stacked-papers-scottchan-cropO is for Organizing

Before going further,
I think it’s a good time to ask…

How do you currently keep your genealogy research organized?

Or perhaps the better question is: Is it organized?

[Hey, I get it… I’m a piler too! No judging here.]

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blue-cloth-notebook-keeratiWhen I first started with my research, I used a 3-ring binder that could be zipped closed. I printed out my Family Group Sheets from Family Tree Maker and I kept census pages, birth, marriage and death certificates, and other printed documentation in the notebook. My direct ancestral lines were in indexed sections and information on collateral lines was put in the back and indexed alphabetically. It was simple and fairly well organized.

 

file-cabinet-ddpavumbaYears later in an attempt to feel even more organized, I took everything out of my notebooks and put them in file folders and put the file folders in plastic file boxes. It may just be a personality flaw because I am one of those “out of sight, out of mind” people; but I have to say, I hate it. I want it all here in front of me and easily accessible.

Since picking back up my family history research, I’ve had more than a few thoughts about reorganizing yet again. First off, I would like to become as paperless as possible. I think whomever I pass my research off to in the future will thank me when they receive a flash drive along with a few notebooks rather than boxes and boxes of paperwork. The second thing is having everything easily accessible on my computer with cloud storage and the use of OneNote and Family Tree Maker.

clerk-working-cuteimage

So I am beginning the process of taking everything from the file folders and inputing it into the computer. This involves scanning documents or looking up census information and other information to download to the computer and more. In going through everything again, I am able to double check what was done, what was sourced properly, and what still needs to be done, etc. The challenge is not to run off on new rabbit trails!

When I started setting up my Notebooks in OneNote, I went back to the basic system I had originally used. I will be going into specifics about my Notebooks in tomorrow’s post.

Now is the time to give some thought as to how you would like to organize your OneNote Notebooks based on how you currently have your research organized. And perhaps giving some thought to whether or not you’d like to spend some time reorganizing/revamping your old research or whether you’d just like to go forward with just your new research being stored digitally.

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Notes:

  • Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
    • Stacked papers by scottchan
    • Notebook by keerati
    • File cabinet by ddpavumba
    • Clerk working by cuteimage

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Cite This Page:

Erin Williamson Klein, “Organizing Your Research in a Notebook.” My Family History Files, 8 April 2014 (http://myfamilyhistoryfiles.com/organization/organizing-your-research: [access date]).

Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.

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A bit about me

Erin Williamson Klein
New York to Nevada
Started my research in 1993

Aside from my own family history research, I also have 2 Surname Studies: Colepaugh mainly in the US and Schraven worldwide.
Following the GPS!
Sourced Database Statistics:

64 direct ancestors through 4x great grandparents
2 of 2 people identified in 1st generation
4 of 4 people identified in 2nd generation
8 of 8 people identified in 3rd generation
14 of 16 people identified in 4th generation
20 of 32 people identified in 5th generation
16 of 64 people identified in 6th generation

# people properly sourced
# remaining to be sourced
% completed
Paticipating In:
WikiTree worldwide family tree
+ more ... join me @ WikiTree


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