Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sorting out my electronic filing

The best way to review your research I think, is to review your "assets", organise and re-organise.

Where to start with my re-organisation? Such a big job. Something I got better at, as the years went by. However, I had no idea it would get so big - nor accumulate so many bits of paper and so many files! I also have a lot of duplication, due to not realising I already had something.

I am a computer-person, so decided to start organising my electronic world, then base my paper filing on it.

I also decided to research how other people organised their filing too, to see if I could learn something new or different.

Funnily enough, a tweet came through on Twitter from @LisaCooke of GenealogyGems, about a YouTube clip she'd made for Family Tree magazine.

It seemed methodical, so I thought I would follow it.

After following it through step by step, I decided that the instructions were very clear and concise and easy to follow.

I made some minor changes and additions.

I added a folder "Research Notes", which will keep any files I create while researching, as well as anecdotal information I have or will collect in the future.

I like things to be easily found. So I've asterisked my maternal-line surname folders, so that they will stay together at the top of the MY TREE folder.

I've also colour-coded the surname folders. Unfortunately, the Mac only has a choice of seven label colours including boring grey. So I decided to give my grandmothers line on both sides blue, and my grandfathers line on both sides red. When it comes to stationery (lever arch folders etc), I might try and differentiate the same colours by using shades. Light blue and dark blue for example.

I figure that these surname folders should probably be copied into other folders as well, such as Photos.

I am pretty happy with my start at the electronic tidy up.

Now I just need to fish out all the existing electronic files and put them in the correct place. And then scan the ones I haven't done yet, and file those ones correctly.

Might take me a while, as I will be doing this methodically, and may have to check backup drives to ensure I have them all!

Meanwhile, I have enjoyed taking the approach of starting from scratch and doing the rebuild from the ground up.


  1. How fantastic to find your blog as I started research years ago and am just about to start a methodology course to help me collate mountains of info in my journals, printouts etc! I also have Reunion which I love but don't really know how to use to it's full potential. I have never been able to find a course either at my local genealogy associations. Thanks, you've inspired me to get cracking again today!

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