My S.M.A.R.T. goal meets Genealogy File Organization



My last post here on the blog was about organizing my genealogy files. Just scroll down if you missed it and would like to see what I’m referring to. I wrote this article in November outlining how I was going to organize my family history files/binders, scan it all and have a complete, accessible family history at my fingertips whether I wanted to look through it digitally or by hard copy in binders.

Well my intentions were good but along came the holidays and you know what? I did very little work on organizing my files.

I hate to admit it but I wrote another post in 2012 about scanning and organizing my files and nothing came of that attempt either!

So with a new year I want to do more than try to organize and scan my genealogy files. I want to accomplish it! This time I’m going to make it harder on myself to slack off.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound.

A further nudge in this direction came a couple of weeks ago at #Genchat. Our facilitator Jen Baldwin issued a challenge. Our challenge for the start of 2014 is to write a S.M.A.R.T. goal that relates to our genealogical research in the coming year.

While my goal isn’t exactly research it will help me with research in the long run.

I’m going to commit to organizing and scanning my genealogy files to make my future research easier, successful and more fun. Imagine how accomplished I’ll feel!!

To succeed I’m going to make myself accountable by committing to writing a weekly post on my organizing process.

Now I don’t have any organizing secrets nor have I read any books although I have read a couple of online articles. My goal is to get my files in order both the hard copies and digitally which will make future research easier. When I start researching and go to a surname or a specific ancestor I need to know all their information is in one place. Not on a bookshelf, in a pile of papers next to my desk and in a box under my bed! Which by the way is my current method! :)

My Clean Desk

My Clean Desk

So my first step this week was to clean up my desk and space around it. I had so many papers, photos, receipts, magazines and so on stacked up any quick movement would have sent stuff flying. The photos here are my desk “after” pics. I should have taken some “before” pics so you could see the improvement but I never thought to. Cleaned up, my space is a lot nicer to look at and a whole lot more welcoming. Now I can move around without causing a paper avalanche!

Scanning Station

Scanning Station

This second pic is my “scanning station”. I’ve set up my flatbed scanner for large documents and bigger photos. My Flip Pal is on the corner of my desk for average size pics. My two baskets are for pics “to be scanned” and the other for the ones that are scanned. I figure If I come across some stray photos tucked in drawers etc. I’ll drop them in the “to be scanned” basket. Then I’ll need to take my scanned photos and put them in binders or photo albums once a week or so.

If you’d like to follow my progress or offer me any tips please check back here on Saturdays and see how organizing my genealogy records is coming along. My plan is to take some action once a week in getting my genealogy files scanned and organized. At a steady pace I hope to have everything scanned and properly catalogued by the end of this year.

You can join in and organize your records along with me or just keep an eye out and see how I progress. I’ll review now and again to see if I’m keeping to this S.M.A.R.T. goal. Either way I hope you’ll come back every Saturday for my post on Organizing my Genealogy Files.

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2 thoughts on “My S.M.A.R.T. goal meets Genealogy File Organization

  1. Yes you need a little angel keeping an eye on your progress and helping with a nudge here and there. Does this mean that the “52 weekly report” on a family ancestor has been set aside?
    Also which surname are you working on first? The start looks great!!!

    • Betsy ~ Thank you for your comment! Are you my angel? :) I’m going to really try and do both organizing and #52Ancestors every week. In fact I want to write my #52Ancestors post along with organizing that same file. That way I’ll really be familiar with those particular ancestors I write about and maybe start a to-do list on what more I need to research as I go through their files. I think I’ll start with the small files like the Barrons and Nantzs and Wallers. I’m hoping having a couple files completely scanned will give me motivation to continue and tackle the larger Williams, Marshall and Van Meter binders. Fingers crossed!!

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