15 November 2011

I Heart Organization!

It is important for me to be organized.  Whether it is my house or my genealogy research, I am happiest when it is organized.  Clutter stresses me out.  So, when Legacy Family Tree offered webinars on genealogy organizational techniques I made sure I signed up for them.

Recently, Mary Hill presented a webinar on the Family Roots Organizer System.  This wonderful webinar was right up my alley.  Mary's system fits well with the way I organize things.  I can fit what I have already organized into Mary's system with a little tweaking of my files.

The Family Roots Organizer System is a simple and easy to understand way of organizing your genealogy research.  It uses a color coded system.  You organize your files in red, yellow, green and blue colors, using your grandparents surnames.  My current system already uses those colors.

The picture above shows my current system of organizing my genealogy.  I use the same four colors as Mary does but in a different order.  I will keep my order as it is what I am comfortable with.  Each file folders is organized by surname, using more than one as needed.  This will be changed as I work on the new organizational system.

I will be changing over to the Family Roots Organizer System in the next few weeks.  This is what I have done so far.
  • Made a shopping list of supplies needed.  I needed to get colored hanging files, fine point sharpie pen, and file folder labels.  (A complete shopping list is available here.)  I added printer ink to the list.
  • Put all supplies in one area, easily accessible to my file cabinets.
  • I use Roots Magic as my genealogy software and had already color coded my family to match my colored file folders.  I just made sure color coding was on for printing of charts.
  • Printed off family group sheets and 5 generation pedigree charts.  I had a current,  completed pedigree chart printed off already.
  • Emptied out file cabinet drawers, you should see my office now.
This is as far as I have gotten.  Next steps will be moving my files into new folders and labeling them using the Family Roots Organizer System.  Check back to follow my progress.


  1. I have been procrastinating for a long while on organizing my files. I decided that what I have been waiting for is a GREAT file system.

    I like the idea of the color coded system. Do you file the new ancestor finds in the color files of the descendants?

  2. I started out with four colors, red, yellow, blue, and green. One for each of my grandparents surnames. Anyone tied to that line went in that color by surname.

    Now that I am reorganizing I still use the same colors for surnames, but I am making couple folders for those I have researched as suggested in Family Roots Organizer System.

    I will be posting pictures and a follow up post when I get closer to being reorganized.