Organization the perfect start for the new year. I am running behind but here is my update on my progress for the month of January thus far. You can join in by following Dear Mrytle’s “FINALLY Get Organized” at http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.htm
þ Back up your data! Luckily I have been backing up my data with Backblaze for the past few years, so this was an easy task. I also have an external drive that I use and store in our safe. Then of course I use DropBox. Can you ever take too many precautions to protect your genealogy? I would rather have overkill then the possibility of losing any of my information. That happened to me once about 10 years ago when my research was held hostage by an external drive – never to be retrieved again.
þ Decide on a genealogy software management program. I am a RootsMagic girl.
I can always learn more to make the software work harder for me but I am confident in using the software.
þ Starting with yourself enter your personal data and that of the tree older generations by that surname in your chosen genealogy management program. I have started again – brand new database. I am entering everything in one by one and not copying anything from my previous database. It is forcing me to examine everything again which has been enlightening.
þ Set aside a 3-ring binder for your surname. I think of family as a unit so I am setting up my binders by MRIN or marriage number. It is just how I think – surname binders are too confusing for my brain waves. I am a numbers person.
þ Label oversized tabbed dividers and insert into the binders. I have a tab for each MRIN #.
þ Print out family group sheets starting with yourself for four generations on your surname. Done!
þ Place the 4 family group sheets behind the appropriate MRIN # dividers.
þ Scan photos and documents relating to each of these four generations in your binders. I am still trying to accomplish this; I am about 80% complete.
þ Place scanned items in document top loading page protectors.
þ Create an introduction for those that follow. The image on the right is my “master” for every family MRIN # I create. I also keep my template for the Avery dividers in this location. I have been consistent so far and my binders and computer files match. My folders are further sorted by family member’s names. For example, photographs are sorted into folders with the name of the individual or group. Death records also contain sub-folders for individuals. I update my MRIN list also so it is easy to locate any person in my database. My daughter Juliana has helped me file and she is well aware of how the system works so I know I can count on her to maintain my research. My husband and my daughter Juliana know my passcode to access my computer and laptop. I also have my passwords in my address book. My binders are in the bookcase behind my desk – I like to keep them at arm’s reach.
þ Add a genealogy codicil to your will. Luckily I married an attorney so no appointment necessary. Out of all my children, Juliana, is the only one that will be entrusted with my research. Unfortunately, the others do not seem overly interested in my work. I have made my choices clear and the family knows what taking care of my work will entail and cost.