My Genealogy Organization Score: C

By Diane Haddad

In light of our Organize Your Genealogy in a Week online workshop (happening Jan. 24-31, and see below for a chance to win a registration), I thought it would be fitting to show you my genealogy organization “system.”

First, there’s this:


When I started researching genealogy, I printed or photocopied all the records I found. I still get the occasional record on paper (which I scan). For these, I have binders. One for my dad’s side, one for my mom’s, and one for my husband’s family.

I have another small file of “stuff,” such as papers from a great-aunt, receipts for my mom’s school books when she was little, and my grandpa’s Kentucky Colonel card.

It’s all jumbled together and needs organization and better storage containers.

Most records I get now are in digital form. How can I put this? I won’t even show you. Some of it’s on our laptop computer, some of it’s on our desktop, and some of it’s attached to emails waiting to be filed. Some things are in two or three places.

My plan is to get all my digital files onto one computer. I’ve been pretty good about updating my tree online and attaching records, so at least the information is in an organized form. (From my “In Case I Get Hit by a Bus” to-do list, I do need to share my password with a genealogy-minded someone.)

As for my research log … well, I need to be better about pausing in my research to update my to-do list. I’ve been using Evernote, but I want to see whether I’ll be more consistent if I use a Google Drive spreadsheet.

So I give myself a C when it comes to genealogy organization. How about you? Could you use some help keeping track of what genealogy information you have and what you need, and putting it into some kind of order that makes sense?

The aforementioned Organize Your Genealogy in a Week online workshop has on-demand webinars and video classes, written lessons, and expert advice from How To Archive Family Keepsakes author Denise May Levenick via the conference message board (also a good place for sharing tips with other participants).

We’re giving away a free registration to the Organize Your Genealogy in a Week Workshop! Click here to enter your name before Jan. 21 at 11:59 ET.

The workshop is Jan. 24-31 at Family Tree University—check it out here.