Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sorting Saturday

Having this week off work has been great and mean't I could spend some time sorting out my genealogy files and try to find a better way of organising the information I already have and try to remember where I've found things.

At the moment all my census returns and certificates are in two ring binders. The first binder is for my direct ancestors and is divided into families by marriage so all the birth/marriage/death certs and census returns relating to each couple (and their unmarried children) are in there with a family group record sheet at the front.

The second binder is sorted the same way but for siblings and descendants of my direct ancestors. It also holds certificates of people I've found, who may or may not be related, until I can add or remove them from the tree.

I also have plastic document wallets with other certificates, id cards, medical cards, photos but they're not sorted at all.

Then there are my computer files that are meant to be sorted into the four main surnames Cowie, Shields, Duncan and Smith with documents, images, photos and information as subfiles. That's where it breaks down, is a certificate a document or an image if I found it online or worse just information, some certificates like marriage certs refer to more than one surname so do I store it twice, once in each folder. Same with photos. I have ended up with duplicates of a lot of information and sometimes they even have different file names. I need help :)

The information parts are the most trouble some as sometimes I find things online and bookmark them to find later but that never seems to work as now I have hundreds of bookmarks under genealogy but I cant remember why I bookmarked which one, or what I'm looking for when I go back to that page.

So finally this week a partial breakthrough that seems obvious when you know it but I've been researching for 10 years and didn't think of it myself so I'm sharing it in case anyone else is like me :)

Above is a link to GenealogyGuy's Online Genealogy Information Gathering Method called Gather, Dump Store. It is split into 3 parts and it's well worth watching all of them. The basics are using Cut and Paste to copy information and, I know if you've been using a PC at all in the last couple of years that you know how to cut and paste but trust me, this seemingly simple idea has helped me start to reorganise and actually find stuff again.

He also has various other videos and a website full of tutorials and ideas at Treasure Maps

The one change I did make was instead of using Google Docs I've taken a tip from DearMrytle and signed up for Dropbox you can read more about it on DearMyrtles site here if you would like to sign up you can either click the referral link on Dear Myrtles page as I did or click here on mine :) Thanks.

1 comment:

Gini said...

Welcome Joanne, nice to have you here. Look forward to learning all about your family history.