Tag Archives: organisationally challenged

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 3)

17 Jan

I have the feeling that I am achieving very little with my family history at the moment, and I am not really sure why. It could be because a large part of my time is spent looking for work, but I think there is another reason.

I am feeling rather unorganised at the moment. I don’t seem to have a clear idea of what I want to do with my genealogy, well that is not exactly true, I know what I want to achieve and know what I need to do to achieve it. The problem seems to be knowing where to start first.

It seems that everything I do creates more and more potential work for me, I knew a detailed look at the 1911 census would raise more questions, but the recently arrived birth, marriage and death certificates have also provided more questions than answers.

This week I need to sit down and get myself organised. I need to decide what are my main priorities and what I need to do to get as many loose ends tied up as possible, even if that just means recording what I want to do next and creating a big to do list.

  • I need to try and stop researching for a week and just focus on what I already have.
  • Create a simple to-do list and record everything I need or want to do for all my ancestors who are currently shouting for my attention.
  • Start working on my digital files, making sure everything is organised and entered into my Family Historian software.
  • Decide what my priorities are for my research and make sure nothing else is going to get in my way from achieving them.

Unless anyone releases any new databases online I should be able to avoid the distractions this week. The only other thing that might get in the way is a copy of the will of Mercy TROWER, that might arrive this week.

Unpacking the “crate of shame”

4 Jul

I finally got around to sorting out the “crate of shame” today. It was quite interesting, a lot of the stuff I had forgotten about, a couple of bits didn’t have anything to do with genealogy and much of it should have been thrown away ages ago.

To embarrass myself into not getting into such an organisationally challenged state again I am going to list some of the stuff that ended up in the “crate of shame”.

Brighton and Hove Buses On Route magazine (Issue 25, Summer 2009) – I picked this up to read on the bus from Brighton to Uckfield when I was on my way to Framfield and Blackboys, back on the 9th May 2009. There were a few interesting article, but should have been recycled months ago.

Brighton and Hove Buses Bus Times (Summer 2009) – Still in date, last used back in May planning my trip to Framfield. Need to keep this with my other bus and train timetables for future trips.

A4 narrow ruled refill pad – A refill pad, quite useful you would think, but this one has only one empty page left in it, so not really practical to take it to a record office, but I should have found a use for the last page and thrown the front and back covers away.

Ancestors magazine (June 2009 issue) – There are some interesting articles on researching pubs and their staff in this issue, but I don’t have the space to keep back issues of every magazine I read (as much as I would like to), so another one for the recycling bin.

Rexel mobile organisation slim box – I bought this little box for just £1.00, the intention was to use it in my rucksack for carrying my research papers around, as it is a hard box and would offer more protection, however I never got around to using it.

Small pink A6 notebook – I have far too many little notebooks dotted around the place (I finally found one I was happy with), this one only has a few pages left so I think it can be binned now.

Slim cardboard ring binder with notes on George Thomas GASSON – Various extracts from asylum records and other material on mental health and asylum research. These need to be included with all my other stuff in my GASSON folder.

Individual narrative report for Beatrice STANDING – I see this single A4 page was printed on the 17th April 2009, when I was preparing for a trip to the West Sussex Record Office. I can always print it again when I go down there again.

Yellow paper bag with leaflets and brochures from the Family History Event – Various bits and pieces I picked up at the Family History event on the 3rd May 2009. I need to sort this lot out and see if there is anything I need to keep, otherwise bin it.

Leaflet on Kempton Great Engines – I picked this leaflet up somewhere, I think it might have been at the London Family History Centre. I think these industrial buildings and engines are amazing, this is a former water works that I would love to go and visit. I have bookmarked their website, so I can get rid of the leaflet.

Various papers relating to the HEMSLEYs and Gun Farm, Blackboys – Print out of sale particulars for Gun Farm, print out of bus and train timetables, an ancestor outline for Annie HEMSLEY. The timetables can be thrown, but the other papers can be filed in the HEMSLEY folder.

Empty foolscap Snopake Polyfile – This was too big to fit in my rucksack, but it is great for keeping research papers together. I will store it will all my other filing stuff.

A4 Snopake Polyfile Ringbinder Wallet – These are great wallets, a bit too expensive, which is why I don’t have many. These one has an individual summary report for Abraham Graham KINGHORN and one for Isabella GRAHAM. The report can be binned now, I took it to Brighton History Centre when I was searching newspapers.

Plastic A4 ringbinder with my Thomas KINGHORN research project – Various papers and maps relating to Thomas KINGHORN and his family and the places they lived in London. This is one of my active projects, so this needs to be kept with my other surname folders.

Copies of emails and receipts relating to the purchase of the Family Historian upgrade – I bought this upgrade online at the beginning of May 2009, the email contains the licence key, so I need to keep this safe with all the original CDs.

