January is a new starting point for a lot of things. It coincides with very cold weather where I am and usually a little more free time than at other times of year, so I naturally turn to my genealogy hobby in my cozy office.
This year I resolved to be more rigorous about family data and to cite sources properly. That resolve was combined with the necessity of rounding up scans and downloaded images which were scattered among three computers and two photo management software applications (Aperture and iPhoto). Yes, I know that these applications can work together, but I decided to consolidate my image files (personal photos as well as genealogy images) and manage them in Aperture on my main home computer.
The process is a lot like physical de-cluttering – first you pull everything into one place, then put like with like to find duplicates. And oh my, did I find duplicates! The hard part of this process is resisting the urge to focus on an item and start analyzing what it tells you. That will be my reward when the clutter is gone. For now, I think I have rounded up all the strays into Aperture.
Along the way, I am developing a system of tags and categories, so that the collection will be useful in various ways. For example, I can look at all UK census images at once, or all census images for a specific family, or all 1881 images. Rediscovering images I had forgotten about is very exciting!