Saturday, July 10, 2021

Organizing and Storing Family History

In an informal poll on Twitter this week, I asked how people organize and store #Genealogy and #FamilyHistory materials. Here are the results, with 109 answers recorded.

Most used method: file folders

File folders took first place, with nearly 39% of the votes. Additional tweets noted that some people use color-coded files and folders. (Color-coding doesn't work for everyone, as Janine Adams wrote in a blog post this week.)

A lot of people said they use file folders in combination with other storage. Me too! See below.


In second place: binders. I really admire how Paul Chiddicks organized his genealogical records, which he blogged about last year here. Do take a minute to see how he uses binders, with color-coded labels. Plus a table of contents in each binder. Great organization.

Digital storage

Several participants noted their use of multiple digital storage methods to supplement or replace physical storage. New to me was the concept of network attached storage, high-capacity digital storage that allows you to access files on the network from multiple locations (at home, at work, etc.). PC Magazine has a recent review of these devices, in case you want to see capacity and pricing.

One comment mentioned rotating two different hard drives; another comment mentioned off-site storage, such as keeping a hard drive backup at a second location. I have two hard drives plus cloud storage. I back up automatically every day at the same time, and also back up manually when I'm working on a particular file. 

My fave: archival boxes 

Although I use file folders extensively, my originals (including old photos, certificates, albums, yearbooks, and more) are stored in archival boxes, keeping the contents safe yet easily accessed.

As shown at right, these have reinforced corners and can be stacked without crushing the contents. With my trusty label maker, I write surnames and contents on two sides so I can see at a glance what's stored where.

The key is to experiment and find out what works best for you. 

1 comment:

  1. I love archival boxes! I have boxes by surnames, special sized boxes for scrapbooks, and other size boxes for letters. One thing I haven't used much is binders.