But my genealogy files? They're a mess, although I prefer to think of them as in a state of "organized chaos". I have had stacks of papers and documents so high they defied gravity. Oddly enough I'm very organized and methodical with the research I do on my New Netherland Settlers project and any genealogy that is not about my own ancestors!
One of the reasons I'm in a
I loved binders when I used them. I printed off family group sheets and filed all relevant documents and photos with the appropriate family. It was a great system for me until I had so many files filling dozens of binders and it became cumbersome. That's what happens the longer you look for, and find, ancestors.
Filing cabinets worked well for me until again, I found so many ancestors that my notes and documents filled so many cabinets they could not fit in my small office. Soon we had huge filing cabinets in my office, in the basement, and in our family room.
I'm even worse at organizing digital files. It's boring. It's tedious. I do use Evernote to help me with organizing those genealogy files but I still don't enjoy doing it.
I liked using storage tubs because I could just label each tub and toss the documents in without worrying about chronological order or sorting by location or whatever method might be best. Of course that didn't work well after awhile because I could never find what I wanted and I never got around to organizing the papers in each tub.
|One of my family books|
Each chapter contains documents (and a family group sheet) for the next generation down. I also add research I've done on siblings in each generation. The book ends wherever the surname daughters out for my direct line. This has been really fun and my children are enjoying them.
I'm ensuring that my research is not lost but the drawback is that I can't include every single fact and document. I didn't think it would solve my problem of organizing my papers but I was wrong! I've gone back to using filing cabinets for my research notes and papers, and when I create a book, I am forced to organize those documents before I begin writing.
My husband also came up with the idea of selling these family surname books. Much to my surprise other descendants have purchased them! So it's a win-win situation. My genealogy gets organized, my children have individual books on our family surnames and ancestors, and other descendants can read about their ancestors.
How do you solve the problem of organizing your genealogy files?