Monday, January 25, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized: January Report

 I love organization. Lately it seems like there aren't enough hours in the day to get organized and stay that way! So I am excited that Dear Myrtle is doing her "FINALLY Get Organized!" series.
January has been a challenging month with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and some family issues. But I've managed some big accomplishments.

My desk and computer work space is pristine. I feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off my back. I can actually find things on my desk because all of the piles are gone. There are no distractions now that I have the one thing I'm working on sitting on my desk. The best part is that I cleaned up the desk the first week of January and here it is the last week of the month and it's still clean

My notebook system is pretty similar to what Dear Myrtle wants us to set up. But I did have some glaring holes! There was no section for myself or sibling. Oops! Also, while I do have sections set up for Dad and his parents, some important documents weren't included. Honestly, I just couldn't bring myself to put Dad's death certificate in there. But it's time. While I was at it, there were a couple of birth and marriage documents that I added, scanned, attached to my RootsMagic database and transcribed. Sometimes we get so wrapped up with chasing down the ancestors we didn't personally know, we forget to properly organize the more recent generations. 

I still have boxes and boxes of papers belonging to my parents and grandparents that I'm slowly organizing. That's not going to get done this month. All in good time.

One important task on Myrt's list was to, "Create an introduction..." She goes on to say, "Your surname binder and surname digital file folder on your computer each need an introduction to quickly orient those who find your work later." This is so important if we want our family to be able to use our work! I'm working on this task this week.

We need a file naming scheme for our digital files. Mine goes something like this:


My hope is that this will allow the files for an individual to naturally sort in chronological order. It works pretty well...unless there are variations in the way someone spelled their name. I always name the file using the name the way it was spelled in the document.

Just for fun, I've started putting photos on the front of my binders. Here's the cover I created for the Roos binder:
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 © 2016, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Good for you Michelle!!! Doesn't it feel wonderful to actually SEE the results of our work?

  2. Great work! I'm still working on my filing system as it was nothing like Dear Myrt suggested so the change over process has been a slow process but I am enjoying the results.
    Love your front cover photos

  3. Michelle, I too have been dragging my feet over scanning and transcribing my father's death certificate. Thank you for reminding me.

  4. Congratulations Michelle on a job well done!

  5. Looking good Michelle! You *can* do this and it's much easier to keep it up now that you have the initial organization done. :) I love the cover page to your binder to include some photos.
    Congrats and forward ho!
    ;o) Valerie

  6. Bob and Debbie, It does feel wonderful to see the results of our efforts. And it provides the motivation to keep working at it!

  7. Sandra, Hang in there with organizing your notebooks. Myrt's system is a good one!

  8. Pat, You're welcome! It's a tough emotional task.

  9. Valerie,
    Forward Ho is right! Making the notebook cover with photos made the task more fun too! Thanks for the encouragement.