Here’s the next in my occasional series of bite-size Quick Tips. Click on the Quick Tips tag for my other Quick Tips. Because I tend to write longer posts, I wanted to provide a quick-to-read (and quick-to-write) post every couple of weeks on a small topic that pops into my head. This one changed my genealogy life.
Resist the urge to print
As a professional organizer, I know what a problem paper clutter can be. And I know how hard it can be to access unfiled paper (and so much paper is unfiled!). So I am a huge proponent of not printing genealogy documents I find online. Instead, I encourage you to download and file them.
The key to feeling confident about downloading, rather than printing, is to have a reliable file-naming protocol and folder structure so that you can find the documents. Mine is detailed in this post, but yours might be different. That’s great, as long as it works for you. When you download and file digitally, rather than print and file or put into binders, your documents are always at your fingertips when you’re at your computer, even if you’re at a library or repository. It can be a mindset shift, but I think it’s worth it.
It’s important to mention, as was brought up in the comments to this post, that it’s absolutely essential to backup your hard drive if you’re going to store your documents digitally. I wrote about this in my last quick tip.
For extensive information on going paperless in your genealogy research, check out the Paperless Genealogy Guide I wrote with scanning expert Brooks Duncan, available for purchase at his website, DocumentSnap.