Genealogy Pros’ Best Practices to Organize Your Research

Genealogy Pros’ Best Practices to Organize Your Research

Staying organized is one of the keys to successful genealogical research. These tips from professional researchers will help you get your genealogy space into shape.

• Keep an updated to-do list for research tasks.
• Place frequently used items within easy reach of your work surface.
• Know how you work: If you’re a visual person, put reminders and lists in view on a bulletin board or a desk calendar. If you’re attached to your phone or you need a clear desk to focus, try a calendar app.
• Look for apps, equipment and other tools that fit the way you work. Use the blogs and sites listed on page 24 to find out what other genealogists like you use.
• Label paper and digital file folders with a consistent scheme, to make the contents easy to find.
• Similarly, come up with a consistent scheme to name digitized photos and records, such as lastname-firstname-day-month-year-recordtype.
• Take a few minutes to file or recycle papers and neaten your desk after each use. You’ll be able to start your next research session with fewer distractions.
• Keep a “to file” basket on your desk or a shelf, and schedule regular times to file those papers.
• Make room for small comforts and inspiration, such as music and family photos.
• Before you go out and purchase organizational supplies, take stock of the materials you need to organize, decide how you’ll arrange them, and research containers or furniture that will suit your needs.
From the May/June 2014 Family Tree Magazine

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