Genealogy Organization: My Problem and How I Can Solve It

By Diane Haddad

What’s your genealogy organization problem? Keeping your workspace uncluttered? Forgetting about the research leads you’ve set on the back burner for the time being? Losing dates and data you know you once had? Not pairing up pieces of information with their sources?

Our Organize Your Genealogy class will help with these and other organization problems, including mine: managing information I find online. I tend to do research here and there at work, as I write blog posts and edit articles. I’ll find some details and download some records or take some screenshots, then tell myself I better focus on work because the Genealogy Insider weekly newsletter isn’t going to write itself.

Then I rush to plop source details into a Google Drive spreadsheet and dump everything into a folder on my hard drive that looks like this:

Messy, right? Clues I missed in my haste are probably buried in here.

My goal is to pause finding new things (which may be the hardest part) and focus on what I already have. I need to transfer files to my home computer, name them appropriately, make sure the finds are recorded in my online tree, and file the records on my hard drive (where I have folders for each of my grandparents’ lines and each of my husband’s grandparents’ lines, and surname folders within those).

The Organize Your Genealogy online course starts Sept. 7 and runs four weeks, covering paper and digital organization, as well as developing organized workflows (this is what I need). Learn more about it on Family Tree University.