Is anyone else addicted to portable storage?

School was cancelled today, so I spent the day organizing my digital files – getting everything onto one “Master Drive”. I have a habit of putting a few files onto a portable flash drive “in case I have some free time” but then I worry that I’m going to forget something, so I copy folders with family group sheets and surname notes as well. So later, I’m unsure which files are the last to be updated, and to be safe, I don’t delete anything. And then I see a flashdrive with more storage and I have to have it and then that becomes my “just in case” drive.

Couple that with the fact that when I scan files at the library, the folder is automatically given the name “Scanwrite”. For several years, the computers at the library would not allow you to access anything other than the library web site or the scanning software, so I was always sure to write down what was in the folder – but never quite got around to renaming it because “I’m sure I won’t forget!”

Repeat this for a few years and soon, I have duplicated files out my ears and I’m never sure exactly what I have. So today, I decided to “get organized”. Step one – collect the flash drives.

Let’s see – there’s my normal genealogy flash drive and my school flash drive, which just might have a file or two collected over lunch breaks.  And wait… I used to have a blue flash drive, so where is that? I think it may be in my research backpack. When I look in the pocket, lo and behold, there’s also a flash drive that I had to purchase at the library because I accidentally left mine at home. And look! There’s also a teeny tiny flash drive that was just sooooooooo cute that I had to have it! That reminds me that somewhere, I have a flash drive that looks like a little surf board that was an AWESOME deal for 10 whole gigs! I know where that one is stored and when I get that, I also see my old iPod that I used for storage for quite awhile as well. Which reminds me of my very first external drive – what files might be on there?

So bottom line – I’ve been transferring files all day. I have a 1 terabyte drive that I’ve copied everything onto – well, only files for my Mom’s side of the family. And only files that were not created by me, such as family group sheets or timelines or notes. Six flash drives, 1 iPod, 1 older external drive and files on my laptop have been combined into one location. As I copied to my external, I deleted from the device I was working with.  If I had already copied something from a previous device, I deleted it from the the remaining drives.

I’ve placed everything into folders by county name. There are some additional folders for photos, maps, military histories and educational information I’ve collected. Each county has folders for cemetery records/images,  land records, tax records and census records. But the files in my county folders are still named really creatively – like Scan 01, Scan 02, etc. How many of these files might be duplicates? That is what I’ll be working on next. As I have time, I’ll be working on renaming the files and making a list of what I’ve already scanned – to make sure I don’t duplicate things again!

Of course, my external drive isn’t nearly as easy to take along as a flash drive, so as I get things renamed, I’ll want to put everything onto one “Master flash”.

And luckily for me – I have an awesome 32 gig flash drive still in the package that I got at a great after Christmas sale!