When I decided to get serious about genealogy a year or two ago, I jumped at many opportunities there are to learn. I signed up for lots of free newsletters, as well as paid webinars and classes, books, and other resources. I joined Ancestry, Fold 3, Mocavo, and Genealogy Bank. And I spent a good deal of money at Shop Family Tree. There are no shortage of ways for me to research my ancestors.
Unfortunately, I’m not working on genealogy full-time. I have an organizing business to run, as well as the demands of day-to-day life. I want to both do the research and improve my researching skills. So some of these learning opportunities are lying fallow at the moment.
And here’s where the overwhelm kicks in: I know there are a lot of purchased items spread out over my hard drive. Some are in my files. Others on my bookshelves. I don’t know what I have. If I do know, I’m not exactly sure where to find it.
It’s time to do something about that. Here’s where my resources are scattered:
Hard drive: I’ve done a good job of organizing my hard drive when it comes to research documents (i.e. documentation about my ancestors). But it’s time to put a laser focus on my resources. I’m going to give some thought as to how to organize the stuff on my hard drive. I’m thinking of subfolders in my Genealogy folder, based on subject. But I know also need a way to track what I’ve actually read/viewed and what I haven’t. Perhaps a spreadsheet. But right now I think I might use Springpad, which I’ve been experimenting with of late. Of course, Evernote could be another option.
Book shelves and file cabinet: I have some books and some CD-ROMs and some printed PDFs scattered about. I need to locate them, catalog them, and store them all in one place, where I can easily retrieve them.
Organizing all these resources is a great first step. But the next step is to actually read the stuff, learn from it and apply what I’ve learned! When I read something particularly useful, I’ll be sure to share it here.