I have the best of intentions, I really do. I have two four–drawer file cabinets brimming full of my files, and shelves full of books and notebooks of notes, but I also have stacks of charts, documents and pedigrees on shelves in my closet. In the beginning, I did better, but almost like an avalanche, things began to quickly accumulate and intent on the case at hand, I set things in the “stack” to be dealt with later. Now the task of organizing the large piles is daunting and I keep postponing it. I know, it’s shameful.
I’ve been looking for a way to tame the beast without cutting too much into my research time, even though I know that by not taking the time to do it now, I am missing important hints and possibly (okay, more than just a little likely) duplicating some of my efforts. It’s been on my mind a lot lately and so the timing could not have been better when Marian Burk Wood contacted me and offered to send me a copy of her new book Planning a Future for Your Family’s Past to read and review. I was excited to to get the book and see what insight she had for organizing and planning for the future of my genealogy materials.
Marian’s book is well organized and she literally starts from the very beginning by starting with the stacks so many of us have. From there, she breaks the project down into bite-sized pieces by dividing tasks in short little assignments that allows us to take it one step at a time. Every chapter ends with bullet point summation that makes it easy to review the steps needed for that portion of our project. I think my tendency is to make the project so enormous, it’s hard to even want to begin because who has that amount of time? However, her no stress approach allows for the project to be done in small little increments of time and that appeals to me and left me feeling that I could do this.
Marian mentions products I wasn’t aware of, provides links for further reading and tackles some issues I had not really considered. For instance, what about those things you don’t really want and yet have held onto because they were passed down? Have you considered they might possibly provide a way to strengthen family ties with distant family? Marian shares some ways to do that.
And what will happen to our years of hard work after we’re gone? It’s easy to assume family will want our research, but will they really? What is the best way to arrange for the transfer of our research after we are gone? How can we make it easier for others to even want to inherit our priceless years of research? These things and many more were addressed in Marian’s book.
For those looking for help organizing their genealogy materials and for direction in planning for the future of their collections, this book is well worth the read.
Disclosure: I was given this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Copyright © Michelle G. Taggart 2016, All rights reserved