Posted By:Donna Barré
Subject:Genealogy 102--How to organize my "stuff"
Post Date:March 07, 2002 at 17:37:27
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Forum:General Forum
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Hi All,
I am an advanced-beginner in genealogy researcher. I have collected a critical mass of stuff, and feel like I don't want to continue doing research until I can organize my materials. I also want to make sure I'm entering references to my documents, and don't want to start creating references until I can link the refs. to the location of the documents.

If each piece of paper (or set of pages copied from a single source) referred to just one surname it would be fairly straightforward to create one file per surname. But short of making several copies of the same piece(s) of paper, I can't think of a system for filing that clicks in my head that doesn't involve a great number of dead trees. Perhaps I should just get over it and make the copies, but it seems like there must be a better way.

Would folks please tell me how they organize their stuff and/or suggest on-line or paper sources that discuss the pros and cons of different filing and referencing systems that work together?

Also, how do you decide who/what to enter on your computer data base? I have found information on the LDS web site that would take one of my lines back to the 1500's, but without verifying each person myself, I feel like I might make more of a mess of my files if I include this material. On the flip side, I don't want to discard this info either. What would you suggest?