I love the “thrill of the hunt”. Looking at a timeline and thinking, “I wonder if they….” and then looking for the record. Finding new names in birth records and the “AHA!” of finding a connection in a probate record.
What I DON’T love is entering the data in my genealogy program! To be more specific, entering the source citations. I love seeing a “solid” group sheet print out – you know, a group sheet with little missing information. Rarely am I thrilled to see how long my citations list is! It SHOULD give me a feeling of accomplishment – a pat on the back for a job well done. But for some reason, it just doesn’t. I look at that list and feel weary knowing the work that went into it!
But NOW, I have a new “picture” to look at and to have a goal of seeing no blank spaces without flooding me with memories of typing in the information it took to get there.
I recently switched from FTM to RootsMagic 4 for 1 simple reason. The CHORE of entering citations in FTM was a nightmare for me! To figure out which category of citation would eventually trickle down to the correct format for what I was holding in my hand was torture – so I just didn’t do it! I find RootsMagic much easier to use for the citations – thank you RootsMagic team!
But you know what motivates me more than anything? Check marks. That’s right, check marks! When I double click a person’s name, I see a screen with a timeline of events that I’ve entered into the database along with 3 columns for check marks. 1 column tells me if I’ve added a note for that event. (No check marks there yet, but they’ll be coming) 1 column tells me if I have a source entered and the last column tells me if I’ve uploaded a media file for that event.
Talk about motivation! As soon as I see empty boxes in those columns, I’m on the search. Where did I find that? Have I scanned it yet? If it came from the internet, do I have the address? If the web site still exists, have a taken a screen shot of the information (along with any introductory information) in case the site disappears some day? If I can’t find a record, then where did I get that information? Time to start looking for confirmation!
And how long can I make this list? I see important dates that are missing as well as sources that are missing very easily. Much better than THINKING my database is complete when there’s actually a stack of papers somewhere with information that needs to be added.
For me, this is not work, this is completing a list – and being the type A personality that I am, that’s all I need to get me off my duff and into my files!
Yesterday, I read a post from Randy Seaver at Geneamusings in which he talked about cleaning up his database. I have had a hard time getting back into the swing of research after my “nothing but school work” period, so I thought that cleaning up my database would be a good idea too. I was amazed at the number of times people were entered twice (I know that has something to do with my merging gedcoms, so I’m not blaming the program) and I learned alot about how to take care of those duplications (after a bit of hair pulling, I must admit!) But I also got into a very methodical method of going through the branches to look for the duplications and while I was working on an individual, I’ve also been updating those sources and media files. I love it!
If you’re like me and you’ll make a “to do” list just so you can mark off a task you’ve just completed, then you’d love this too!