Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Future of My Work

I made great progress in organizing my research, class, client, volunteer work, etc. paperwork for the last few years. Following a similar process to that which was done in sorting the materials at the Watts' house, the collection is now divided up by family and personal mementos; volunteer work and donated time; my personal family research collection; the collection of work for others including clients. Those are contained in three small totes and one large tote. The remainder of materials to sort are in two large totes from when we moved. This is a project that has been patiently waiting for me!

There are a few things I learned along the way and I hope to be more careful in the future of my work. Here is a list of items to consider when processing genealogy work either for yourself or others.

1. Keep separate personal research, class materials, client work, classes taken, household stuff. Put as much as possible in a database or file on the computer. 

2. No small sticky notes or other small paper notes without them being attached to a larger project and identified by date, the person the work is being done for and contact information!

3. Every project to contain an email or other contact information for future reference.

4. Every client's information in their file folder.

5. Eliminate old client work ___ years? Pro bono work even sooner!

6. Use temporary file folders when working on a project and then move to notebooks.

7. Update my personal research using Familysearch materials. Most of what is there is from my own submissions.

8. Keep DNA work in separate notebooks for each person.

9. Update household files, business files with receipts, and tax materials. Keep a manila folder for current years receipts. File tax returns and documents used in preparing taxes.

10. Ask the big question, "Will I ever refer to it again?" after the current year.

11. Consider what will be useful for the five year renewal with ICAPGen.

12. Give clients their notebooks when the project is finished! I did give many of them to the families when we moved almost five years ago and have done so on those since that time. Only keep land records, pension files, military service files, etc. for use in future classes.

Researcher beware it is easy to get side-tracked in the realms of everyday life. Getting caught up is possible, but it requires some dedicated time and may go through several phases to accomplish the final objective. Each of us is different and need to decide what works best for us.

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