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Monday, July 29, 2013

My Not Quite Precisely Organized Binder System.




My father  had  all of his genealogy finds and correspondence in a one inch binder.  So, thanks to Dad, when I began my research, I chose binders over files. But, I had the Internet so my binders grew quickly. It was 1998 and I was printing every email and all possible clues.

I now have two long shelves filled with binders in my office closet. My system is very simple, but not very precise. 

Some of my families fit into one binder. Other families have binders for each generation. My great-great-grandfather, Reddick Bryan, lived in NC, GA, and LA. He has a binder for each state, a binder for copied Louisiana deed records, a binder for information about his daughters and another binder for his sons. 

If there is more than one generation or family name in a binder, I use page separators to divide the information, but that is the extent of my organization. There are no numbers or color coding and there is no specific order.

This works for me as it's an easy and quick way to sort and store. And, I spend more time researching and less time filing. 

The big disadvantage of using this "not quite precisely organized binder system" is that you might have to search the entire binder to find one item. For me, this is usually a benefit rather than a disadvantage. It gives me the opportunity to look at forgotten items and to consider new possibilities for research. 

One last note - Thanks to the influence of Susan Peterson, at The Organized Genealogist, I am trying reduce my paper and, in turn, reduce the number and size of my binders. As I use a binder, I am now purging unnecessary items, duplicates, and anything that has been saved to my computer. Someday, I will have one binder per family; each containing only original and very important documents and photographs. All other items will be organized digitally in my "not quite precisely organized folder system."

Diana
© 2013
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Source


Peterson, S. (2013). The Organized Genealogist. Retrieved July 20, 2013, from http://organizedgenealogist.blogspot.com/


5 comments:

  1. Diana,
    I love your "not quite precisely organized folder system." It's similar to mine and it just works that way for me as well. Thank you for a great post.

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  2. I am so happy that I am not the only one! I have read, printed, Watched videos, paid for webinars, on every organizational method there is, But I just keep buying more binders!! It is just too easy and it tends to keep me focused. If I have the Brewer binder open I will tend to just work on it. When I had folders, I was all over the place and printed out more duplicates than anything. It works for me also.

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  3. I commend your diligence in maintaining all your files organized, Diana. I agree with you that having a not-so organized binder will result in a prolonged search, but at the same time, you could use that to your advantage and try to sort out files that are out of place. Have you considered having them converted to digital files for easier sorting out?

    Ruby Badcoe @ Williams Data Management

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  4. I too enjoy The Organized Genealogist. We've all had some good exchanges on that page and learned many good ideas.

    Diane

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