Thursday, November 3, 2011

Centralizing and Organizing Your Correspondence

It can be a challenge to keep track of all requests I send out, for various records and information. To help with this I keep a correspondence log in a binder. It's red, to help it stand out from all the other binders on the shelf. Inside I keep correspondence sheets for each surname I'm researching, filed alphabetically. These sheets are not so different than others that can be found online or in genealogy books. However, I did create my own to include a couple of items that were important to me.

For example, I have a space to put the check number or notation for money order. This way, I can track if the check has been cleared and/or form of payment. I also have a space for notes if the request is returned asking for more or other information. Once I receive the requested record, I not only write down the date received, I put a check in front of the row. Why do this? Well, some of the records I request can take weeks if not months to arrive. I have a busy life (like most people), with two kids and their schedules, a husband's schedule, and a house with its own schedule, I have trouble remembering everything. I found myself one time wondering if I sent for a particular record or only imagined sending for it . So I finally created my correspondence binder. It's come in very handy.

I want to make an addition to the binder too. So many websites require a username and password now. They all have different rules to follow making it impossible to use the same username and password, which is probably a security risk anyway. The sites I use often are not a problem to remember, the others need to be written down and kept altogether in the same place. I figured the correspondence binder would be the perfect place.

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