Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Organization of Genealogy Materials May Take Many Forms

In April of this year  I wrote about A Different Kind of Brick Wall. I wrote my first thoughts about the problem of getting organized. I thought I was just writing about getting all my materials put together by families. I really had not thought through this whole process at all. Now that I am really thinking about it it is getting worse, not better.

Let me try to describe the thinking, exploring process which, by the way, is still ongoing. I started by Googling "digitally organizing genealogy data". There really is a LOT of good material out there. But not a lot fit into my pre-thinking and, though I had specified digital, still folders and paper based were included. As a part of the process I did see many interesting ideas.

As the result of one suggestion I created folder on my Pinterest page saving some of the good ideas for organizing that can be found on that excellent resource. I spent time going through many Pinterest pages but nothing really seemed right for me. Then I visted Cyndi's List-Organizing/filing section. Several good ideas were in that set of resources but My Ancestor Family File Folders and File Naming Convention developed by Ben Sayer really made an impression on me. AHA, a way to go.

Including the introduction there were nine lessons with videos; each video going through one step of the process. Oh I thought to myself, "You are one lucky lady to have found this solution so quickly."

 You have probably already guessed that I was very wrong about this quickly business. As I watched the videos and looked at how all the needed documents and resources had already been organized in their own folders, ready to join the family structure he had demonstrated, the first moments of panic, UGH! and I can't do this set in. You will be happy to know I have moved past that moment and have taken a deep breath. I can do this. I will do this.

But I need to plan all that has to be done first. This list is a little, no, I take that back. This list is a lot overwhelming BUT I can do it and I will. Here are the things (so far) that I realized I had been doing in a slipshod fashion. If you have seen the movie or the play, Fiddler's Roof, you may recognize the phrase, 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that'. That describes what I have been doing all this time. First I need to list what I have and then what I need to do with each part of it.

 I have:
1. Master-Genealogy Source Grid. This is based on the grid provided by Thomas MacEntee in Genealogy Do Over Class 2015. Only 39 of my people are entered thus far. Many documents for each of the 39 have been checked in.

 2. some of the documents that are in the grid Have been scanned. Many others are still in paper format, have not been entered into the Source Grid and are not yet scanned. This is the most important next step before I begin creating my families form of Ben Sayer's process.

 3. I should also have created, as a result of step two, a list of what is missing.

 4. Then of course there is The Mess to be organized. The Mess is what I call all of the digitized materials I have collected and put into many, many folders. Really bad organization up to this time. The graphic on this page lists all the folders I must start recreating. They are what I euphemistically called organized.

My plan is to begin with the paper documents, scan them, enter them into the Source Grid. Then I will begin to organize all scanned documents based on the development of the Sayer materials. I will use Ben Sayer's naming format as I create the new file names. I hope those who have taken time to visit will leave comments and suggestions on this project. And please feel free as well to share the format you have selected. Good ideas are always needed.

1 comment:

Anita said...

Love it. I will be looking at the videos and attempt getting my disorganized files organized. I too have a little bit of this and that.