Organizing My Genealogy Study Cart

Organizing My Genealogy Study Cart

Yesterday, I shared a look at how my genealogy study cart is organized in preparation for some summer study. If you missed the video, you can see it here. 

I thought I'd do a detailed round-up of what's included since the video is pretty quick!

First off, we need to start with the books, since they are the stars of the show. It's probably going to surprise you which ones I'm "reading goodbye" this summer: 

On the bottom of the cart, you can see a large black book. This is an oversized sketch book that I've turned into a study text. It's where I keep little notes, magazine articles, things from conferences, etc., all organized by topics written out on post-it tabs


Once we get past the books, nothing else on the cart is strictly "necessary" but I'm an active reader in that I annotate my books and mark them up to get as much out of them as I can. I also go through post-it notes like you wouldn't believe when I'm researching so I don't lose any thoughts. So, some of this stuff might seem a little weird but it's my toolkit. 



Starting from the top, we have magnifying glasses. I like to have these within arm's reach because I use them a lot when looking at old photos but I also have some trouble with my eyes sometimes and readers don't cut it. Just a me problem? Maybe. Two are truly vintage but I mostly use this sturdy vintage-looking magnifying glass I found on Amazon. There are some lose black-ink pens thrown in as well although my favorite pens are in a different place near my desk. 


The plant is a plastic plant from Amazon as well. I'd love to have a real plant but I have cats who are awful about that kind of thing so plastic it is. It's really just there because it's pretty. I like pretty when I'm working (says the woman with an entire office of pretty). 


I added some organizing containers to the top to hold things I use all the time. I'm not even kidding - I go through a pad of these little post-it notes almost every week so I got a whole set of them for the summer in "Beachside Cafe" colors. How cute are they? 


The white post-it tabs are the ones I use most often in my family tree notebooks to write the ancestor names that go on the dividers because the white part is like paper so they're easy to write on. I used to use different colors for different ancestors, but now I just use the white ones for everything because it makes it easy to update them when I need to change a tab. 


The pastel highlighters are pretty good at not bleeding through but I don't always trust them (you'll see alternatives in a sec). I'm picky about highlighters and I also have some from Mildliner (for my planners) and Sharpie (for documents) but for actual books I like something that's a little lighter most of the time. Plus these feel good to hold. 



When I don't want to use highlighters at all because I don't want to get that kind of ink on the page, I have transparent highlighter tape. It's a little bit of a pain to use because you have to use scissors to cut it to the right size but it's gorgeous and fancy-looking when it's on and obviously there's no bleed-through. These sticky note circles are also transparent so they're good for writing little notes or highlighting paragraphs but I don't use them all the time. 



I also have a ton of transparent book tabs. I do like to tab my books and when I'm reading things that are a little more focused, I use the colors on the tabs to annotate different things so I can find them later. (It's a whole thing - ask if you're curious.) Do I really need so many colors? No, but it's the little things. 


In the background, you can also see that I have some bookmarks in the same container. I love the little magnet bookmarks because they don't fall out when I carry my books around and these ones are Friends themed so they get extra points. 



The last container has more book tabs but these are the kind that stick out and have enough space for writing or symbols if you want. I use the more expensive post-it ones for my family tree notebooks but when I need to use "stick out" tabs for books, I just use these ones. I don't know if that makes sense. I'm starting to feel self-conscious about how many weird little organizing things I have. 
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