Plastic punched pocket with GEERING research papers – Simple to deal with this bundle of papers (census papers and various reports), these belong in a surname file, but I don’t have a GEERING folder, so they will have to go in the next best, the GASSON folder.

Two A4 prints of my family tree – A couple of family trees, the text is not readable but it was meant to see how the tree was looking. They are out of date now so they can be binned.

Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association (April/May 2009) – I’ve been a member of the Western Front Association for a couple of years now, I have just finished reading the latest edition, but I think I barely looked at this one. I will move this to the top of my to be read pile.

Rexel A4+ Carry Zip Bag with various papers – The zip bag is falling apart, and most of the papers are reports from Family Historian which could be reprinted if needed, so most of this can be binned.

Photocopies from The Memoirs of Gaius Carley A Sussex Blacksmith – This mentions the HEMSLEY family in Blackboys. Filed in the HEMSLEY surname folder.

A4 Snopake Polyfile Ringbinder Wallet with my MITCHELL research papers – This project is still active so I just need to keep this one with my other surname folder, or on top of the computer desk.

Two sets of 10-part file dividers – These were supposed to be going into my surname folders, but I haven’t got around to it yet.

Blue clip-file with another set of notes on George Thomas GASSON – Another set of notes that need to be checked for duplication and filed in the GASSON surname folder.

A bundle of papers from my 3x great grandparents challenge – I have a variety of reports from Family Historian and some census images from when I spent the weekend trying to find all my 3x great grandparents. Most of these can be binned now, but I need to make sure they are all included in my tree before I get rid of them. I might keep one or two prints in the relevant surname folder.

Marriage certificate for William GEERING and Emily GREEN and a descendant outline report for Joseph TEMPLEMAN – Another set of documents from the 3x great grandparents challenge, need to make sure I have scanned the certificate before I file it. Will probably file the report as well.

The Genealogist’s Internet (3rd expanded edition) by Peter Christian – Bought from my local Oxfam bookshop, and already out of date, but I bought it to go with the 1st edition already on my shelf. A genealogy time capsule, great to look back at the screenshots of some of the old genealogy sites.

The Religious Census of Sussex 1851 and West Sussex Land Tax 1785 both published by the Sussex Record Society – Two bargain buys from the SFHG conference back in March 2009. Need to find shelf space for them as well.

Digital Photography for Dummies (All-in-one desk reference) – An ex-library book, and a real bargain at just one pound. I was going to read it then give it to charity, but I have yet to start reading. Probably doesn’t need a space on the shelf, I just need to get around to reading it.

Lucky Man a memoir by Michael J Fox – Another charity shop find, I have been wanting to read this for ages, but now I have it I need to find time to read it. I will probably go back to a charity shop when I have finished.

British Civil Registration (2nd Edition) by Tom Wood published by the FFHS – Another bargain from the SFHG conference, I love the fact that on the spine the word civil is spelt civel oops! This is one for the book shelf, to be kept as reference material.

Biggles The Authorized Biography by John Pearson – Another Oxfam Bookshop purchase. I love reading Biggles, although I still have many of his stories to read, never read them as a child, only once I grew up! Definitely keeping this one.

London A Social History by Roy Porter – This is yet another Oxfam Bookshop purchase, started reading but haven’t got very far, this will probably go on holiday with me (and Biggles?). This was meant to be some background reading for my London KINGHORN research.

and finally, right at the very bottom of the crate….

One white plastic coated paperclip and one small safety pin – not really sure how these got in there, but they might come in handy some day.

I can’t believe just how much stuff there was in that crate, no wonder I have been putting off sorting it out. At least it is done now, and I can put the crate away again, until my next organising emergency!

Organisationally challenged

9 Jun

A couple of months ago I bought a folding plastic crate because I was being a bit organisationally challenged. Our spare bedroom/my genealogy room was starting to fill up with little piles of stuff.

On the spare bed, on the computer desk, on top of the scanner were little piles of stuff. I even had to shift a pile from the chair before I could sit down. Anyway, everything went in the crate and within a week or two it had been sorted and filed and the crate was folded away.

Now it has happened again, I have a crate full of stuff again that needs sorting and filing. I have no idea where it has all come from and I am not quite sure what is even in there, but I still need to get it sorted. So my goal for the week (and weekend) is to get it sorted and get the crate folded up and out of the way again.

The crate of shame

The crate of shame (sorry no prizes for guessing the location of the Google aerial view on the top of the pile)

Ultimately I need to address the underlying problem which is a lack of storage space. I either need to get some more shelves and files or keep less stuff (on paper at least).

I am annoyed that I have let it build up again, but on the positive side I have streamlined the process. This time I have skipped have little piles of stuff and jumped straight to the crate full of stuff.

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