Earlier this week I couldn’t put my hands on a tax document I needed. (It’s nice to know that professional organizers have these problems too, right?) I tore apart my office looking for it (not a pretty sight). And in doing so I discovered a whole bunch of unfiled papers related to genealogy. What? I’m supposed to be all about digital genealogy. Where’d all this paper come from?
I put all the papers together in a container. (That’s a picture of it at the top of this post.) They appear to be categorized in some way. At least I think they are, because they’re in five separate plastic file sleeves, plus a few loose papers.
I also gathered together all my unread genealogy publications. I have a backlog of issues of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine and the Missouri State Genealogical Association Journal. I have a bad habit of putting these publications aside when they arrive in the mail. But I know that at the very least reading case studies can be useful, so I’d like to dig into them.
I have no idea what treasures or clues might be hiding among all that paper. So I’ve decided to focus on the paper until it’s gone. Starting today. Here’s my plan:
- Review the loose paper first, spending 30 minutes a day processing it until it’s gone. That might mean discarding or scanning and processing like I do other documents I find online. Or it might mean simply reading and taking notes (in Evernote). Or it might be a simple case of not needing the paper any more. (I’m hoping for some no-brainer recycling in there.) In any case, my intention is to discard the paper after it’s digested. I’ll feel successful when all the paper is gone.
- Once the papers have been dealt with. I’ll turn my attention to the journals. Again, I’ll spend 30 minutes a day. I imagine I’ll take notes in Evernote. And I won’t be too surprised if I end up keeping the publications on a bookshelf (but we’ll see).
Does anyone want to join me on dealing with a paper backlog in February?