Organising your research

My computer filing system

My computer comes with both the C drive for the operating system and a D drive for data.  Although I could keep my photos and other images in the Pictures folder on the C drive, and documents in the Documents folder, I prefer to leave the C drive for the operating system, downloaded programs and files automatically generated from my downloaded programs, and to have all my personal work on my D drive.  I then organize my work into:

Backed up files: in this folder I keep all the files that I have already backed up to a portable hard drive and One Drive.

New files: any files created since the last back up. Once these have been backed up, I then move these files to the backed up files folder

Ongoing files: any files and/or folders I work on regularly. When I back up I keep the previous backup, as well as the latest version, in case I need to go back to the earlier version for any reason.  I do delete the older versions, but since I don’t empty my recycle bin all that often, these older files are still available until either the computer crashes, or until I get around to emptying the recycle bin.

Having the files organized in this way makes it easier to know what I need to back up.

Within each of these folders, I have subfolders for

Family History:  All my family history research and photos

Money: My financial records

Pictures: Any photos and images not related to the family history

Videos: This is a small section for the videos my daughter and I have taken on our mobile phones

Work: Any documents related to my business

Miscellaneous.  Any documents that don’t fall into any of the other categories