The Genealogy Journey

The newbie genealogist's resource for books, mags, databases, and -- of course -- any free research stuff to be found on the Internet.

Friday, March 17, 2006

From Garbage Disposals to Forgetfulness to Your Family Tree Traveling Binder

I love starting to become organized. My favorite store, Borders, is right next to an office supply store. Ah … the joy of accordion hanging folders, printable labels, and medium-point, rolling ball pens. (Am I the only one that thinks these stores are under-stocked and should branch out into “super” office supply stores?)

Note that I wrote “starting to become organized,” and not “being organized.” Many people in my family think I am organized, when in reality I do the minimum required to keep my life and my family’s lives running smoothly. For example, it’s not because I’m organized that I’ve labeled the switches by the kitchen sink as “Garbage Disposal” and “Light.” If that were the case, I’d have labels on all the switches in the house. No … they’re labeled because I realized life would be more difficult if I or someone else in the family ground up their hand in a moment of forgetfulness.

Speaking of forgetfulness, a recent post to a genealogy forums explained her method of staying organized when she was out and about doing family tree research. She recommends a zippered binder big enough to hold:

- Alphabetical index dividers to hold sheets of family group data.
- Lined paper or a notebook.
- Small notepad to serve as a “to do” list – Can write down where you left off researching, helpful sites to revisit, or non-helpful sites to avoid.
- A place for pens and pencils.
- A zippered pouch to store change (for making copies), a small magnifying glass, or other whatnot.
- An address book to write down names of other family members doing research or others you meet with intersecting family trees.
- Business cards with your name, address, and email, along with a short list of names you are researching. You can get inexpensive business cards from Kinkos or VistaPrint. In fact, you can get 250 VistaPrint cards FREE, as long as you don’t mind that they print their logo on the back.

I have a great method from another forum member on organizing online photographs. I suspect we could all use some help with this, whether the photos are ancestral or current.

Stay tuned for that …

~Mary Kaye

P.S. I should be commended for my graceful segue from hand-grinding to forgetfulness to genealogy organization, no?

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