Enter Legacy Family Tree software. Legacy Family Tree Deluxe genealogy software edition 4.0 was to my knowledge the first of the software applications (after PAF Companion) that would allow color coding of the folks. And it allowed for flexibility in choosing your own colors in what sequence. So that was my reason for purchasing Legacy rather than any other genealogy database application. Now, just about all of the software databases use colors including PAF if you get the PAF Companion addon.
Near the beginning when I started doing my color codes, I also color coded my location stuff. In Mary's Family Roots Organizer video, she shows you to use regular green hanging file folders for the subject and location files. I use subject and location files in color also, partly because I already had some hanging file folders in other colors. And partly because I want my files to be attractive, not because other people may see them but to make it more appealing for me to look at. Olive drab is not appealing to look at. So my African American stuff and other subject files are burgundy and my location stuff is orange.
Over the last several months after finding Simon in James HARGROVE's will, I also included James' family files as red because Smith's family is red and Simon being suspected as Smith's grandfather is red. Just about that time, I started running out of burgundy files because of the amount of African American stuff I was collecting. Just when I decided that maybe I need to buy some more file folders and thinking I may change (add a color) for African American stuff, knowing I needed to do something quick because I was out of burgundy. About that time another epiphany! I realized that I was also going to need more red but had plenty of blue and green for now. HEY, why don't you switch them? For my quick solution of the burgundy situation, I got six kiwi (green) ones from the container store because I don't need a whole box for the African American stuff. I will still soon need a box of the multicolored for the families, but the James HARGROVE families are now green instead of red. Let me throw in another tip. You don't have to buy file folder labels in color. I bought mine in all white and I use my colored markers to make the stripe at the top of the file folder label. Or you could use the standard green hanging files and use markers or colored paper to color code the tabs.
Even though when I wrote my goals I said I was filing ten documents per day, I discovered a couple of things that I had to do; things that had to be done in sequence. Before I could do much filing, I had to redo some of my colors as outlined above. And before I could do the birthday and anniversary thing for very many people, I had to get a lot of filing done. The week of January 4th, I didn't do any filing because of this. I was setting up my files as described here. Here is an image of my filing colors after doing a little rearranging. The Slave owners' Families vs My Families don't have as much to do with it as it is more like last year vs how I color code now. If I continued color coding James' family the same colors as my family, I will certainly mix them up pretty soon.
This post has not been as much about "you should do yours this way because I do". It is more about me documenting for myself this is how I do it as well as an explanation of "What's this Colored Roots thing about?" and why I do it. But if you find yourself some tips in here that you can use, go for it. If there are others here that you have no desire to use, it's OK for you to leave them right here.
Here are a couple more references to organizing files especially by color:
- Elyse's Genealogy Blog Organizing The Paper Mountain
- Family Search Wiki Organizing Your Files page I am referencing this link because of their statement "Tip: Do NOT change your old files to a new note keeping system all at once. Start slowly with just the one family you are researching right now. Wait to organize the file of another family until you start research on that family."
- Professor Dru at Find Your Folks Color Genealogy Filing System
- Kick-Ass Genealogy Colour Coding for Fun and Profit
So now that I'm ready to get on with it. I also upped the number of documents to file each week to thirty instead of ten.