Saturday, January 09, 2016

FINALLY Get Organized! Jan 3rd-9th 2016

I'm doing it graphic

I’m participating in the “2016 FINALLY Get Organized! Weekly Checklist challenge” by DearMYRTLE. She proposes a weekly set of tasks to help genealogists achieve their goals. Ol’ Myrt explains that “Each week's post will feature options for paper and digitally-oriented genealogists, with an eye to the beginner and intermediate researcher.” For more information about this year-long activity, see FINALLY Get Organized!

Here’s how I did with the first week’s tasks.

Task 1. “Clear off the computer desk and make piles for everything”.

I didn’t completely clear off my computer desk, but did tidy it up, although you might not be able to tell from the photo below. I made two piles of stuff: one for genealogy magazines I have yet to read, and another for file folders I have to file.

My computer desk
My computer desk

Task 2. “Check your office supplies, and replace any missing or lost items”.

There’s not much that I need in the way of office supplies (I have plenty of the usual items) and I recently bought a 500-sheet package of printer paper.

What I don’t have, but need to buy at some point, are archival storage boxes for heirlooms other than my family’s christening robe, which is already in its own protective box.

Many years ago, I used to buy whatever coloured binder was a good price, but for about the past 15 years, I’ve bought only Avery brand binders: D-ring, durable or heavy duty (depending on my needs), with clear covers (I like to customize my binder covers).

Task 3. “Setup your computer desk and office the way you really want it!”

I’m pretty well satisfied with the way my computer room is set up, other than I could use more space. (I bet all genealogists say that!) I like the idea of a copy stand for my monitor, but there’s no room on either side of it for one. I have a good lamp (Ott-Lite brand) and my chair, although a bit old still has plenty of use left in it. I briefly had a second monitor, but didn’t keep it for long, since I didn’t like giving up stuff that I liked too much on my desk for it.

About 15 years ago, my husband and I went shopping at IKEA (we live near Vancouver, British Columbia) and bought eight Billy bookcases (including a corner unit and CD unit). One unit is dedicated to genealogy, but the others are filled with royal biographies, peerage books (Burke’s and Cokayne), and genealogy tables (Europäische Stammtafeln, Almanac de Gotha, and L’Allemagne Dynastique). One my right beside me (on my desk and on the wall on open shelves) are personal genealogy binders and assorted books.

Bookcases in my computer room
Some of the bookcases in my computer room

Task 4. “Designate a special red clipboard as the "When Computer Help Arrives" clipboard.”

I didn’t get this kind of clipboard (it’s not an expensive item), but I figure for the few times I might have PC issues, I’ll ask my husband for his help.

Task 5. “Designate a special green clipboard as the "Genealogy Challenges" clipboard.”

I can see how useful this clipboard would be, so I ordered one with a pen holder from (It’s in ‘pearl blue’; green wasn’t available.) I store the clipboard beside me by my PC tower since there’s not enough room on my desk.

As for the paper stacks on my desk, I don’t have a designated spot for them, unless I count the desk and floor, so getting a file box for what Ol’ Myrt calls a "quick store" method is a really good idea. Trouble is, I don’t think I have the space for another file box in this room. I already have three of them on the floor (they contain my ancestor folders (one per couple) and general topics); can I make room for a fourth one?

Ol’ Myrt’s last idea is to open an Amazon Prime account, which she has and uses. For office supplies, my husband and I buy from them our local stationery store or from where shipping is free for orders over $45. I see that after the 30-day free trial, Amazon Prime “is just CDN$ 79.00/year (plus any applicable taxes)”, so I’ll have to figure out if I can justify the expense.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. I have Billy bookcases in the library/office area they are almost full apart from some of my genealogy shelves which need a Do Over of their own. They are relatively tidy so I will tackle them shelf by shelf when I need more room.

    1. Those Billy bookcases certainly are popular, aren't they? My shelves are overflowing with books, but I'm almost too afraid to tidy them. Thanks for dropping by, Hilary!