One of the goals for 2011 for the W. C. Genealogy Group was to get organized. We have had a few sessions on organizing our research as well as an organizing party where we tackled our paper piles and placed them in sheet protectors and notebooks.

For some of us, myself included, the thrill of the hunt for more information overshadows everything, including the reviewing and evaluation of the documents and information that has been collected.  Its just something about the chase and once you hit a brick wall, you start doing cluster genealogy where you start looking for the families of the brothers, sisters, cousins, 2nd wives, etc.

As they say, hindsight is 20/20.  But luckily with genealogy, its not a bad thing.  If you are like me, then you have paper everywhere and frown at the thought of trying to organize it.  Hence my tip to you, start organizing early.

Though its not hard to go back and organize what you have found, (in some cases, it a very good idea because the one thing you can’t seem to find could be sitting in the stack of paper you have on the corner of your desk), its just time consuming.  In my case, I can’t help but think while I’m doing it, that I could be searching on Ancestry, Heritage, Family Search, Cyndi’s list, the Archives, etc., to fill more of my blanks.  But the question is, if you don’t know what you have, how can you know what you need?

So, my advice to you all, set aside some time to organize the paper/documents you are collecting because you will be adding more and more to the pile and before you know it, it will look like the leaning tower of paper.  And please don’t let it fall….

If you’re like me, you are working all day and sometimes are so tired, the last thing you want to do is organize anything, especially a stack of paper.  So here’s another tip, check out this book:

The Weekend Genealogist: Timesaving Techniques for Effective Research.
by Marcia Yannizze Melnyk.

This book has some very good tips for those of us who don’t have a lot of time during the week for research (or have been bitten by the crochet bug again).  Anyway, I digress.  Take a look at the book. The link is to the DeKalb County Public Library’s Online Catalog.  At the writing of this post, there were five copies of the book available at various branches. If you are not a resident of DeKalb, Atlanta Fulton also has a copy at the branches listed.  

As for me, I have started tackling my piles and have created a few notebooks.  But I still have a ways to go.  During this time, SAM’s club is my best friend because it has a 4 pack of notebooks for $10.00 and a pack of 200 sheet protectors for $10.00 as well.  With as little as 22.00, you can get a jump start on your organizing. Remember though, notebooks is just one way to do it.  There are many other ways and you will have to find the way that works for you.  Maybe that’s the topic of my next post.  We’ll see….  Happy Monday and good luck with your genealogical journey!!