Thursday, August 4, 2016

Reflections on getting ORGANIZED


According to Denise Levenick in her article in Family Tree magazine, "cutting clutter will make you better organized and sharpen your genealogy focus."

I am here to tell you Denise is

 "right on the money."

Using Denise's techniques for organizing  documents on my computer, I can apply them to hard copy files in my file cabinet. My hard copy files are yet to be done. 

Remember the mantra:
1) read, 2) scan and, 3) recyle
don't print... don't print...don't print 

Note what Levenick says: "If it would be a financial or logistical burden to replace the item, consider it an original."

If the above definition meets the criteria for a document, then scan, keep the original, file in hard copy file.


Here are some examples of success from my organization project so far:

1) When I labeled consistently I found 2, 3 ,4 or more copies of documents, placed in several locations (so I could find it and still couldn't find it.)

I had a photocopied birth record for my mother Catherine (Kata) labeled:
Kata birth
Binder Kata Croatia birth
birth_record kata 
placed in several locations/folders.

Once all the copies were opened and labeled consistently Binder, Kata birth record, the computer alphabetized them and I 
1) noted that I had several of the same document, 2) practiced consistency and, 
3) trashed two of the copied.
I can easily find that document now.

2) The family portrait that was within hundreds of pictures in iPhoto for which I had to search and search is now in a folder called Photos under each surname folder and labeled so I can find it. 
Binder, Joseph formal portrait. 

3) Levenick says "label so you know what is in the folder." With consistency and labeling you KNOW what is in the folder.  For example:

What was in the folder I labelled Stoner information? The item in Stoner folder is now called 
S. Dak. neighbor letter re: Stoner.

4) Found gold!
Going through email folders I reread, labelled, and placed emails in surname or appropriate folders. 
As I organized and reread emails I found contacts. I needed to reconnect with contacts and I did! 
I reconnected and it generated  

additional surname information and photos from  reconnecting with these contacts.

5) I was always opening folders to see what was in them and then closing them because it wasn't what I was looking for. This was a waste of time and caused frustration.


6) I located document, emails, and items that were 
  in the wrong surname folder

I have not finished organizing. 
I am getting organized and it feels 
Thanks Denise

Share your reorganizing thoughts, surprises, esamples of success?

See ya down the road... 

Copyright @ 2015-16 Diane McClure Lott


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