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Come on–you all know you had it or have it

What is it? It’s that outrageously disorganized pile, box, or cabinet full of genealogy stuff that hasn’t been properly filed or sorted … or scanned. Mine is a dreaded paper pile inside a cabinet that is chock full of pictures, documents, and scattered notes.

How to tame the paper monster:

  • Start by sorting through and categorizing items – make sure that items that are related to each other (for example, an old photo with a note about it on a scrap of paper) stay together. Sort:
      • documents like marriage, birth, death certificates and announcements are separated and grouped by surname
      • photographs with as much documentation of possible, lest we forget who the person in the old photo is
      • research notes separated into surname groups
  • Find a filing system that works well for you – all that doesn’t do much good unless you have a place to put the stuff
      • some genealogist report using notebooks with acid free page protectors – a separate one for each surname – I found this to be a good route until I worked my way further and further back and ended up with way too many notebooks
      • some genealogists use file drawers and have a separate file for each family name – this was a far more workable solution for me
          • good idea here – create a master set of sheets so that you know exactly what surname file you need to access for a particular piece of information

Now, I’m not f pro, just an amateur working my way through the paper monster. Please feel free to use the comment section to share any tips that other amateurs might find helpful.

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in organization

 

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