Posts Tagged ‘File folder’

USS Missouri (Ship Desk)
Photo Credit: Kelly Vial via
Copyright © 2011, Kelly Vial

As a genealogist and family history researcher, you would think I’d be a little more organized! I am overwhelmed with emails of new information and document attachments! Now, what is the best way for me to sort through these? I think I need another filing cabinet! A filing cabinet just for my genealogy research! When I started my research I didn’t really need but just a little space in the back of my filing cabinet. Since I really didn’t have much as far as documents, except for the packets of information that I received from a family member oh so many years ago! Now it looks like my research is going to have to take up residence in another location ūüôā

My handy, dandy printer just decided that it needs new ink cartridges! So what’s a girl to do with her digital documents when she can’t print them out right away? No CD’s either! What has my office world come to? Looks like I’m running out of everything, doesn’t it? I guess I need to make a trip to Costco and Office Max!

So I guess since I’m out of ink and I have no CD/DVD’s to make a genealogy back up disc, that I will have to resort to Evernote and then export all my documents into my Family Tree Maker 2012 software. There is so much that needs to be done! Did I mention how much I hate clutter? I can’t stand it when my computer files are all out of whack and not in their proper folders! Yes I did do that! It’s all my fault, just being lazy I guess!


Re-stock my office supplies (make a list)

Organize my hierarchy mess of file folders on my laptop

Scan more photos (Oh so tedious; I think I have over 2000!)

Organize my file folders in my real world office (which happens to be my bedroom currently, in this tiny apartment)

Organize my file folders in my email account (Ugh..that should be tons of fun!)

Create a filing system that works wonders! (Is there a program out there for that?)

When I said organization is key in another blog post, I really meant it! It would have saved me so much time if I had accomplished everything like I was telling you how to be more organized! Ha! You remember that saying your mom may have told you at least once in your life? “Do as I say and not as I do!”¬†That’s¬†the way I at this moment! Here I am ¬†writing about organization tips and not even doing it myself! All I can say is I’ll try to do better and not be such a sloppy genealogist ūüôā

file cabinets

file cabinets (Photo credit: redjar)

When I started researching my family’s genealogy more than 10 years ago, I never thought I would have all this documentation to sort through and organize. I have kept everything and I do mean¬†everything! I really need to continue organizing, if truth be told. Granted, my filing cabinet is more organized than my photos are. When I moved from the mainland to Hawaii, I had so much stuff to pack and ship. To save space, I ended up having to put all those photos into boxes and having to take those photos out of old albums. ¬†My photos were in storage for about a year and a half and I have just now begun to sort through all those photographs! Right now I am in the process of organizing and scanning them all into the ShoeBox app I installed on my iPhone. So far, I have created several different “shoe box albums”; this is definitely a work in progress! The bane of my existence is clutter!

Digital Files~

When documents are found or sent to me, I scan them so that I have a digital copy along with a hard copy. Since photos are already being digitized and uploaded to two different locations, I know they won’t be lost to me if something were to ever happen. My photographs are very important to me along with the important papers I have collected over time on my family. Since being hard at work creating digital copies of all my files, Hawaii has 3 different storms coming that are out in Pacific waters. One being a hurricane and another a tropical storm, so it’s crucial that I get these documents and photos organized and into digital format. Just in case! On my laptop, I have created an Ancestry folder, with sub folders included as to what sort of document, who the document belongs to and so on. I found that it is easiest for me to group the documents and images by creating file folder names for couples that I am researching. For example, I have a folder created for my father and paternal grandparents where I include everything that I have on them and put them in their respective folders. So much easier!

Saving emails related to my research is another task that I have accomplished. Not only do I keep a folder inside my email client, but I also have a hard copy of all emails sent to and from me from other family and researchers alike. I probably don’t have to do this but it’s OCD thing with me to save any correspondence that I have sent or received.

Some may want to keep everything research¬†related¬†on their laptop but it’s also a good idea to have a hard copy just in case your laptop crashes or your motherboard goes out. If that happens, consider your work lost forever!

File Folders~

Creating file folders according to surname is an ideal way to keep you organized too. You can buy a filing cabinet, file folders, hanging file folders and labels to tab each folder with the surnames you may be investigating. This is what I have done. It keeps everything in it’s proper place and it’s much easier to find if you ever have the need to refer back to someone in particular. I have folders on Cornett and Sutherland family members because that is who I am researching currently, but I also have Email correspondence folders, folders labeled with snail mail that were received by my family, family letters and documents. Then I also have created folders based on researchers too. When I was researching my Sutherland family from Scotland, I kept the documentation and letters, research packets, etc. So that’s one thumbs up for me! At least my file folders are somewhat organized and in their proper location. The only thing I think I would like to change is adding colored coded labels to help me find things better. Maybe label them all by surname and location.

When you have all your genealogy clutter organized, you will have an awesome filing system that is well organized and systematic.

A Word (Or More) To The Wise:

Keep your files and all the hard work you have done thus far up to date. If you are all finished with the tenuous task of getting every document, letter, email or whatever your document is in an organized state, please don’t ruin all that hard work by tossing a newly found document or a BMD record into just any file for safekeeping! You are already organized so why would you mess up your files and have to repeat the process all over again? Keep it straight; you will have less headaches trying to find what you are searching for. Who wants to spend time trying to locate one document that you thought you placed in the correct folder when all along it’s location is unknown and not in the place it should be. I definitely don’t want to search each individual folder for just one particular document!


Rizinus (Photo credit: flöschen)

Today, I registered for a free mini-course that was offered by Family History Quick Start. I want to share a little about this course and my experience with the course itself. This post will be the beginning of a series of posts in relation to the course offerings. This site helps you by giving you tips and step by step guidance that will aid in your research. Organizing all the data you have found on your family is a great start; something that sometimes I lack in doing properly. I only say this because there is so much information that I have in my possession already, that having to re-organize the paperwork can be a somewhat painful process. I have absolutely no problem organizing my digital files, thanks to my Graphic Design background.

¬†Being able to locate the correct documents and images is very important. I am hoping to gain oodles of knowledge from this course to help me organize the findings I have so far, into something that will be easy to read. Not like some of the family tree websites I have visited, which only seem to confuse the viewer even more. The hierarchy of the set up on some of these web pages is a little hard on your eyes. If it’s not a busy, color clash of graphics and font usage then it’s how the tree is displayed and sometimes that just takes away from what you are trying to understand as far as the hierarchy of the family tree itself is concerned.

I’ve been to a lot of different sites on genealogy and family history and the only one I have found so far that breaks things down for you into manageable bites, is the Family History Quick Start web page. The first course in the series is all about getting¬†organized; organizing your computers file folders, tips on creating digital files from paper records, how to’s on saving, naming and backing up these files for easy access later on, and last but not least, is the correct way to cite your sources! When writing, whether it’s a blog like this one or a term paper for a college class, you have to give credit where it’s due. The people that write the many different articles have already completed their research, so don’t steal it and try to pass it off as your own work. It’s very easy to cite a source and only takes a few seconds! Don’t believe me? Then you haven’t seen this website yet! Here’s the link for you to try it out yourself.
Citations Quick and Easy

Tomorrow I will be completing Day 1 of the mini course, I will then post my experiences and thoughts on the subject matter. Until then..good luck in your own search!