AncestorNews: Get Organized

I made the unfortunate discovery that I'm not quite as organized as I thought when my sister wanted to create a scrapbook page of our grandparents' wedding day. I knew Aunt Helen had sent me a copy of Grandma and Grandpa's wedding certificate, but it had arrived on a busy day and it went into a stack on my desk. Now that Vicki wanted to include it in her scrapbook page, I couldn't find it anywhere.

I'm pretty good at filing records I find online or in the library, but I haven't yet devised a system for tracking those marvelous bits and pieces that come in the mail. And I get plenty—especially from Aunt Helen, who always manages to find yet one more photo, obituary or family story.

If you have a system for handling family tree data that comes in the mail, I'd love to hear about it. Until I hear from you, I'm going to delve into these online sites:

How Do I Keep All of This Stuff Straight?
A how-to column written by George Morgan.

Organizing Your Paper Files
Click Search tab, then Research Helps, then Sorted by Title. Under "O," you'll find several organizing guides.

Producing Quality Research Notes
A skill-building technique from the Board for Certification of Genealogists

Organizing Your Research
The types of files you may use to organize research.

Look for more organization tips from Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, author of Organizing Your Family History Search, in the April 2002 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

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