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Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Apr 8, 2004

Where Did I Put That Paper? A Website Tutorial on Organizing your Genealogy Materials.
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

The secret to finding a missing ancestor may be in the very papers you have already collected, but where did you put that paper?

Where do you file your genealogy papers? If you said "the dining room table" or the "living room floor," you're not alone. One genealogist was married to a man who was away for months at a time. While he was gone she filed her papers on his side of the bed. One evening he came home unexpectedly and literally turned her organizational system upside down.

How quickly do you retrieve your papers? Many people can put papers away, but how quickly can they retrieve them in the top of the bed organizational system mentioned above? How about your own system? Can you find that paper in 15 seconds or less? The website www.FileYourPapers.com provides a short tutorial which shows you how you can retrieve that paper in 15 seconds, using the organization provided by your genealogy computer program and a unique filing notebook.

Why would you need to file papers anyway? Can't you just put everything in your computer? Perhaps you can, but have you put everything in your computer and then saved a copy offsite? It would be advisable to save a copy at a genealogy repository like www.myTrees.com (advantages of MyTrees Online) especially if you want to scan all of your documentation and attach it to your genealogy file at MyTrees. Keeping an offsite copy guards against a catastrophic loss of your data and especially the supporting documentation. It costs nothing to store your genealogy at www.MyTrees.com. You probably should still also retain the paper copy, if possible, though it may deteriorate with time if not filed properly.

Why would you want to look at those old papers again anyway? The solution to your research problem may lie in the old papers that you have already collected. But if you're not well organized, you may not be able to find the paper that would solve that genealogy roadblock.

The first step towards organizational recovery is to create an urgency. You'll need an empty box. Now place the box in front of your bathroom door. You cannot enter the bathroom until you've put something from your genealogy collection, perhaps one of those items off the living room floor or the spare bedroom bed, into the box. Soon, you'll once again have floor space, and your genealogy will be portable.

Now carry that one compact box, with the miscellaneous papers in it, to a handy area by your computer. We are going to teach you how to organize your papers so you can find anything in seconds. Researchers using any of a number of genealogy computer programs now have access to an organizational system which will do just that. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and with it, you can find literally anything - in seconds. And it works great with MyTrees Online, too. Just visit this free website www.FileYourPapers.com for quick but detailed and fun instructions on organizing your genealogy.

Where Does Organization Fit into the Research Cycle?

For additional help with organization you might want to look at another resource that outlines the complete research cycle and explains where organization fits in the cycle, the book "Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program" by Karen Clifford

This book indicates that being organized is actually step 8 of the research cycle. Reasonable goals cannot be set until the papers from previous research sessions have been organized.

This book describes principles of success for the beginner, and even the seasoned family historian. It describes what forms are most helpful, how to use the various charts, and how to locate information in various repositories to answer genealogy questions. The book also covers the basic Internet sites for genealogy, and how to use your genealogy computer program to aid in research as well as a means to record family information. Additional discussion covers the importance of documenting your searches, printing charts and forms, and creating an Archival Family History Notebook to organize your information. This is the same Archival Family History Notebook system explained in this month's newsletter. Other topics include gaining a sense of your ancestor's lives and environment, using the research cycle to resolve research conflicts, and locating and obtaining original records. There is a discussion of the Family History Library's resources and major electronic databases and how to use them; the Federal Archives, their records and how to use them. Finally, you learn how to analyze your gathered information and set further research goals, and when and where it's appropriate to share your information with others. The book may be ordered at www.GRAonline.com, click the "Products" tab, and then click the "Books" link.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored MyTrees.com.

Copyright : 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Apr 8, 2004

Where Did I Put That Paper? A Website Tutorial on Organizing your Genealogy Materials.
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

The secret to finding a missing ancestor may be in the very papers you have already collected, but where did you put that paper?

Where do you file your genealogy papers? If you said "the dining room table" or the "living room floor," you're not alone. One genealogist was married to a man who was away for months at a time. While he was gone she filed her papers on his side of the bed. One evening he came home unexpectedly and literally turned her organizational system upside down.

How quickly do you retrieve your papers? Many people can put papers away, but how quickly can they retrieve them in the top of the bed organizational system mentioned above? How about your own system? Can you find that paper in 15 seconds or less? The website www.FileYourPapers.com provides a short tutorial which shows you how you can retrieve that paper in 15 seconds, using the organization provided by your genealogy computer program and a unique filing notebook.

Why would you need to file papers anyway? Can't you just put everything in your computer? Perhaps you can, but have you put everything in your computer and then saved a copy offsite? It would be advisable to save a copy at a genealogy repository like www.myTrees.com (advantages of MyTrees Online) especially if you want to scan all of your documentation and attach it to your genealogy file at MyTrees. Keeping an offsite copy guards against a catastrophic loss of your data and especially the supporting documentation. It costs nothing to store your genealogy at www.MyTrees.com. You probably should still also retain the paper copy, if possible, though it may deteriorate with time if not filed properly.

Why would you want to look at those old papers again anyway? The solution to your research problem may lie in the old papers that you have already collected. But if you're not well organized, you may not be able to find the paper that would solve that genealogy roadblock.

The first step towards organizational recovery is to create an urgency. You'll need an empty box. Now place the box in front of your bathroom door. You cannot enter the bathroom until you've put something from your genealogy collection, perhaps one of those items off the living room floor or the spare bedroom bed, into the box. Soon, you'll once again have floor space, and your genealogy will be portable.

