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Tags, categories and the importance of organising early

Early is the key word in that headline.

Once you hit your stride and are building up a good stock of stories in your story bank, it’s important that you organise them in a way that allows you to find them again. Your bank is only going to get bigger and more diverse, so the next step is to make sure you and your family or community will be able to access the entries you want when you want them.

Think of your categories as folders that you file your entries into. You don’t need millions of them, just a few, like “tax” or “health” in your home filing system. Tags on the other hand can be like sticky notes you put on a piece of paper within a folder to remind you what’s in each of those categories, like whose tax return it is, or whether the receipt is from a GP or an osteopath.

To apply this to your story bank, the first step is to decide what your categories are going to be. They can be anything that works for you, but keep them broad: children, weddings, travel, houses. You don’t have to decide on a set list of tags; it’s best if you just tag each entry as you bank it.

Then go through all your entries and decide which categories they should be filed under. Each entry can go under more than one; just do whatever is most useful for you. Remember you can always go back and change them anytime!

When that’s all done, you will be able to find all your entries on, say, weddings, with a single click of your mouse.

Image credit: Filing cabinets by mcfarlandmo under a Creative Commons Attribution licence

June 27th, 2011 by Sarah Jansen
Filed in: For Community, For Family, How to
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Zahmoo is a story bank for collecting and sharing your family and business stories.