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

1 comment:

  1. Hello Denise,
    It was so nice to see your post on my blog - My Portuguese Gen - this morning! Like you, I'm looking forward to become a certified genealogist and since July I started an online course at University of Toronto organized by Louise St Denis. I’m really enjoying. My blog is a way of sharing not only my family history but my discoveries on the web so others ones like you can have some benefits also. I do too just buy a domain with the same name of my blog and plan something bigger in the near future. I’m planning to post some links in Azores pretty soon. Let me know where your family is from there. Also I have family in the main land of Portugal. If you need some transcribing, I speak Portuguese and can do it.
    Have a great Sunday.