Blogging Prompt #11

The blogging prompt for week 11 is ~

"Have a unique record filing system? Share your secrets! Every genealogist has a stack of paper and an individual way of organizing the pile. Share your way of tackling the record mountain and help others get organized!"

Wow, this can be a long subject! Let me think, I believe I have tried three different procedures, and refiled each time. Between online classes, a classroom instructor, and everything you read about on how to file, I think you have to try and find what works best for you.

I feel I am much more organized with my computer files. I have color coded files for each surname and folders inside each to break down, census, photos, etc. I really like this setup, it has worked well for me so far, although I do have some filing to do there!

My home files are set up similar to the computer files. I have matching (to my computer files) color coded binders with each surname. I have sectioned the binders with an area for census, vitals, etc. I generally let a stack of paper pile up all together for a month or so, and then go through quickly and file. I first separate by surname and then work on each surname by filing either in the binders or in hanging folders I have in a file drawer. Anything that I don't want in the binder, goes under the surname file in the drawer. It really doesn't take me long to file. And, as of this very minute, I have everything filed!

There is one thing I do that I haven't heard much about. I decided that all the certificates I have are to important to keep in my binders and or file cabinet. Most cost good money and time to achieve. I have recently put them in my home safe. I feel much better having them there. Just knowing they aren't prone to possible fire, water or whatever other hazard there may be, is a soothing feeling! Hum...this has me thinking, I don't have them in archival protectors, I wonder if they should be? One thing I do know for sure is that I plan to open the safe every couple weeks or so to let fresh air in.

As time goes by and I discover new and inventive ways to file, I am sure I will try them out. Anything that will help with organization and making it simple, I am game for! But for now, there you filing system!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!



  1. Sounds good to me Cheryl, you have a very organized system going. What do you do with say printed references and information that you may use later. I have a paper file that I don't want to get rid of but am not printing any more to be a little more "green" concious (sp?) I started hanging files on most subjects for example: digital photos and all about photography etc. Just a thought and maybe to see how others are doing it. Thank you for sharing and it gives me some great ideas. I like the color folders in your computer files, didn't know you could do that, I may need some tutoring on that one!

  2. Hi Gini,

    I do have a file drawer where I keep files for all of the surnames I am researching. My loose papers and notes etc. go in the appropriate folder in my file cabinet. I prefer to have files by surnames at this point, that way I don't have to go look at several different folders to find everything relating to that particular family. Everyone is different however, and filing systems are different also. Use whatever works for you! Let me know if you need help with the color folders. Thank you for commenting!


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