Now carry that one compact box, with the miscellaneous papers in it, to a handy area by your computer. We are going to teach you how to organize your papers so you can find anything in seconds. Researchers using any of a number of genealogy computer programs now have access to an organizational system which will do just that. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and with it, you can find literally anything - in seconds. And it works great with MyTrees Online, too. Just visit this free website www.FileYourPapers.com for quick but detailed and fun instructions on organizing your genealogy.

Where Does Organization Fit into the Research Cycle?

For additional help with organization you might want to look at another resource that outlines the complete research cycle and explains where organization fits in the cycle, the book "Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program" by Karen Clifford

This book indicates that being organized is actually step 8 of the research cycle. Reasonable goals cannot be set until the papers from previous research sessions have been organized.

This book describes principles of success for the beginner, and even the seasoned family historian. It describes what forms are most helpful, how to use the various charts, and how to locate information in various repositories to answer genealogy questions. The book also covers the basic Internet sites for genealogy, and how to use your genealogy computer program to aid in research as well as a means to record family information. Additional discussion covers the importance of documenting your searches, printing charts and forms, and creating an Archival Family History Notebook to organize your information. This is the same Archival Family History Notebook system explained in this month's newsletter. Other topics include gaining a sense of your ancestor's lives and environment, using the research cycle to resolve research conflicts, and locating and obtaining original records. There is a discussion of the Family History Library's resources and major electronic databases and how to use them; the Federal Archives, their records and how to use them. Finally, you learn how to analyze your gathered information and set further research goals, and when and where it's appropriate to share your information with others. The book may be ordered at www.GRAonline.com, click the "Products" tab, and then click the "Books" link.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored MyTrees.com.

Copyright : 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: Apr 8, 2004

Where Did I Put That Paper? A Website Tutorial on Organizing your Genealogy Materials.
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

The secret to finding a missing ancestor may be in the very papers you have already collected, but where did you put that paper?

Where do you file your genealogy papers? If you said "the dining room table" or the "living room floor," you're not alone. One genealogist was married to a man who was away for months at a time. While he was gone she filed her papers on his side of the bed. One evening he came home unexpectedly and literally turned her organizational system upside down.

How quickly do you retrieve your papers? Many people can put papers away, but how quickly can they retrieve them in the top of the bed organizational system mentioned above? How about your own system? Can you find that paper in 15 seconds or less? The website www.FileYourPapers.com provides a short tutorial which shows you how you can retrieve that paper in 15 seconds, using the organization provided by your genealogy computer program and a unique filing notebook.

Why would you need to file papers anyway? Can't you just put everything in your computer? Perhaps you can, but have you put everything in your computer and then saved a copy offsite? It would be advisable to save a copy at a genealogy repository like www.myTrees.com (advantages of MyTrees Online) especially if you want to scan all of your documentation and attach it to your genealogy file at MyTrees. Keeping an offsite copy guards against a catastrophic loss of your data and especially the supporting documentation. It costs nothing to store your genealogy at www.MyTrees.com. You probably should still also retain the paper copy, if possible, though it may deteriorate with time if not filed properly.

Why would you want to look at those old papers again anyway? The solution to your research problem may lie in the old papers that you have already collected. But if you're not well organized, you may not be able to find the paper that would solve that genealogy roadblock.

The first step towards organizational recovery is to create an urgency. You'll need an empty box. Now place the box in front of your bathroom door. You cannot enter the bathroom until you've put something from your genealogy collection, perhaps one of those items off the living room floor or the spare bedroom bed, into the box. Soon, you'll once again have floor space, and your genealogy will be portable.

Now carry that one compact box, with the miscellaneous papers in it, to a handy area by your computer. We are going to teach you how to organize your papers so you can find anything in seconds. Researchers using any of a number of genealogy computer programs now have access to an organizational system which will do just that. It is inexpensive, easy to use, and with it, you can find literally anything - in seconds. And it works great with MyTrees Online, too. Just visit this free website www.FileYourPapers.com for quick but detailed and fun instructions on organizing your genealogy.

Where Does Organization Fit into the Research Cycle?

For additional help with organization you might want to look at another resource that outlines the complete research cycle and explains where organization fits in the cycle, the book "Complete Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, the Internet, and Your Genealogy Computer Program" by Karen Clifford

This book indicates that being organized is actually step 8 of the research cycle. Reasonable goals cannot be set until the papers from previous research sessions have been organized.

This book describes principles of success for the beginner, and even the seasoned family historian. It describes what forms are most helpful, how to use the various charts, and how to locate information in various repositories to answer genealogy questions. The book also covers the basic Internet sites for genealogy, and how to use your genealogy computer program to aid in research as well as a means to record family information. Additional discussion covers the importance of documenting your searches, printing charts and forms, and creating an Archival Family History Notebook to organize your information. This is the same Archival Family History Notebook system explained in this month's newsletter. Other topics include gaining a sense of your ancestor's lives and environment, using the research cycle to resolve research conflicts, and locating and obtaining original records. There is a discussion of the Family History Library's resources and major electronic databases and how to use them; the Federal Archives, their records and how to use them. Finally, you learn how to analyze your gathered information and set further research goals, and when and where it's appropriate to share your information with others. The book may be ordered at www.GRAonline.com, click the "Products" tab, and then click the "Books" link.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored MyTrees.com.

Copyright : 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

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