AncestorNews: Getting Organized

By Nancy Hendrickson Premium

I hate to admit it, but my computer-phobic aunt is so organized she puts me to shame. We share a love of genealogy and family history, and often send one another photos, church records, marriage licenses, or excerpts from history books. Whenever I call her to check on something, she knows exactly where it is. When she calls me with a similar request, I have to call her back because I’m not quite sure where in my files to find that one piece of paper.

Reading Sharon Carmack’s book Organizing Your Family History Search (Betterway Books, $17.99) has helped get me on track, but the road is long and my papers are deep. I know, however, if I keep following Sharon’s advice, that I will equal Aunt Helen in my degree of organization!

Although we like to think that computers are helping create a paperless culture, the truth is we genealogists are paper-mongers. We hoard every little scrap possible. And, even though I promise myself that I’ll scan everything and just store the papers, my scanning always falls behind and the papers once again prevail.

Are you like me? If so, how about turning over a new leaf and getting more organized? I highly recommend Sharon’s book—it’ll give you the inspiration to get on track. In addition, here are a couple of Web sites with great ideas on beating the paper tiger.

Organizing Your Family Records

Organizing Your Paper Files