When your start doing family history it’s also a good idea to try, and try is the optimum word, to stay organized.. I know at one point when I was starting out I became overwhelmed with the amount of information and papers that I was finding at lightening speed. Oh for those days now.. lol The tough thing about staying organized is that you don’t know what you don’t know. So how can you possibly stay organized if you don’t know the best approach.
Although I’m all about technology and most of my family history information is on my computer there are always papers that you end up with that need to be filed. Like birth certificates you might have purchased. Once you scan them, digitally file them, post them to your genealogy program and transcribe them you then need to put them somewhere. I also keep all my family mementos in the binder as well.
I started with one binder and then as it great to an unmanageable size I split it into two; one for my mom’s side and the other my dad’s. Each binder has tabs in it with marriage unions on the tab. So for instance; Middlebrough/Beaton, for my grandpa Middlebrough and Beaton for my grandmother’s maiden name. Then the next is Middlebrough/Aindow, for my grandfather’s parents and so it goes. It’s probably not the best system and you may be able to find better ones by doing a Google search on organizing your family tree; but so far it’s worked for me. I’m a member of the Organized Genealogist Facebook page and they often have wonderful ideas for doing just that; organizing.
Whatever your organizational plan is, be sure to stick with it and refine it as you go along. Believe me you don’t want to let those papers get out of control. I remember when I first started doing genealogy someone told me that you could tell you were a genealogist by the stacks of paper on the floor and sometimes it’s true but you don’t want people to think you are a future participant in one of those hoarder television shows.