How do you organize your genealogy data?

  • Pam Cooper - 5 years ago

    I think Jane's comment is exactly right: it is not about binders vs folders vs hard drives vs in the cloud. I think we all use a mix of these vehicles - and the issue is what sort of mix. I store documents in hard copy and as scans or images on my hard drive. One form of backing up my drive is in the cloud. I use binders for the families being actively researched, but folders for resources (e.g., Scotland, Ireland, different archives), and for families not being "actively researched" at that point in time. I have about 5-6 surname / family group binders on the go at any given time. When I shift gears and plan to really dig in on another generation or branch, then I clear one of the binders into a folder and put the family being actively researched in a binder. It is a bit of shuffling, but I find binders are more convenient in keeping my "active" materials organized and in order when I am working on them. I enjoy your blog; thank you! Pam

  • Jane Down - 5 years ago

    About survey - I use Binders once data entered into my genealogy database and file folders for data waiting to be entered (organized alphabetically by surname). That way I know what has been entered into my database and what has not. Also Binders keep order better than file folders. File folders can get messed up easily when new data added. I use hard drive for images and Word and Powerpoint documents. I do not like to use the Cloud except for temporary storage because I am always afraid they will lose my files or stop doing business and then I will have to find another solution and redo everything. I like to have more control on my collected data. Also I like to look at the Binders like a book and not have to turn my laptop on all the time. I have a tab divider in my Binders for every person that I have collected data on and keep their data in that tab organized from birth to death. It tells a story without my having to write it out. I use Family Tree Maker and print out their Family Group Sheets for each person that has data and a tab divider. I often start each tab with an enlarged picture of the person (if I have one) and do some minor scrapbooking techniques around the image to pretty up my Binders. It is great fun and I love to marvel at all the data I have collected on a person or family.

    I love organization and am always interested in reading your blog to see if I can glean any tips.
    Thanks so much.....jane

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