It is time for the first week of the Genealogy Do-Over! YEAH!! I am starting the year off right!
Setting Previous Research Aside
Since my previous research is pretty much scattered everywhere this part is actually going to be pretty easy for me! (At least one part is going to be easy!) The hard part for me is going to be when we have to actually get all that stuff organized!
For my digital files, I have files on my harddrive on my computer, on an external harddrive, and in several online clouds including dropbox, onedrive, and google drive. I know I have MANY MANY copies of the same images on each of these. I am drowning in digital files! So I have decided to leave all those files where they are for now and to organize them and sort through them when that week comes! (OK so I am doing a little procrastinating here but it is on the schedule to organize them later so it is at least organized procrastination! Right?!) So the current locations become my holding files!
For my physical papers, clippings, and documents they are mostly boxed up already so I am just leaving them where they are too. There are some in the closet and some in my computer area in the drawers of the TV stand. Well, their current locations are becoming my holding area for the physical items as well. I already have projects setup in my planner to organize all my physical stuff as part of my de-cluttering projects so these items will become more organized as part of that set of projects or when we get to those steps in the Genealogy Do-Over, whichever comes first!
Preparing to Research
For me preparing to research is going to require some major habit changes. I am one of those researchers who starts off researching one thing and then the shiny objects distract me or I get distracted by the TV show I am also watching and then I realize it is midnight and I still don’t have what I planned to do done and it is way past time to go to bed!
So for my 2015 Do-Over plans, I am going to start researching with a plan in mind! This means that I am going to loosely follow the methods used by Geoff Rasmussen in “Legacy Family Tree Unlocked!”. He creates a todo item when he plans to research a person for what he wishes to find and then he conducts the search and enters in the todo item the results of the search before he closes the todo item. He does all of this within Legacy Family Tree. His todo list becomes his research log in this way and he only has to the typing one time. I am going to stop just researching for anything I can find on a person and start researching specific records/record groups looking for specific information. If I run across other interesting leads, then I will record todo items for them but I will continue with my planned research and not be distracted by the shiny new objects. (No matter how tempted I am by them!)
In planning my research, I am going to use two main tools, the Legacy Family Tree research guidance tool and Gensmarts which I have owned for years but never really used to its full potential.
For my genealogy software, I am going to use Legacy Family Tree version 8. Legacy updated to version 8 back in November of 2013 so if they do come out with a version 9 sometime in 2015 I reserve the right to transfer to the newer version, but only to a newer version of Legacy Family Tree. I need to stick with one software for the whole year to get rid of the bright, shiny new things problem with my database!
I know that genealogy software review was one of the later topics, but I need to pick something and stay with it so I am nailing down my choices for software now to help with the constant changes in my genealogy research methods. I needed to get the software choices made to finalize my plans for the preparation and guidelines sections of this week.
I am going to stop researching while watching endless and sometimes not very good re-runs on TV and start concentrating on my research. In most of what I do I have discovered that multi-tasking no longer works well for me so I am going to stop multi-tasking! I am going to focus on one thing at a time and give it my full attention!
So for preparing to research, I will have Legacy Family Tree 8, Gensmarts, Onenote, and my browser open on my computer. I will also have Onenote open on my phone so that I can jot down any quick todo items or notes about my genealogy research into the proper sections of my 2015 GTD Organizer as I think of them.
I will cover my Practices and Guidelines in a future post this week.
Week 1 – 2-8 January 2015
- Setting Previous Research Aside
- Preparing to Research
- Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
Here is the short summary of Genealogy Do-Over: I set aside everything* related to my genealogy research including notebooks, papers, and even digitized files and my genealogy database files and START OVER. I’m hitting the reset button. I’m allowing myself to have a do-over! (* certain items such as vital records ordered and paid for or research gathered on long-distance trips can be retained).
The Genealogy Do-Over journey is constructed of 13 mileposts or journey markers which are laid out over 13 weeks. You can choose to pace yourself differently. You can even decide to drop some of the less important tasks and add your own. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are on a firm footing to finding your ancestors.
A short synopsis of my planned route (a full schedule will be announced soon):
- Take inventory of what I have, box up the physical items and set them aside.
- Move all digital genealogy files into a HOLD folder.
- Gather tools to research.
- Set research goals.
- Start with my own knowledge and write it down.
- Start tracking research.
- Interview family members.
- And more!