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Weekly Tip: Advice on Organizing Your Genealogy Research

By Gena Philibert Ortega

There are many different ways to organize your genealogy research. My theory of organizing is this: the organizing system that works is the one you will actually use day after day, month after month.

So here are some online genealogists who have great ideas about organizing, one of which should work for you.

Kimberly Powell of provides organizing tips and tricks that include paper files, digital files and even your website bookmarks.

In a Pile or a File is an online booklet by Rita F. Bartholomew of ideas for organizing your paper files. It even includes examples of what a family research file should look like.

Professional genealogist Karen Clifford provides free lessons on her website on organizing your paper files for PAF, Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree and My Trees Online users.

There are videos and books you can buy to teach you how to organize your genealogical research. Geneablogger Elyse Doerflinger has a video and eBook entitled Conquering the Paper Monster that you can purchase from her blog.

Some books you might be interested in include:

Carmack, Sharon D. B. Organizing Your Family History Search: Efficient & Effective Ways to Gather and Protect Your Genealogical Research. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1999.

Langman, Robert R, and Jimmy B. Parker. 30 Seconds: A Guide to Organizing Your Genealogy Files. Midvale, Utah: Heritage Knights, LLC, 2001.

Organize Your Genealogy Life!: Solutions for Every Family Historian. United States: F+W Media, 2009.

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