Weekly Planner: Break Down Larger Files into Smaller Files

As L. Mentzel suggests in one of today’s Quick Tips, having overfilled files can lead to the proliferation of those dreaded piles that quickly take over your workspace. Unwieldy notebooks and file folders are a pain to work with and even harder to find anything in. If you have files that are too large, try breaking them down into smaller sections (for example, the “Smith Family” broken down into James Smith family, John Smith family, Joe Smith family, etc.). With more room in your files, you’ll find it easier to add documents as you go along, and you can banish those nasty piles from your workspace!

5 thoughts on “Weekly Planner: Break Down Larger Files into Smaller Files

  1. totally agree,i am finding that i`am having to do so with my family,and i did`nt know i had any ancestor`s,until last year.

  2. I, also, have broken down my larger families by siblings and then subjects i.e. certificates, census, spreadsheets, cemetery research, etc.

  3. I totally agree that sorting out family lines is very important. I find that at times I am researching for more than one line and at times another piece of information you discover and say why is that familiar or I was looking into that awhile ago.. Its easier to print out and then file it into the right path. I have 6 binders of all family line info and documents..and thats is just my father’s side. I have really started my mother’s side but what I do have is in another binder…

  4. I keep family files in folders which are filed alphabetically by the husband’s name. When a child marries, make a new folder for that child. Put everything pertaining to that person(s)in the folder. Use full-cut folders (tab all the way across the folder) and label the man on the left and the spouse on extreme right: “Doe, John Astor /m. Brown, Mary Helen”. To identify the right person quickly, also on the front flap below each name, note: “b. 1897/d. 1950/m. 1927 – ” then birth and death date under the spouse’s name on the right. Make a separate folder for multiple marriages. Very easy way to stay organized! May work for notebooks/binders also, but might be cumbersome for thousands of names.

  5. Have worked with Ancestry.com for four years, and finding this Weekly Planner and comments are very interesting, and very helpful. I had just a start of the filing system suggested, but now find I can improve it. Also I am in bad need of a larger work space or a way to get rid of some of the “maybe useful information” but will check later pile.
    Keep up the good work,

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