A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I started collecting genealogy documents on my computer. I put things in folders labeled Census, Ellis Island, Passports, etc. It made sense…at the time.
Now it’s a decade later. I’ve got thousands of people who I’ve collected documents for and I can’t see to find anything! Why isn’t her sheet in the 1910 census folder? Oh, I put it under Portuguese ancestor research. Why, of course, it makes so much sense! (Sarcasm intended) I have found myself redoing research only because I can’t remember where I filed something the day I did the research.
Doing research on the web, has changed the way I collect data–and the amount. Because of this, I’ve decided that filing documents under the type of research doesn’t make sense anymore. I will still keep subject folders for those documents I haven’t quite figured out.
Right now, I am working on moving everything into folders by surname and then sub folders by each couple. It makes more sense to me. I’m less likely to look for something in the 1910 census folder. I am more like to say “What research have I done on Martin Kelly and Catharine Dolan” and then look for their documents all in one place.
In the end, I may also put all the photos in the same folders. That way I can see that I have these photos for Jose Pacheco and Minnie Ventura and then see that I have 5 documents as well.
How do you organize your data? Have you changed your habits since you’ve amassed documents from the web?