Last night I started working on something that I had been promising myself I’d do for MONTHS!  Organize my genealogy files on my computers….yes…I said COMPUTERS…plural!  I had a laptop that I used primarily for genealogy research…a nice big 17″ screen, mega hard drive space, lots of memory for speed….I LOVED IT!  Then it died! 😦  So I had to switch to my “travel” laptop…the one I bought for my trip to Salt Lake City in September of 2011.  It’s cute…it’s lightweight and compact…has a small 10″ screen (perfect for travel but not for everyday use)….and its purple!  Beyond that it has no appeal for me…its slow, its hard to read anything on the screen, and for whatever reason, when I boot it up my blood pressure boots up too.  And of course, then there are the multiple flash drives….what was I thinking!?!?!?!  UGH!

So…about a month ago I bought a new, supercharged, high speed, large screen laptop again!  Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!  I’m back in Genealogical Heaven!  But…..(There’s almost always a “But”, isn’t there?)….None of my important files are on it…yet!

I decided last night I was going to make sure I had all my up-to-date genealogy files, programs, notes, etc. moved onto this new toy of mine.  I had the data off the dead laptop on an external hard drive and I booted up the mini-purple monster and decided to clean the mini-monster off first, and have those files join the others on the external hard drive.  I think I know why it was so slow now….47 GB of genealogy based files!!!  WHAT?!?!?!?!  Where did all those come from?  I think my ancestors have been multiplying while I sleep!  Then I moved all the files from my flash drives to the external hard drive.  OK…I’m now up to over 85GB of files!  MY FAMILY ISN”T THAT BIG!!!  What the H-E- double hockey sticks happened?!?!?!

What I figured would take me a couple hours to organize might just take me an entire rainy weekend to sort out….good thing its supposed to rain all weekend!  Although I really didn’t expect to have to devote hours (or days) to this project, I’m determined to get everything organized so I can make some major progress on these trees over the next couple months.  So…now that I have the 85GB+ of files….what’s next?  I’m sitting here scratching my head with all kinds of ideas running wild inside my head (Not advisable without a really powerful flashlight…its scary in there!).

Here’s how I plan to tackle my nightmare of files….First I need to make some basic files on my new laptop.  One file that simply is called “Duplicates”.  Then I need files for each of my trees (Notice I didn’t say family lines on this one).   This should help narrow it down.  Then under each tree I plan to have family surname files.  And of course I need a file for those questionable documents that I saved but I’m not positive they are family…and another for scans of photos I have no clue who the people are yet.  That should be a good start!  Right????  (Please say yes, please say yes….)

One other thing I didn’t mention…I’m MOVING the files to the new directories…not COPYING them.  The last thing I need is  another 85GB+ of files.  And then I’m backing everything up to my cloud…never going to trust a computer to always work…never trusting an external hard drive as a backup.  Always, Always, ALWAYS have multiple backup versions (in separate locations!).  It’s worth the time and effort to make sure your valuable documents are always safe and accessible.

At least I have a game plan for the massive amounts of files.  Now to get working on it.  Looks like its going to be rainy but productive weekend of the typical housework, laundry, and cooking…but MAINLY focused on genealogy files and organization!  WISH ME LUCK….hopefully I will survive!!!!