Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sorting Saturday: Organise your hard drive

Michelle Goodrum of The Turning of Generations, is running a series for the 21st Century Organised Family Historian - a series I desperately need.

Back in January, she suggested organising your hard drive - presumably so you could find things later! after all, there's hardly much point in scanning everything in sight (whilst attending the excellent Scanfest), if you can't find where you put those scans, is there?

So I reviewed my genealogical files on my own hard drive, renamed some folders and created some more, and spent a happy afternoon sorting out pdfs, jpgs, gifs, tifs, etc and putting them in these folders.  I put shortcuts to these folders onto my desktop, and am now the proud owner of the following hierarchy:
(although, of course, I am not saying you HAVE to do it my way, just that it works for me)

On my C drive there is a folder called FAMILY HISTORY (how original).  This folder still has a lot of junk files-not-yet-placed, but it also has the following subfolders:

1 Names
2 Places
3 BMD files
4 Census
6 Photos
7 Documents
8 Other People's Genealogy

Technology Tip: If you begin the name of your folders with a number, then Windows Explorer will put them at the top of the 'tree' because it puts numbers before letters, viz. "1 Names" will be the at the head of the list, but "Names" will come somewhere down the bottom, because 1 comes before N, according to Microsoft.

To give a brief idea of what is in each subfolder, here you are:
1 Names - this contains tiny folders for each surname in my family tree (i.e. Haywood, Avery, Distin)
2 Places - this contains tiny folders for each locality they appear in (i.e. Axminster, Ringmore, Warleggan)
3 BMD files - this contains all the screenshots and downloads of online images of BMD registers I have collected over the years
4 Census - this is split into folders for the 1841, 1851, 1861 etc and contains the screenshots/downloads from places or names I haven't yet firmly established as mine
5 GEDCOMs - rather obvious, this one, but I made it because my GEDCOMs were all over the place
6 Photos - another obvious one.  Divided into family surnames
7 Documents - split into folders for certificates, medal records, medical records, passenger lists etc
8 Other People's Genealogy - I did some research for various aunties and friends, and it was getting all mixed up with my own genealogy, so I had to split it off and tidy it away

Now, where shall I put that article about researching one's genealogy back to Adam?  Maybe I had better start a new folder called "9 Humour"...


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