Skip to main content

Organisation, shmorganisation

One thing that people who know me well will say about me is that I come across as organised, determined and singular in how I work. I know what I want, I know how I want to do it and I usually have a pretty clear plan of attack in my mind.

What people who know me really, really well will also say about me is that I am a mucky pup.

My desk at home is a total mess. Papers and books everywhere. Pens hidden under all this stuff which, of course, means I have trouble finding one and invariably end up buying another (if only to add to my ever-growing collection).


My desk at home, when tidied.

That said, I tend to know where things are. Kind of. Well, I have a rough idea of in which general physical area they can be found.

What does this mean for my genealogical research, preservation of documents, reports, and (possibly more importantly) my research plans?

Well, I'll be honest with you, it's all a bit haphazard at the moment. Having been an amateur genealogist for so long, and having done it purely for pleasure means I've had the luxury of being able to tackle it in whatever way I see fit.

This is how it usually goes:
  • I pick a starting person. I decide I'm going to research more about this person, or try to find their parents.
  • During my research, another person catches my eye. Usually because of an interesting name or place of birth/death.
  • I start looking at this person.
  • I research their parents.
  • Another person catches my eye.
  • I start looking at this person.
  • They live in an interesting place, so I start researching that town.
  • I read some of the history of this town.
  • A person of note is mentioned in the history, so I start researching them.
  • Another person catches my eye.
  • etc
In the end, I've got a lot of information on a lot of people, places and events, but haven't really made headway with my initial plan.

Maybe this is why I have over two thousand people currently in my family tree (cousins of cousins of cousins).


A part of my current family tree.

It has to stop.

Forcing myself to be disciplined is something I really need to do, but where to start.

If anyone has any tips, I would greatly appreciate it. I need to get this all in check before I begin my studies in September and actually need to be incredibly disciplined.

Comments

  1. First of all you need to come up with an organisational system that works for you. Actually, two systems - one for physical files and items, and a second for your digital assets. A while back I wrote a post outlining my digital organisation scheme (http://footsteps.bannisterfamily.org/2015/01/my-file-naming-scheme.html ) which might be of use and Janine dams has an excellent blog over at http://organizeyourfamilyhistory.com. Janine also has a lot of great tips on staying focussed and organising your time (something I have trouble with myself) which you should definitely look at.

    I am somewhat of a magpie (and not just ebcause I support the team!) and am easily distracted in my research too. I find it very difficult to stay focused at times. I am trying to make sure I complete my current goal before I start to explore side branches and as a result I have an ever-growing collection of bookmarks of people and documents I want to return to at a later stage of my research. If I ever finish writing my genealogy tools I will make sure I make it easy to maintain a (prioritised) To-Do list as I record my searches...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we are magpies (in both senses of the word)! That is so so true of me. :) I really need to learn self discipline.

      Thank you so much for the links! <3

      Delete
  2. I suggest the Genealogy Do-Over is just the thing for you. Start in your own time and work systematically through the 13 weeks, take as long as you need - it certainly focuses one's attention. http://www.geneabloggers.com/genealogy-doover-schedule-topics/
    The files in the accompanying Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/genealogydoover/ are also useful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey! Yes, I've been considering the Genealogy Do-Over, but have put it off for now as it daunts me a fair bit. I'll read more on this weekend and decide if it's for me. It looks as though ti probably will be. :)

      Delete
  3. I'm finding keeping a blog is making me stay focused on topic - writing about what I'm researching and knowing 1 or 2 people are going to try and make sense of it helps. Also, I use spreadsheets to help me see relationships and compare dates if I'm trying to sort out who is who. Keep those cousins - I've found info about direct ancestors using clues from their relatives.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Thoughts Of A Relaxing Postgrad Student

Yesterday I submitted my final assignment for the Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogy, Palaeography and Heraldry with the University of Strathclyde. It's been an interesting 9 months, not without struggle, but I am pleased to be done and (although I am waiting on a final mark) I am very proud of what I have achieved.

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at the end of 2015 and since July of last year have been dealing with quite severe symptoms of this disease. When I began the PG Cert I did consider whether or not it was a wise decision, given what I was going through and what was likely to come but I decided to give it a go.

The support I received from the staff at the University was nothing short of amazing. They were completely understanding, flexible and gave me great advice all along the way. I had a couple of bouts of being in hospital (including one where I got a lumbar puncture which resulted in me not being able to sit or stand for more than 10 minutes at a time for a …

So, Who Do We Think We Are? The future of genealogy events in the UK.

It's now been a month since Who Do You Think You are? Live was held at the NEC in Birmingham. I attended all three days and got to see and experience the event from a number of perspectives - as an attendee, as a student/professional genealogist and as a speaker.

My biggest take aways from the show this year were that attendance was clearly down, some big names were missing (The National Archives, for example) and local genealogical societies were a bit thin (where was Sussex and Kent, and also Scotland was not very well represented).

As Steve mentioned on his blog and Jane mentioned on hers, there was a high number of non-genealogical stands at the show and I felt quite sorry for the women trying to give away free wine samples at 10am. Also, while the free massage was nice, the number of orthopedic and life insurance stands was a bit of a concern. As someone who's recently turned 40 I don't like being reminded of such things.

As a genealogy nerd I loved wandering around …

So Who Do We Think We Are? The Future of Genealogy Events in the UK. Part 2

This is a continuation of my post Who Do We Think We Are? I fully expect some feathers to be ruffled by the following but also truly believe that without some harsh comments and discussions, true progress (in any field) cannot be made. I also want to preempt this all by underlining that the work of people and organisations in the previous WDYTYA? Live shows was really wonderful and everyone should be proud.




Shows like WDYTYA? Live and RootsTech need to be "shows" (to an extent). The life-blood of such events is not those of us who are already in the industry. While it is a great opportunity for us to network and meet up with friends and colleagues, in order for it to be a success, there needs to be some "layman" bums on seats and so the appeal needs to be broad.

What this means is that it needs to draw a crowd and how do you do that? By having fun and appealing things at the event. WDYTYA? Live attempted this by having "stars" from the show appear, but th…