|Deed scans waiting to be processed|
My main organizational method included a file naming pattern such as this: SurnameGivenName-Year-documenttype. That would translate as EdwardsJohn-1792-baptism.jpg. In this way I could see all my ancestors alphabetically, then chronologically by name and also quickly identify the specific document. I thought I was pretty clever using that system.
Now I don't feel so clever. The thing is I'm experiencing data overload. In the early days when I was simply downloading images from Ancestry.com that system worked pretty well. Now I am regularly taking photographs, scanning papers copies on my non-portable flatbed scanner, scanning from books and records with my Magic Wand and next up will be even more scanning, including microfilm, with the Flip Pal.
As far as I can see I have three challenges:
1) Processing all the electronic files and renaming them
2) Organizing them in a more specific manner (considering that the volume has increased 10 fold)
3) Deciding which files to attach to a genealogy software program
(Another challenge which I won't even try to address here is how to do all of the above for house histories which don't fit neatly into the family focused programs.)
My number one goal is to be able to put my hands on a specific file at a moment's notice. If I can achieve that, I will feel like I have a good system in place. I would also like to be able to process all of my electronic files efficiently. Right now I am a bit overwhelmed at the thought of renaming the hundreds that I can bring in during just one research trip.
Is anyone else dealing with this enormous jump in the intake of electronic files? How have you coped with increase in volume? How are you renaming your files? Is anyone using a database to manage their files? Or is there perhaps a software program that helps keep the chaos under control?
I would love to hear your suggestions!