Monday, February 22, 2010

The Two Faces of Organization - Part 1

I'm the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of organization. If you saw my office (and you are about to) you would think I'm the most unorganized person on earth. If you checked out my computer files you might think just the opposite. No matter how many times I vow to change my ways in the office, it never seems to happen. Maybe I'd be better off as a paperless genealogist but I just can't make myself throw away that copy even after it's scanned and backed up.

The "Organize Your Research" category of the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, has given me the much needed push to give organization another try. After spending about 10 hours in the office yesterday, it looks better but I didn't do one single thing that counts in the games. You see, I needed to get better organized before I could even work on the organizational tasks.

Office "before" pictures.

See what I mean?

Usually this exercise ends with the desk and floor clear and things in neat stacks on the table but the paper in those neat stacks never seems to get filed and before long the stacks are no longer neat and things have again spelled over into the floor. This time I have a better plan (I hope). Instead of making neat stacks on the table everything went in a file box sorted by "review", "scan" and "file" and further sorted by my four main surnames within each of those categories. The theory behind this approach is that everything will be sorted by task, hidden from sight until it's done and things won't get mixed back together while waiting for me to do the work. It remains to be seen if that theory works in practice but at least for today, the office looks better.

Office "after" pictures.


  1. GREAT office space Linda. I was going to begin that organizational task today, and got sidetracked with trying to organize my blogs into an alphabetical list. Maybe tomorrow will be my olympic day.

  2. Thanks. Sometimes I wish it was bigger but that would really just be room for me to make a bigger mess. :)

  3. Oh, it's like cleaning your house before you'll have someone in to clean it (why I've never had someone in to clean mine). Also, I recognize those gray shelves - they look just like mine!

  4. The mess in your office looks like the mess in mine! You've inspired me to get mine cleaned up.

    I really like your methodology of review, scan and file and further sorted by my four main surnames within each of those categories. I shall try something similar.

    Thanks for the great idea!