Wednesday, January 1, 2020
Day 1: Organize Your Physical Desktop
We begin with what is right in front of you every day: your genealogical desk. Whatever you use to do most of your research, you face it when you start. That working surface can become so cluttered that it makes work difficult.
Only the essentials should have a regular home on your physical desktop. If there is enough room, you'll want at least two large computer displays (one for your genealogy software, the other for the browser to display records). If you have enough room for three displays, go for it!
In front of that will be your keyboard and mouse, perhaps on a favorite mousepad. My own are wireless, so I don't have wires taking up any room. To each side of the displays I have computer speakers. Underneath and between the displays is a tray for my phone, my one pen, and my reading glasses. (In my book Organize Your Genealogy, I advised readers to keep only a single pen on the desktop so as not to waste time choosing which pen to use when needed. At RootsTech London, someone approached me and asked if it was really true that I keep only one pen on my desk. I was able to affirm that I really do this!)
The only other items on my desk, also underneath the displays, are a USB hub (making it quick and easy to charge my wireless mouse), and an Ohio Genealogical Society 60th anniversary drink coaster.
This leaves plenty of room on the desk to temporarily put working documents as I need them. But they don't stay there.
What do you have on your physical desktop? If you aren't using it each and every day, can it be moved elsewhere, out of your way? You want to avoid distractions. Move those distracting items to a side table (out of line of sight) or into a side drawer or cabinet.