Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring cleaning - Organization continues!

I wrote earlier about feeling motivated to do some genealogy spring cleaning. Well I am still feeling that way with this dreary weather. Mind you, I can only do a little at a time since I do have my 9 month old daughter to take care of, but I feel like I am actually getting somewhere now with some organization.

Up until now I have had papers everywhere. I have finally followed my own advice and did a colour coded file system. It is making things so much easier!

Now I am going through what I put in those files and working on scanning what I need into my computer. I do just a few pictures a day so that it is not so overwhelming.

The next step is organizing my computer files. So I can find everything more easily. This is how I decided to organize my computer files.

  • Have one file called Genealogy - placed on desktop for easy access.
  • Have the 4 surnames listed in here, just like in my file cabinet. I will put other file folders with names in that line as needed.
  • Within those folder I will label the pictures documents like this:

SURNAME_Firstname_name of document_Date if available
This should make things more consistent, and easier to find.
  • I will also have files labeled like I will in the paper format such as, maps, history, forms etc.

After this is done, my next step will be organizing my bookmarks on my web browser. This will be a big job!

If anyone has any ideas for what they do as they search the web I would love to hear it. I tend to bookmark everything I find genealogy related, but it then becomes impossible to find what I really need.

It would be great to have one user friendly, master list, organized by category of genealogy websites that users could submit and maybe rate don't you think? Maybe one already exists? If it does please pass along the link.

Have a great day!


  1. You have got me thinking once again about color coding based upon the 4 grandparents. I've seen it before and after reading your article on the color coded file system, it's looking better and better.

    We seem to have a similar file naming format. I've been trying to be more consistent about putting the date, or at least year, immediately after the individual's name. That way the files will sort chronologically for that individual.

  2. the only thing I don't get yet for this system is where do I put things of the women. Do I put it under their maiden names or married ones. I am thinking married since some things will be combined with their husbands? But I guess it's up to what works for you, just need to be consistent?

  3. Kelly, for women, I put items before her marriage with her parents and after her marriage with her husband. For the marriage record itself, I put it in both places. I admit, it's a struggle.

  4. is an amazing place to keep your "bookmarks" It saves your favorite sites with a tagging system making it so easy to search for favorite sites. I have a Firefox browser button to automatically save a site to At first it was hard to get in the habit of using the site but now i find it very useful.

  5. I used to file all my bookmarks and web clippings in an elaborate system of folders, but they got so numerous, it took a lot of time to retrieve them. In addition, some things belonged in more than one folder, so I had to make aliases, or copies. Too slow! So finding the free Evernote system at solved all my problems! It clips whole web pages which you tag with as many labels as you like. You can also add your own notes. You can sort them into folders called notebooks, or leave everything in on place, using the search feature and tags to find anything in seconds. Notebooks can be shared with the public, or private. It's all synced with Evernote for iPhone, too. It's the best tool I found last year, and now I use it for almost all my info-saving and filing needs. I just love it! Check it out!

  6. I tried Delicious...and I love it!
    Sounds like it's similar to evernote?