It’s back-to-school time and the stores are brimming with school supplies. Here’s my top-10 list every genealogist should get for themselves while the sales are on!
Back-to-School Supplies for Genealogists
It’s one of my favorite times of year…back-to-school shopping! Not for the clothes, but for the file folders, highlighters, new sharp pencils, sticky notes, and CRAYONS! (I love crayons!)
Even though I no longer go to school, this fall tradition is a great time to stock up on office supplies for genealogists and for a great price. Here are my top 10 supplies for genealogists this fall:
- Pencils – Not just any pencils. I don’t like it when the erasers dry out over time, so I buy Ticonderoga Woodcase Pencils #2 in Black. And, I like these black ones because…well, they look professional.
- Highlighters – Again, not just any highlighters. I absolutely hate when the highlighters smear the words on my printed document. So, I buy Sharpie Pocket Style Highlighers with Smear Guard and I like to have an assortment of colors. I try to shy away from the “fat” highlighters as I prefer the thinner ones.
- Colored pencils – I don’t always like to use highlighters. Sometimes, the highlight is too much for the copy of a faded document. Instead, I opt to use colored pencils on many occasions. The plus side to having colored pencils on hand? Relaxing coloring time! I buy Crayola Classic Colored Pencils.
- Binders – Back-to-school time is generally the only time I purchase 3-ring binders. They are pricey and I use them a lot, so any savings I can make on purchasing binders is a good thing. Though it is tempting to get the “cutesy” binders, that is not really practical. I purchase strong, durable binders with a view front. My favorites are Avery 2 inch View Binders with Slant Rings because they hold up well, but are reasonably priced.
- Notebooks – I still use a notebook while I research a case. I have tried to use digital note-taking, but there is something about handwriting my findings that helps me “see” the bigger picture of the problem I am tackling. After I am done with a project, I take a picture or scan my notebook pages and upload them onto the computer in the appropriate folder. Then, I can either get rid of the notebook all together, file it on the shelf, or tear out and file only the pages I used which allows me to use the same notebook for the next project. My notebooks are usually used temporarily, so I buy the cheap ones like these on sale for 50 cents. [Note: If you know you are going to be keeping your notebooks for a long time, don’t buy cheap. Instead, opt for a better quality like Mead or these Five Star ones.
- Hole punch reinforcements – A genealogist can go throw these like water! I 3-whole punch a lot of things and place them in my binders. But after a great deal of use, the paper weakens and the pages can fall out. THAT IS NOT GOOD. I prefer clear hole punch reinforcements, but have had trouble finding them on the shelf. Avery Clear Self-Adhesive Reinforcements are my favorites!
- Sticky notes – I don’t think we need an explanation for this one, do we? Sticky notes…get some super sticky ones! Post-it Super Sticky Notes in 4 Colors
- Hanging file folders – Though I keep digital copies of personal family history and client stuff, I keep paper copies too. My file folders are fantastic for keeping all that organized and help me locate what I need, FAST! And, here’s where you can have a little fun and buy them in unique colors like these: Pendaflex Reinforced Hanging File Folders in Fall Colors.
- Computer/Copy Paper – Oh, boy. I really did use a lot of copy paper in the past. I have been able to cut down significantly these past several years, but having copy paper on hand is a must for any genealogy office. I like Hammermill Paper, 20 lb, Bright.
- Label Tabs – This is something I started doing several years ago and it was a game changer. I use tabs for fast access to specific information in my reference manuals. Like I said, GAME CHANGER. I like these because they are bigger and hold up well being pulled on and off the shelf. Post-it Filing Tabs, 2 inch, Assorted Colors.
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