Syncing Your Paper Files to Computer Files

My latest big organization project has been syncing my paper files with my RootsMagic files and scanned images.  I want my paper files to include everything that my computer files have and vice versa.

Trust me – this has been no easy undertaking.  It is taking a lot of time, lots of patience, and many post-it notes.

As I go through each page of my binders, I mark with a pink post-it notes any facts, events, or sources that is not in my RootsMagic file or my scanned images.  Using yellow post-it notes, I mark every fact, event, or source (where it will go) that is in my RootsMagic file but not in my binder.

Once everything is marked, then I can take my time adding each source, fact, or event where it belongs and slowly removing my post-it notes as everything is entered.

How do you sync your paper files with your computer files?

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6 responses to “Syncing Your Paper Files to Computer Files

  1. Michael Auger

    Congrats! I did this earlier in the year. While it was a major time-suck, I now feel so organized and my research is much better off because of it.

  2. I’ve been wanting to do this too! I know it’ll be a pretty time consuming project tho..

    As far as computer software goes, the only one I’m really familiar with is Family Tree Maker… why do you like Roots Magic?

    • Dave – there are so many reasons. My biggest suggestion is to download the free version (less features, but gives you a feel for it).
      Here’s my quick list of why I love RootsMagic:
      – The RootsMagic To-Go feature allows you to download RootsMagic onto a flash drive and take the program with you. You can plug it into any computer (without downloading RootsMagic) and use the program. This is useful for libraries, relatives’ houses, etc.
      – The source wizard is amazing! It coordinates with Evidence Explained and I like how it walks you through each part of the source
      – I love all of the different views it has
      – The index on the side comes in handy – big time.
      – I like how the notes work
      – I like how easy it is to add events

  3. Well done Elyse – you will be glad when it’s all complete. I scan my documents and file them on the computer (named as a Document Title I have chosen) and then enter the Repository, Document Title and Source Citation data into Family Historian. I then link the scanned copy to the Document Title and add the data from the document, adding it as a Source to each new piece of info in the Gedcom. I note the “Document Title” in pencil on the paper copy, as I file docs according to the title I have given them. I can then print a List of Sources for the Gedcom, which acts as an index to the paper copy document folder, which are filed in the same order as the Source list. If I download documents (rather than getting copies on-site) I immediately print a copy and add the title in pencil, using the same name as the electronic copy, and it goes in the paper file. I also note in the Source List whether I have checked, transcribed or copied the document, so I don’t go mad looking for documents which aren’t there! Hope you can make sense of this :-)
    Jo Graham´s last blog post ..Sentimental Sunday homecoming Scotland

  4. Oops, sorry I’ve changed my blog domain name and gave you the old one. Doh!
    Jo Graham´s last blog post ..Sentimental Sunday homecoming Scotland

  5. This sounds like such a huge — but worthwhile — job! I’ve been doing it piecemeal due to lack of an extended period of time to focus on it. Maybe I’ll reevaluate and make a concerted effort. Better sooner than later, since the sooner, the fewer documents. Thanks, Elyse, for details about your system and the list of reasons why you like RootsMagic. This post and Jo’s comments were very helpful.
    Nancy´s last blog post ..How His Surname Passed Away

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