MRIN Filing System A-Z

It’s long past time to write a compilation of the MRIN Filing System. Over the years my use of it has changed and changed and changed.

It all started when … In the Spring of 2006 someone wrote to me, after reading a short comment I left on Legacy News, inquiring about my filing system.

I wrote her back a long email with screenshots. A few months later, when I had the idea of starting a website, that email response became the second post I published. It was pretty much copy and paste with zero expectation of anyone ever reading it.

Since then there’s been a steady stream of traffic making MRIN inquiries, most of them landing on that 2006 post.

Over the years I’ve continued to write about MRIN filing as I’ve drastically changed course with it. So, I feel responsible to bring people up to speed in the easiest way possible. It’s absolutely true that inexperience has no perspective.

A month ago I made a video of it which didn’t go too well. Recording myself talking for 45 minutes over the top of a PowerPoint presentation is quite challenging I found out.

So I re-arranged the information and took my voice out of it. It’s now straight PowerPoint for 60 slides and it’s available for FREE at MRIN Filing System PPSX.

Looking back over hundreds of posts and pages, it appears I’ve mostly written about filing in some form or another. And fundamental to it all has been how to wrangle thousands of paper and digital documents into something coherent, high-functioning and easily transferable to whoever comes next. Little did I know that learning enough to make it simple would take me six+ years and a blog.

As we know, it never ends. But if I walked away from it now I think the ancestors and I could sleep in peace.

4 thoughts on “MRIN Filing System A-Z

  1. Jennifer Crockett

    Thanks for making the PowerPoint slides available. It is quick to scroll through and pause when something needs a bit of time to sink in.

    My only comment is that at some stage you might want to do a streamlined post about the final method you settled on. While it is interesting to see how your system evolved, for someone wanting the basics, going through Methods 1 and 2 could be confusing.

    1. JL Beeken Post author

      Thanks. I had the same thought myself. For newcomers, I agree. Cutting to the chase would be simpler.

      What I was trying to do in the presentation was a consolidation for anyone who’s already doing MRIN filing. I’ve written my changes in blog posts but people don’t necessarily read them. For new people looking for information, writing my process from the beginning is a way to describe why I do what I do. Been there, done that, it didn’t work because … etc, etc and why I moved on.

      At this point, I’m not sure how many people actually care about this filing system so I’m waiting for reaction. For my regulars who do read it gets boring, I think, to be going over and over the same territory. There’s almost nothing in the presentation that hasn’t already been covered in posts over the past six years, it’s just in a simpler format. I was even imagining it might be ‘my last word’ on the subject.

  2. Jennifer Crockett

    I am not sure where I am going to head re nesting folders. I have a large number of people who aren’t in my direct line. I have often done these for second cousins. Sometimes I have just gone sideways because I felt like it.

    1. JL Beeken Post author

      I contemplated that move for about a year before I did it. It’s really only an extension of Method#2. If you’re already in MRIN folders, just nest them. I say ‘just’ in jest. It took me a week.

      I don’t go ‘sideways’ because I have enough to do already. But if I did, I’d probably keep them out of my main MRIN filing numbers. Not that difficult, just make another folder called SIDEWAYS and pick some small range of numbers somewhere to fit them into.


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