Friday, January 24, 2014

James Duffy's Paperless Filing System for Mac

I've corresponded a bit with James J. Duffy, who has described his Paperless Filing System for his Mac computer to me and agreed to let me post it to this blog:


Aperture or iPhoto to store all my documents and photographs as (jpg, png or pdf).
  1. List every one by first, middle, last name and suffix then year of birth [James Joseph Duffy Sr (1896)] as this help with the duplicate names.
  2. I name my files like (Kenneth-John-McCarthy-1930-Census), (Priscilla-Lancaster-Perry-1930-Census) or after marriage (Priscilla-Lancaster-(Perry)-McCarthy-Social-Security-Death Index).
  3. I download all copies of documents as a jpg file and the cover page as a pdf. (Aperture doesn't take text files so I use the pdf format, I use these to copy and paste information into my genealogy program off-line).
  4. Make adjustments to all document in Photoshop - straighten, chop, hilite etc.
  5. Drop and drag files into my genealogy program. After adding the files to my genealogy program label the cover files in red and the image files in green.

James J Duffy
Kennewick WA 99337-3209


Wikipedia.describes Aperture as:

"Aperture is a photo editing and management computer program that was developed by Apple Inc. for the OS X operating system, first released in 2005, and currently available in its App Store. The software handles a number of tasks common in post-production work such as importing and organizing image files, applying corrective adjustments, displaying slideshows, and printing photographs."

The Aperture website is  

iPhoto is described by Wikipedia as:

iPhoto is a digital photograph manipulation software application developed by Apple Inc. and which used to be included with everyMacintosh personal computer as part of the iLife suite of digital media management applications. First released in 2002, iPhoto can import, organize, edit, print and share digital photos. In Mavericks, rather than being included in OS X, iPhoto is available from the Mac App Store."

The iPhoto website is:

It's always interesting to me how other researchers use software to help with their genealogy work and how they name their document, record and photo files.  James has a system that works for him, and that's what matters.  We can all learn from how other people do the things we do.  Perhaps some of my readers will adopt James's system for their own photo editing and file organizing.

My thanks to James for permitting me to share his paperless filing system with my readers.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, James J. Duffy and Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Keith Riggle said...

I also have a Mac and use a similar system. However, I prefer to name files Last Name-First Name-Middle Name-Year of Birth so that people with the same last name are grouped together. Of course, with Spotlight or Finder, it's easy to search for files. Also, I just file my files using Finder rather than iPhoto or Aperture. iPhoto uses a proprietary database which is best searched from within iPhoto. It can also get corrupted rather easily. I don't even own Aperture. I do attach my files to the corresponding people in my genealogy software.

Before people start editing their photos, I recommend they convert them to TIFF because JPG is a lossy format, while TIFF is not. Every time you edit a JPG file, you lose some of the quality.