Notes from the past…

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This evening's work

I got my desk finished. I have all the genealogy-related books in place, and straightened up and dusted off the rest of the desk. Looks pretty good right now.
I also started on the stacks of folders and papers on the floor. I got all the existing folders reorganized according to the new protocol and put back in the filing cabinet. I didn’t go thru and organize any individual folders; I just placed all like surnames in the same folder. Now the stack of papers in down to about 7″ high! A good beginning!
A couple of years ago, I started a large 3-ring binder as a surname folder. It is divided into alphabetical sections, with a family group sheet and research summary for each family unit. At the time, a handy reference guide for my database. But now, I’m undecided about what to do with the binder and its contents. It’s kind of redundant to use it as it is set up now, since I have the computer database in the making. When I finally get all the new system set up and organized into a workable research and records management program, I intend to export the GEDCOM to my PDA for use on research trips. That’s what I originally bought the PDA for, but have rarely used it. Pretty expensive paper weight!
I have read several books and articles that recommend using 3-ring binders to organize data by surnames, but I really wanted to use my file cabinet and think for now it will work just fine, but I can see where eventually I will outgrow this filing cabinet and will either need a bigger one or I will have to get a book shelf and change over to the 3-ring binder system. But right now I don’t want to spend the money to change over. My first and biggest priority is getting this new system up and running and my FTM database up to date. Then we’ll see how space is left!

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A big pile on the floor!

When I got home from work this afternoon, I started making new surname folders. I also printed out a pedigree chart for the entire database and a surname list. These go into a 3-ring binder along with the Ahnentafel report for the entire database and the research and documentation guidelines that I created yesterday. I also created a surname folder organization plan that goes into the binder.
For the surname folders, I also printed out Ahnentafel reports for my 8 direct line surnames.
Then, I took all the folders and loose papers out of my 2-drawer filing cabinet. They are all in several stacks on my living room floor. To this mess I added all the other loose papers that were stacked on the top of my desk and the lower shelves of the desk.
Next, I’m going to move all my genealogy-related books from my bookcase and put them in/on my desk for easy access.
The toughest part will be going through all the papers on the floor and putting each into its surname folder. I’ll have to make more folders as I go along, and will probably have to buy more folders. This will probably take several days. As I create each additional folder, I will also print out family groups sheets to go with each family group.
And finally, after I get all the surname folders created and organized, only then will I start adding the data to my FTM program. Not exactly how I originally planned to do this, but I think it will work out the best.