What is the biggest challenge when it comes to organizing your genealogy research materials? Lack of time, space, motivation? From this side of the paper mountain, it might not seem worth your while, but the benefits of organizing your work – more efficient research, finding new information you might have missed, not duplicated your efforts to name a few — make it worth it. In our four-week course, Organize Your Genealogy, you’ll learn how to overcome those obstacles and make the effort you put into your organization pay off. Here are three tips to get you started.
Keep it Simple
Set Smart Goals
Organizing your genealogy will not happen overnight. It is a process that involves setting manageable and attainable goals, deciding on the best methods for your paper and electronic files and then executing your plan. Set a SMART goal: make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Knowing your personality, can you realistically tackle an entire bookshelf or set of cabinets? If that thought sends you off to see what’s on television, why not set a smaller, more realistic goal of tackling a single drawer – or even one file? Once you’ve completed it, you’ll not only have a sense of accomplishment, there’s a good chance you’ll want to keep going – or find some research gem you’ll want to pursue.
Timing is Everything
Set a time limit on your organization sessions. Can you rename all your folders online to be consistent in five minutes? Can you sort all the records sitting in your downloads folder into the correct files in 15? Accuracy is more important than the numbers, but by timing it and making it a challenge or a game, the drudgery can become a little more fun. Don’t forget to reward yourself when the time is up!