Friday, December 12, 2008

De-Cluttering Your Genealogy Challenge Part 2

Welcome to part 2 of our get organized challenge. I have some more tasks for you - all of which focus on getting your desk/research area nice and ready to do some research in. You can’t do research if you don’t have the proper supplies, and part of being organized is having all the supplies you need at your fingertips.
So here are your tasks:

1.) Make sure that you have all of those office supplies that you need to do your research and make sure that they are stored nearby your desk so you can easily have access to them. Also, make sure you buy one of those cheap desk organizers (either the containers that go on top of your desk to hold pens and such, or the kind that go into your desk to keep everything in a separate compartment). Some of the supplies that I would suggest would be pens, pencils, computer paper and ink, a thumb drive (sometimes called a jump drive), file folders or binders with dividers (depending on which system of organization you use to keep your paper files organized), etc.

2.) Make sure your computer area is comfortable and easy to move around in. That means, make sure that your desk is big enough to fit your computer and still have a little room so that you can write something down if you want. Make sure that your chair is comfy, because nothing will hurt your back if you are sitting in a bad chair for hours on end. Bottom line: Just make sure the area feels comfortable to your tastes.

3.) If you haven’t done this already, figure out a system to organize your papers. This is one thing that I will not be going over in detail, because I’ve done it many, many times before. You can check out my videos on Youtube ( and my other blog entries on it.

4.) If you haven’t done this already, find a computer program that will organize all of your data. The only real requirement on this one is that it can read, import, and export GEDCOM files (GEDCOM is the file type that is used for storing family trees).

5.) For now, put all of your pictures into big manila envelopes. Separate these pictures into categories such as "Mom as a baby", "Trip to Disney World 1996", etc. Label each envelop with the category and put all of these envelopes aside. We will deal with these slowly so that we don’t overwhelm ourselves. Trust me.

Good luck everyone, and I hope you guys are all doing well. Stay tuned because I am planning on making a video to show you my successes!

P.S: I am back to having internet at home on a consistent basis. Feel free to email me ( or comment on these blog entries. I would love to hear from you.


wendy said...

Elyse - you have such great suggestions! Right now I have someone living in the room with all my genealogy files & I can't hardly get to it! In fact all my scrapbook stuff is also in that room & I have all that in tubs so I can't do much of the "paper" scrapbooking at this point! Wish I could get back to being more organized!