After a long wait and lots of hard work by Jack Minsky and the team at MacKiev, Family Tree Maker 2017 for Windows and Mac has been released. One of the features I was most excited about is the color coding that is available in both versions.
Years ago, Mary Hill developed a color coding system for genealogy filing using a different color for each ancestral line. I've used her system both with binders and file folders (I am a huge fan of notebooks and create one for almost any project I am working on) and in my digital filing system through the use of an app that allows color coding. She goes into a detailed explanation of how to set up the system at the link above, but basically its foundation is a simple color coding formula for each ancestral line:
In my notebooks I keep additional binders (such as the white Dupuis/Dupuy binder in the photo above) for current research for a specific line.
One of the new features in the recently released 2017 version of Family Tree Maker is the ability to color code your ancestor's profiles. These colors will not sync with trees on Ancestry, but they are very useful for quick visual identification inside of Family Tree Maker. To the left is an example of the color coding on the tree view - you'll notice that the home person has all four colors, and the home person's parents have the two colors each from their parents.
Along with the colors used above in Mary Hill's system, additional colors are also available. The potential uses of these range from adding a specific color for individuals in your direct line, people who served in the military, immigrant ancestors, DNA matches, and more.
The blue squares indicate matches to FamilySearch trees, but I will probably turn those off until they indicate matches to FamilySearch records. Occasionally I find an individual in a tree with relevant records and/or sources attached, but so far most of those matches lead me to individuals with no sourcing.
I often create "island" groups of individuals who are ancillary to my ancestors (potential relatives with no proven link, individuals in their FAN, etc.) but not connected to the main tree. These individuals are in the tree file but are not related to the home person, so I color these individuals pink (for groups that are probably relations) and purple (for unrelated individuals in an individual's FAN). Using this system, I can glance at my list of individuals and have a quick visual reference as to their place in the big picture.
I've finished color coding my tree and am now resolving all of the place names that I have ignored for years. It will be nice to finally have those in a nice hierarchical structure under the Places tab.
Are you using the new color coding feature? Let me know in the comments what you use the colors to indicate in your tree(s).