Weekly Planner: Shake Things up This Spring!

Juliana's DaffodilsSpring is finally here and for me it comes the urge to clean house, organize, and rearrange. I love putting a fresh shine on everything; it feels like a new start. A good portion of my efforts will go into my family history office. It’s a good time to take stock. Look at what is working for you and what is not–and make some changes. Do you have a setup for new information that needs to be processed? In other words, when you find new data, but don’t have time to analyze it, enter it into your database, file it, share it, etc., does it end up in a big pile? Try a tray or folder system with sections for each task in your process so that when your research gets interrupted midstream, you can put it in its appropriate tray or folder and know where you left off. Is your office setup working for you? Maybe it’s time to purge some of those file cabinets or rearrange things to make resources easier to access. Take a look around your workspace and start your spring cleaning today. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you’ll be in your newly organized environment!

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4 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Shake Things up This Spring!

  1. I too, use to have one big folder for all my research, then as the pile grew I decided to put each (four) of my great grandparents in their own folder but that now has become many more folders for the file cabinet. All of the sisblings and their parents, if found, moved into their own and I am now finding the need to put their off spring in their own folder, but each family name is kept in its own hanging folder. It’s so easy to find. I keep one “general” folder for blank census records, notes etc. It has sure made life easier for me.

  2. I have the piles also, and am constantly moving things around. I have found that when I clean, I go through the folders for those little pieces of paper I jotted things down on when I thought of them or heard them. Then I either put the information where it belongs in a more formal manner, input into my computer data base, or throw it away if it’s not relevant to anything after all. This sure helps to find all those pieces a long time later and not remember what it was for.

    I have also found that Hobby Lobby and other stores have the artist portfolio folders with acid free pages you can insert a photo in. I have begun putting my original photos, marriage licenses, death certificates etc in those for safe keeping. I only keep copies in my working files.

  3. I have a plastic portable file with hanging folders for each surname. Each surname has 3 file folders-Entered, To be Entered & Confirm. I keep it beside my desk and can file as I print or enter in my database. I can carry it to an easy chair to go through and analyze or file in the family notebooks. When it gets heavy I know I have to do some entering & filing.

  4. I have 6 file drawers for my genealogy, organized according to the source (birth record, gravestone, obituary, census, other researchers, etc.). Each source is divided into states, and then into counties. As with everyone else, a big problem is having a huge amount of papers gathering in the “to file” tray. Two things that help me with this problem:

    1- I realized that I never got the Iowa censuses out of the “to be filed” tray because I hated working with the 3-inch-thick folder holding ALL of my Iowa censuses. Making a separate folder for each of my Iowa counties, even if there were only 5 sheets in that folder, made it so much easier to file that I actually get the papers into the folders now. Pull out the county folder and all I have to worry about is putting it in date order. (Even breaking a big file down into Counties A-D, E-H, etc., will help.)

    2- Each file drawer only holds a few types of sources. (For instance, 1 drawer contains only censuses.) I put a plain green hanging file folder at the front of each drawer and label it “to file”. When I’m done with a census page, it is placed in the “to file” folder at the front of the census drawer. If I need it later, I can find it in either its correct folder or at the front of the drawer…no endless searching for it. The 12-inch “to file” stack in the tray is avoided and already divided into 6 manageable batches (1 at the front of each drawer).
    (These “to file” folders are also portable. Know you’re going to have to wait somewhere today? Take the census folder with you so that you can pull out all the Kansas pages, put them in order, and be able to file them away when you get home. No time to do Iowa and Illinois? That’s fine, just leave them in the “to file” folder and put it back at the front of the census drawer.)

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