I had to reinstall the operating system on my MacBook last week. (I paid someone to do it for me.) If you’re interested, you can read some details about that in this blog post on my organizing blog. As a result, I spent some time focusing on the contents of the Documents folder of my hard drive before the big day.
I thought my genealogy documents were quite well organized on my hard drive. (I organize my documents in a Genealogy folder and Surname subfolder, by surname, then person.) Turns out, they weren’t quite as well organized as I thought. I was surprised to see that I had all sorts of loose files, some of them properly named, others with gibberish image names, floating around on my hard drive. Many were in my Downloads folder. Some were in the Genealogy folder. There are probably more elsewhere that I haven’t yet found.
It was actually quite a boon. Many of them I had not processed into my Reunion software. Some offered clues and insights. And it feels so much better to know things actually are well organized. (Or at least to have the illusion they are.)
If you download documents from Ancestry or elsewhere or if you scan documents into your computer, it might be worth 15 minutes to poke around your hard drive and see if there are any stray documents that didn’t make it into the proper folder!