Is your family history handwritten on paper? Is it written out as text in a word processing document? Is it on random papers and stuffed in manila folders? Is it all kept in a software program (that is hopefully backed up!)? Maybe index cards? Or something else?
My genealogy information is in four basic formats:
- My genealogy software program
- 3-ring binders with sheet protectors for documents
- Personal genealogy reports in Microsoft Word documents
- Typed up notes and/or transcriptions from research trips in Microsoft Word
As I became more experienced, I still used the software program but now do more in a word processor. My personal genealogy reports include my objective/task, what I searched, what I found from those searches and my conclusions up to that point. I find those are really helpful with brick walls that are researched over a long period of time. It's hard to keep all the information in my head and the research report helps remind me quickly where I left off.
I used to fight the urge to use 3-ring binders and sheet protectors. Now I have caved into it. When I am hot on the genealogy trail I need to be able to access and review my documents quickly. Stuffing them in a manila folder doesn't let me flip between the documents easily. As I am processing and analyzing I sometimes flip through the information hundreds of times. I also print out pedigree charts and family groups sheets and put them in my binder so that I am not dependent on a computer for a quick look-up.
If you were to review your information as I suggested in the webinar, what format would you find your information in? How would you gather and sort through it?
Let me know!
Photo Credit: photo by Muffet and used under the creative commons license.