Friday, October 15, 2010

Family History Month - ORGANIZE

~ Today's prompt is brought to you by the letter O~

In a perfect world our genealogy would be completely organized and filed on a timely and regular basis.  We would have binders and/or folders clearly marked, indexed and perhaps even color-coded for ease of use.  All our family group sheets would be completely and accurately filled out, all of the supporting documents found (or a to-do list made up of missing information so we could easily acquire it).  We would have family photographs copied and/or scanned with names and dates entered as part of the metadata or tags.  If anyone visited our genealogy nook or office, they would easily be able to find whatever they were looking for.  If you are nodding your head in agreement, I am impressed (and please share your secret to being so organized!).  For the rest of us, organization is a goal that we continually strive to reach but often fall short. 

Do you have a plan or system of organization for your genealogy?  What grade would you give yourself for your plan in theory AND in practice?  Are you able to find things easily?  Is someone else able to make use of your folders, binders or computer files?  How much time do you spend looking for papers, pictures or research?  How much time do you spend organizing and/or reorganizing your genealogy? 

Today give some thought to your organization system and whether it works for you.  If it works, please share your tips with the rest of us.  If it does not work for you, why not check out the various tips and tricks shared by other genealogists (either in books, articles or blogs) and think about making some changes to your system. 

Whatever you decide to do for organization, come up with something that is clear and simple, write yourself a "cheat sheet" outlining your system (both for yourself and others who may use your work in the future), and then devote some time each week (schedule an appointment) to keep your system up-to-date.  You would be surprised how much easier your genealogy searches will be when you are able to find what you need to move your research process forward.

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