Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Oh, My Spinning Head!

I am in serious need of organizational help for my genealogy research and business. I have so many individual threads I am working on that I am afraid that they are going to get all tangled up soon if I don't come up with a workable solution.

I have been using Evernote on both my laptop and smartphone. I like this program because it allows me to keep my notes synchronized if I happen to be mobile. I have a genealogy folder, a good naming system for the notes, and it's easy to use. The problem is that I have many notes but no master summary of what I'm working on.

And I'm working on a lot. I'm researching my husband's line. I'm learning new family tree software. I'm reading genealogy books and magazines. I have a website to design. A blog to keep active. All the while trying to keep house and raise a toddler and a pre-schooler. I know, I know -- I need to have my head examined.

Part of my problem is that I'm a visual person. I need to see things, have them written down, preferably on paper, and right in front of me. That in itself is not conducive to an organized desk. I would, if I didn't have said toddler climbing all over the place, post sheets to the wall above my laptop for each category. Instead I will have to find a neater (and hopefully more permanent) method to getting organized.

File folders, binders, which method to use and how to use it seems to be the age-old issue genealogists of all skill levels continue to wrestle with. Just yesterday I was digging through a portable file box and came across a folder with assorted family data, a good portion of which was missing from my database. These scraps of paper dated back to 1999!

I think I will bring a notebook and pencil out to the wading pool this afternoon. I'll use a page per category and write down what I'm doing on each one and/or what I need to do. Maybe all my spinning head needs to slow down is a good, old-fashioned data dump. Surely it can't continue to spin without the weight of all of the items I'm trying to remember -- at least not as fast, anyway.

I'll let you know how it goes.

~ Niecey

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Blogging Returns

It's been a few months since my last blog posting, caused by varying degrees of raising young children, helping my husband with his small business, keeping a household, and failing computer equipment.

Which is not to say that I have abandoned my genealogical journey in either my research or to become a certified genealogist. I do something each day to further educate myself and since the two are intertwined , I am slowly but surely making progress on both fronts.

Lately I have been doing a lot of reading in genealogy magazines while I have been sitting poolside (as in wading pool for my toddler and pre-schooler). I have to keep a notepad and pen with me to jot down all the ideas I get for either research or running my own genealogy business. I have subscribed to a number of RSS feeds for genealogy blogs -- the July 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine listed their picks of the "40 Best Genealogy Blogs" and I found myself subscribing to quite a few of them.

My new genealogy software (RootsMagic 4 and Personal Historian) just arrived this morning and I have been waiting very patiently to get through with my household chores and for nap-time to arrive so that I can at least get the programs installed. The length of my toddler's nap will determine how much playtime I get in the new software. (smile)

My shipment of genealogy books is due to arrive sometime this week from I ordered two books written by Elizabeth Shown Mills: "Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace 2nd Edition" and "Professional Genealogy: A Manual for for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians" as well as the Board for Certification of Genealogists' "The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual". I should have plenty of reading material to last the rest of the summer as I learn how to properly cite my sources in my research and to make sure that my research conforms to the BCG's standards.

And yesterday I was able to obtain my web domain ( from I am absolutely thrilled that the domain was available and now I can move forward in designing the website for my genealogy business. I'll be sure to post on my blog when the website is up and running.

So while it has been quiet on the blog-front things have been active behind the scenes. As all the pieces fall into place, and especially now that we have upgraded the equipment, I look forward to being just as active on my blog. I look forward to your company while I take my genealogy journey.

~ Niecey