05 January 2010

Organization Pt. 2

A bit more today on organization. Thought I would share a few tips with you on how I organize some of my genealogy.

***Handle each piece of paper ONCE. Either enter it into your software in notes or as a fact. Keeping it in a pile on your desk or floor doesn’t work. You can’t see it. Enter it, file it or pitch it. Don’t give in & put it back in the pile.
***I have direct line surname files. EVERYTHING is done based on my pedigree chart. If its not on the pedigree chart it doesn’t get a file. I went from six filing cabinets down to 2 laterals. I keep vital record PAPER copies ONLY on Direct line. Everything else is scanned & stored on the hard drive. Paper copies go in the recycling bin.
*** Find a way to organize your files and use it. Make sure it works for you. My system may look good but it might not be something you want to invest the time in. If it won’t work for you, you won’t use it.
***Don’t be afraid to use the to-do list in your genealogy software. Paper lists get lost in the shuffle.
***Invest in a piece of genealogy software that works for you. Most good software will let you download a trial. Find one that works for you & use it. Use the note fields to record the information on the papers in your piles. If you can not prove that “john Doe” is the son of “Joe Doe” then put your theory along with the supporting evidence in your notes, add a to do item and pitch the paper.
***Use your scanner to scan those documents and papers, link the images to the parties in your software. I have entire estate files & military pension files scanned into my computer. One military pension file is 146 pages and its all scanned and linked. When I work & I want to review the documents they are at my fingertips. I KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.

I posted this to a list and a person responded that she liked her paper, it worked for her ancestors & it will work for her. Only difference I see is her ancestors didn't know about acid free or ligin free so they had no choice. Yes, she may have gotten lucky that her ancestors newspaper clippings survived but many didn't. Why take the chance??

Do you have any organizational tips you could share? I'd love to hear how others organize their materials. I do read all comments on this blog. Thank you for taking the time to leave them!

Happy Researching!


No comments: