5 Easy Steps

Step 2 – Organize Your Stuff

Family history is fun when you can easily find the stuff you’ve already found,
but it can be awful frustrating when you can’t.


Your next step is to get organized.  A little organization lets you know what information you have, where it came from, and where it is — thus, keeping you smiling and happy.

While there’s no reason (except for your future sanity) that you can’t keep everything in piles or toss it into a cardboard box — you’ll eventually want to have some kind of simple system for organizing your pedigree charts, family group sheets, research logs, documents, notes, and research helps — so you can easily find them when you need them.

The goal here is to be able to find any bit of family data you’ve gathered…within seconds!


There are 5 parts to getting organized.  It’s easy and simple.  Here’s what to do:

a)  Gather — Get Your Family History Stuff gathered together into one place (in a box or on a table).

b)  File Folders — Set Up Some File Folders to sort your gathered pile of family history stuff into.

c)  Sort — Place Your Gathered Family History Stuff into the right file folders.

d)  Computer — Enter Your Family Information Into A Computer. If you don’t have one, computers (and help) are available in all the ward buildings.

e)  Binder — Set Up Your Family History Binder. This is where you’ll keep your pedigree charts, notes, guides, etc.

Your “organized” system should be:

  • Simple to set up.
  • Simple to maintain.
  • Flexible.
  • Understandable for future generations.

Your system should also let you quickly and easily:

  • Know what information you have.
  • Know what information you still need.
  • Know what resources and records you’ve already checked.

Remember, keep it simple and keep it current — so you don’t have huge piles of unsorted information sitting around.


Step 2a.  Gather Your Family History Stuff