I, too, would rather stay with a paper log.
Then just do it.
What can I say? I am old fashioned and only 51, which by Ham radio standards is young.
I'm 56 but have been a ham since 1967. Most of the hams I encounter haven't been hams that long.
In fact, I figure that only about 1 in 6 of today's US hams have been hams as long as I.
I dunno if that makes me old or young....
However, I am under the same pressure as K8AXW, and all the rest of us. When those we are talking to can quickly tell us every QSO we have had it is uncomfortable, so we feel forced to get a computer logging program. Conformity is very powerful, indeed.
I still use paper logging for everyday use, and feel no such pressure. None at all.
I do use computer logging for some contests (ARRL November SS, for example). It saves time and effort, particularly after the contest.
But I always print out a copy of the log and put it in the binder.
I tried FLE by DF3CB but it's not really much faster than some of the simpler logging programs and it puts states and countries in a comment section. How will anybody track awards with that?
I like the pushpins-in-the-map method.
Ifwere able to write a computer program I would write a VERY simple program because there is demand by people who do not want a program that does everything including answering the telephone and knowing when to make a fresh pot of coffee.
You don't need to write software. Just use a spreadsheet, such as Excel. Customize it as you see fit. If you format it right, you could have it print out on 8-1/2x11 sheets and put them in a binder for paper backup.
As for keeping every QSO on a file card, there is no way I'd ever do that and looking up QSO's with thousand of cards is going to take a lot of time sorting through the cards, plus I don't have space at the operating table to put thousands of cards in alphabetical order.
Hmmm....maybe you need a bigger op table....
How many QSOs do you actually make in a year? How many different callsigns?
The system I described uses one card per callsign, not one card per QSO. If you get ten little cardfile boxes, one per call district, you're all set for thousands of QSOs.
I think I will still maintain a paper log even when I find a PC logger I like but I am not going to pay ARRL $7 for 50 sheets of paper. I'm going to design my own log sheet, bring it to Staples and see how much they want to run off 5000 sheets with a secure way of binding 100 at a time. When I get a price I will post it here.
I've been using the ARRL log sheets for longer than I can remember. They are three-hole-punched 8.5 x 11 and the current price is $4 for 96 sheets. That's about 4 cents a sheet, so there's a baseline for cost.
What I like about using individual sheets and 3 ring binders is that you can mix in whatever you like - contest logs and printouts with dupe and summary sheets, station pictures for historical record, or whatever else you want, all in chronological order.
You can even get 3 ring CD/DVD holders and put computerized log record backups in the same binder.
To each his own. Heck, FCC hasn't required that we keep logs at all for quite a few years. I do it out of habit and to preserve a record. And because it's fun!
I think one of the greatest things about Amateur Radio is that we have so many choices and options. Bands, modes, kinds of QSOs, technologies, and much more.
The only thing we hams are really required to do are to be kind, courteous and in compliance with FCC rules and good amateur practice on the air. Everything else is optional.
For example, as long as my signal is clean and within the band, there's no requirement that I be able to determine my frequency within X Hz. Nor is there a requirement that I use or not use a specific technology. Or have a certain kind of QSO. Etc.
73 de Jim, N2EY