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Three Ring Binders and Organization

There are many different opinions about the value of using three ring binders to organize your paper files. Having asked many experienced researchers their opinion on the value of using three ring binders, I offer the following summary of their feelings:

1. Many researchers said when they first began to do genealogy research, they created notebooks for each surname on their family lines. However, they soon found they had too much information and switched to using a file folders system because it is more flexible and expandable.

2. Many researchers keep valuable, original documents, family histories and stories, and photographs in archival quality polypropylene sheet protectors in three ring binders. They make photocopies of documents for research file folders and identify them with a number code. See: Eliminate Genealogy Clutter by Sherene Henrie Whiting.

3. Some researchers like to put a single, challenging genealogical research problem into a three ring binder, with tabs for the family group records, To Do Lists, Research Logs, notes, and documents they are working with.

SUMMARY: There is a place for three ring binders in genealogy organization. In the long run, however, you will probably be happiest setting up the basic hanging file organization system based on color, and then supplementing the basic setup with three ring binders, as you find a need for them.

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