware of, but from my searching, this one worked best for me.
Luckily, the number of QSOs I needed to enter were probably in the neighborhood of 1000, so if you have thousands to enter, I hope you have a lot of time. I did it in chunks, doing 1997-2008 or so in one chunk, then went back a coupe years later and over a couple of days did from my novice days in 1971 up until 1997.
I’m guess very few if any of these contacts will be confirmed on LoTW, but it will be nice to have all of my QSOs logged electronically. I have them in my HRD logbook now, and QRZ.com logbook as well.
Maybe one day one of these old QSOs will get matched up with the other end and I’ll get an email from a contact from back in 1971.