Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolution - How I intend to complete my organization task

It is that time of the year again when at the start of a new year we all resolve to do something better, start something new or give something up.

If you have read my introduction or have been following me you know that my passion is genealogy. I am not giving this up!

When I got a new netbook I resolved not to let it and my files get disorganized or duplicated. However as time passed I needed access to items on my old laptop and the duplication or even worse triplication crept in.
I found a program called Easy duplicate finder and gave it a try. It worked, up to a point, but some of the problem was due to saving files under slightly different names and file sizes.
How to remove the duplication and organize my files so that I could find what I wanted easily.
Most of my data is genealogy related and my genealogy program Family Historian allows for everything to be stored in a Project folder. Many items were already in this folder but I was not happy with how it was organized. Most of my photographs are of living individuals but I also have some of gt gt grandparents. I have other digital images and many more left to scan. I have paper files which I also need to organize and wanted to file in a similar manner and had started to rearrange by family.
So how could I organize everything in a consistent manner.
Although some of the more recent photographs will contain members of both my husband’s and my family I decided that organizing using family groups was the best approach. Wedding photographs would be filed under the couple unless they contained an individual alone. Individuals would be filed under their family at the time the photograph was taken so that children would stay with their parents until they married.
Birth and Baptism records are with the parents family whereas marriage and death are with their family at the time of the event. This fits in well for those individuals who married several times and those who never married.
Before subdividing to the families I organize by surname which allows for documents pertaining to more than one family.
I also capitalize the Surnames in the main tree to distinguish them from the other surnames linked into the main tree by marriage.
Each of my son’s grandparents has a different colour assigned to their line. The folders are then coloured using a program called folder marker .
This program also allowed me to change the Icons for the main folders to a tree.

Finally I discovered a program called Bulk Rename Utility which I have started to use to clean up my file naming. This allow you to take several files and rename them in a single action and removes some of the tedium associated with this task.

So my resolution for this year is to complete this task.
Once I have completed this my next task is to reconcile my sources with what I have recorded in Family Historian this I aim to do using Evidentia
The developer of Evidentia has a new version in beta testing which is due to be released later this year.

My aim is to get this first task completed before the new study group for Mastering Genealogical Proof starts as I know I will be busy with this being one of the panelists. This will have a UK slant and will I believe show how the principles of research and analysis in genealogy apply wherever your research and documents are to be found.

I also plan to use Evernote and Onenote to help further my organization skills as I am aware that these are invaluable tools for many genealogists.
I have started using both but have not yet decided exactly how to get the best out of them.

To help me with all this I have signed up for the next Hack Genealogy Boot Camp and I shall continue to join Legacy Family Tree Webinars and Google + Hangouts to get hints and tips from others.

Thank you for reading my blog and if you have not already seen it please have a look at this new blog a collaborative blog which will have contributions from across the globe including yours truly.