Getting Past Binder Chaos / Confusion

BindersIt’s week two of ‘Finally Get Organized‘ and I sort of ‘freaked out’ about the binder portion of the assignment. The task was to create a binder for 4 generations along my dad’s line starting with me as a child. Simple enough since I already had binders — until I started overthinking the task. That’s when the ‘freaking out’ started:

  • 4 generations of stuff won’t fit in one binder
  • do I get my own binder — No — I’m supposed to go in my dad’s binder — but his binder is already full
  • what happens to my mom’s stuff? Do I ‘kick it out’ of my dad’s binder?

When I quit ‘sweating the details’ and actually started going thru the binders and making sure everything was in order within the binder, I found that I was making progress even though I didn’t exactly follow directions.

  • I left my stuff in it’s own binder [and left each of my brother’s in their own binders] since there is no way it will fit in a binder with my father.
  • Took the pictures of my mom out of my dad’s binder for now and placed them in the binder of family pictures that still needs organized — i.e. kicked her out of the binder
  • Left my grandmother’s stuff in my grandfather’s binder for now — am waiting for further assignments that will deal with the female lines.

I’ve had these family notebooks since starting researching the family in the late 1970s. As I obtained more and more documents, I had to separate the generations into their own notebooks. [Pictured is my binder on top, my dad’s on the bottom left and my grandfather’s on the bottom right.]

One of the things I discovered thru this week’s tasks was that my documentation needed to be cleaned up. Until about a year ago, I was a Master Genealogist user. Within Master Genealogist, I had entered a lot of ‘events’ and had documentation for most of those events. That documentation was built on templates based on Elizabeth Shown Mills’ work. However, I had not updated or modified those templates to the level of Evidence Explained. When I converted my data over to RootsMagic, all of that documentation transferred over. Unfortunately, some of my sources don’t have enough info or properly formatted info to produce footnotes of value. I hadn’t discovered this problem until I printed the family group sheets for the binders.

Not only do I need to cleanup some of the documentation but I need to add the media to the sources. Fortunately, I have already scanned the notebooks on my dad’s line thru my great-grandfather! Unfortunately, bursting at the seams notebooks means lots of events and equally lots of documentation needing media attached.

One of the great pluses of this week’s assignment was forcing myself to take the time to document procedures. Besides writing the intros, I’ve documented where RootsMagic stores everything. I’ve also documented my backup plan – both local and in the cloud. I still need to work on the codicil to our will since the recommended format is more detailed than what we included in our wills.

Thank you Dear Myrtle for causing all of my chaos/confusion this week! I look forward to next week’s challenge.


FGO – Week 1

It’s Sunday and I’m proud to say – ‘My homework is done’! I’ve completed the tasks in the Jan 3rd-9th 2016

FINALLY Get Organized Checklist

Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything

This one was easy since I actually cleaned my computer area yesterday! My desk is mostly clear of piles. Now to just take the time to put items away when finishing for the evening.

My Piles:

  • Worship planning: Hymnal, church calendar, notes just need put away when finished creating the worship media each week.
  • Scanning: Since I’m currently scanning from memory books and notebooks, I have a small worktable next to my computer for this ‘pile’.
  • Books: I have a book case on the opposite wall with ample space for my reference books. Since I’m trying to transition from paper to digital, some of my reference books are Amazon eBooks. I’ve installed the Kindle app on my computer and discovered that I could create a collections. Thus, I now have a ‘genealogy’ collection

Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items

Need another ‘easy’ button for this since this task was mostly completed earlier! First, my husband purchased archival photo boxes for me for Christmas. Then as I was scanning photos, I realized that I was running out of sheet protectors and have more on order along with photo pages.

Setup your computer desk and office the way you really want it

When I started the ‘Genealogy Do-Over’ in July, I made a change to my computer area that I’m really enjoying. I created space for my old laptop to the left of my two monitors. By using my laptop, I can have a webinar going on the laptop and still continue scanning and/or research on my computer.

During the ‘do-over’ process, I also discovered One Note and that I like to use it for task management. Thus, I have a typing easel nearby for my tablet. This saves me screen space since I can keep One Note open on my tablet.

Establish a ‘RED’ clipboard (folder/notebook) as the “when Computer Help Arrives” clipboard

I don’t know that I will use this since I am ‘the help’, but I created a ‘RED’  notebook in One Note for technology issues just in case.

As part of this notebook, I’m creating a technology ‘wish list’. Most of the items on this list will become ‘essential’ if I purchase a laptop to replace my current desktop computer. This list will allow me to keep track of items such as a ‘wireless monitor’ or other devices to allow the connection of multiple monitors to a laptop.

Designate a special ‘GREEN’ clipboard as the ‘Genealogy Challenges’ Clipboard.

I created a ‘Green’ notebook in One Note titled ‘Genealogy Challenges’ for this. I’ve discovered that keeping a research log of any sort is one of my biggest challenges. Perhaps, I should add that as a challenge on this clipboard.

One down and 51 to go. Hopefully, I will be able to stay with this 2016 genealogy project!