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Organise your files

2,780 bytes added, 17:22, 20 September 2009
Family-based approach
-- [[User:Romjerome|Romjerome]] 26 July 2008 (EDT)
= Frederico's system =
I'm converting my physical storage system from a ad-hoc solution based on a 2-ring binder with all the documents (organised by the Soza number) to a vertical filling system that is organised by manilla folders that contain all the relevant information for each family. The focus is thus less on the individual and more on the family. Using folders allow for a much easier way to aggregate all relevant documents (certificates, photos, research logs, etc) and also facilitates research since each folder is pretty much self-contained and can be easily retrieved when needed, and taken to the archives for investigation.
With that in mind it makes some sense to mirror this physical approach when organising digital documents, especially since every document has both a physical copy and a digital one. I am experimenting with creating a directory for each family under a Sources folder (it could also be named Families, or any other name really), like this:
The contents follow the same rules as the physical archiving. Of note is the fact that each person is generally present in two different folder: as a son they are present in the folder of the parents, and as one of the members of a family they have their own folder. Documents related to pre-marriage events go into the parent's folder, and from the marriage onward to their own folder.
Filenames follow more or less the examples given, e.g. BAP--John_Smith--1830.png.
The advantages I can see so far are:
* Consistency between physical archive and digital storage. It makes is easier to compare the completeness of both of them so they they are not our of sync.
* Easy to access all documents that relate to a family. Since many documents have information that applies to more than one family member it makes sense.
* Each directory can be archived and sent to someone else and all the relevant sources are contained therein.
Some disadvantages:
* Storing the birth certificates (or any pre-marriage information) of an individual not under his own folder but under the parents' folder can be a bit counter-intuitive in the beginning.
* Since it is Family based (and not Individual based) documents that relate to an individual are split between two folders.
* Sometimes one doesn't have information about the marital status of an individual, and when that is latter discovered files could have to be moved. An example would be the military record of an individual that doesn't contain information about his marriage, and since there is no other source that contains such an information it is not possible to create a Family directory. When latter that information surfaces those documents would have to be moved to the Family folder.
= Your system? =

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