Organize Your Data
Posted on Mar 30, 2012
Start out organized. Starting out organized is easier than getting organized. You will have more time to do research and spend less time looking for information you have misplaced. You will also save time by not duplicating research you have already done.
When you are organized you
- Know exactly what information you have for each ancestor.
- Have a complete list of information you are missing for each ancestor.
- Know exactly what resources you've checked, and what results you found.
- Know every book you've ever searched.
- Remember whom you've contacted and what response you received.
- Can put your hands on any piece of information in your files in 10 seconds or less.
Choose an organization system that genealogists use. There are several popular genealogy organization systems. Research the systems and use the one that fits your style and one you will use.
Recommendation: I have evaluated and started several filing systems. I took a class from Mary E. V. Hill on a filing system and I reorganized my genealogy using her system. It is extremely flexible—the more ancestors you find, the more expandable and flexible the system becomes. It can be multi-generational and strictly linear at the same time. This system is quickly and easily accessed by the researcher and mildly-interested relatives alike.