Organize Your Genealogy: Get Your Research in Order (and Keep It That Way)

A successful genealogist often ends up with an embarrassment of riches: too much information in too many places. Whether you work on paper or do everything online, getting your research organized is essential to keeping track of ancestors and making sure you know where to put new ones in your family tree. This course will rescue you from unhelpful habits and get your workspace—virtual or physical—tidy again.


  • how to keep track of what you have
  • strategies for organizing papers and photocopies
  • methods for managing your digital genealogy materials
  • how to manage growth and keep your organizational strategy going


$99.99 ($89.99 for VIP)

Course Length:

4 Weeks


Lisa A. Alzo

Start Date:

View upcoming course schedule for dates.


“The instructor’s comments made my week — I looked forward to hearing what she thought. I loved that she would give me (and others) tips on how she did things, like sharing the system she has for scanning documents. I’ll always try something new if I know it’s working for someone!”

“The instructor’s comments were thoughtful. I felt as if she were giving me the same attention that I would have received had we been sitting together in a classroom.”

“I got more info than I ever expected, I’m actually excited about my filing system, and there are so many classes that you offer that I want to take. I’ll probably have ended up taking all of them at some point in my life!”


  • paper genealogists who have run out of room in the filing cabinet
  • people making the transition from paper to computer genealogy
  • digital genealogists who need a better way to organize information on their computers


  • a cluttered desk, an unmanageable genealogy, a disorganized computer or an overflowing attic


Lesson 1:  Goals and Methods

A.    Setting goals
B.    Assessing your collection
I.    text
II.    documents
III.    photos
IV.    downloads
V.    newspapers
VI.    mementos
VII.    e-mails

C.    Organization methods

I.    surnames
II.    places
III.    types of records

D.    Exercise

Lesson 2: Organizing Your Papers

A.    Archival storage
B.    How to organize paper files
I.    Photographs
II.    Documents
III.    Texts
IV.    Newspapers
V.    Printed items from the Internet

C.    File folders
D.    Three-ring binders
E.    Going paperless?
F.    Exercise

Lesson 3: Organizing Your Digital Files

A.    How to organize digital files
I.    creating computer directories
II.    creating subdirectories
III.    burning to CDs, DVDs
IV.    storing on external drives 
V.    storing in genealogy software

B.    Scanning paper files
C.    What to do with digital downloads
D.    Organizing browser bookmarks
E.    Organizing photos

I.    on your computer hard drive
II.    on photo organizing software
III.    using Flickr
IV.    using other web-based photo storage sites

F.     Exercise

Lesson 4: Keeping Track of Your Genealogy

A.    How to log your files
I.    using a spreadsheet
II.    using tables in Microsoft word
III.    using a free form software

B.    Taking and storing notes online
C.    Planning for growth
D.    How to use genealogy software as an organizing tool
E.    Exercise

Comments are closed.