Posted in Research on January 29, 2012 |
I would love to do a little genealogy every day, but sometimes, that just feels overwhelming because of getting out all the materials I like to have available to me. So I’ve been brainstorming a list of things I could do if I only had 30 minutes available to me. Here’s my list for genealogy EDUCATION:
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Posted in Excel, Organization on January 23, 2012 |
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I had a blog reader ask me if I’d be willing to send him my group sheet templates in Excel and Word. I thought for SURE that I had made those available to download on this blog, but I can’t find them, so I must not have!
I’m not sure if all of my column settings download correctly for everyone or not, but here they are. If you need setting details, let me know and I’ll be happy to share.
Blank Group Sheet – Excel
Blank Group Sheet – Word
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Posted in Research on January 21, 2012 |
When I first began blogging, I wrote about my organization system. Basically, I have a school style 3-prong folder for each married couple. I put about 5 sheet protectors in it to keep hard copies of things I find for that couple. (Anything for the individuals before they were married stay with their parents’ folder.) I keep a 5 gen chart, group sheet and research plan in the front pocket. I keep hard copies of census records (if I’ve printed one) in the back pocket. Other things are kept in the page protectors in chronological order. So if I find marriage info, birth of children, land sales, biographies, death certs, etc. I put those in the page protectors.
Later, I developed a system for keeping my genealogy research with me at school using half-sheet sized groups sheets, notes, research logs, etc. When students are taking a test or I’m sitting in the car waiting for my kids, or any other time I’ve got a few minutes, I can pull out my research planner and jot some thoughts down or make research plans.
So my first edition of 30 Minute Genealogy involves my folders and planner. If I have a short period of time in the evening after grading and planning is finished, I could grab a family folder and check:
- Is the group sheet up to date?
- Group sheet for my planner?
- Can I find the occupation for each person?
- Do I have a source for each fact?
- Is the source in my database?
- Create a list of questions/resources for my research plan
- Are they any new shaky leaves in Ancestry?
- Search Mocavo
- Search FamilySearch
- Create a group sheet for each child
I think I just might grab a folder now!
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Posted in Organization, Research on January 20, 2012 |
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Lately, I’ve been wallowing in self-pity over the lack of time that I have to work on my genealogy. If you read my last post, you know that I worked to get a big project completed so that I could have some research time over the 3 day week-end. So now, the big project is done (at least, this phase of it) and how much time have I spent working on genealogy this week? None. Why? Because “there isn’t enough time.”
What this really means is that I don’t have an entire day available to me to surround myself in genealogy. To spread out the charts and maps and forget about the housework and the schoolwork and just immerse myself in genealogy. But really, how often does THAT come along? What I really need is to get organized in such a way that I could grab something from my file and work on a specific task for 30 minutes or so.
I could easily spend 30 minutes just thumbing through my records for an ancestor and thinking of what I’d like to research next. I need to have a list handy of things to do so that I can jump right in and feel like I’ve accomplished something in that 30 minutes or so. I’ve been brainstorming ideas on this for the past couple of days and I’ve divided my list into 3 areas depending on how I’m feeling when that free time arrives.
I could use my hypothetical 30 minutes for personal RESEARCH – or preparing for research when those wonderful “surround myself in genealogy” days come along. I could spend my 30 minutes on genealogy EDUCATION to learn something that will help me break down a brick wall or learn about a new resource I’ve never used. Or I could spend my time on BUSY WORK to complete some of those not-so-fun tasks that always seem to be hanging over my head.
So I’ve decided to post my three lists and see if anyone has additional ideas to add. Right after I find a few minutes to make my list a little more coherent… Stay Tuned!
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Posted in Research on January 14, 2012 |
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I am at the beginning of a 3 day week-end. I have not done ANY genealogy in WEEKS! Why? Because I can’t say no! Which isn’t always a bad thing, but I tend to overestimate exactly how much work I can do in a day.
I have a full time job teaching high school math and training teachers in how to use MacBooks in their classrooms. In addition to that, I have accepted another project that has turned into the equivalent of another full time job – which I am enjoying, but it is keeping me from having any free time at all.
This project is comprised of 14 smaller projects. I am down to my last 5 mini-projects and they are the smallest of the 14 projects. I need to be finished with everything by Monday afternoon. So, in addition to this, I’m DETERMINED to get some library time this week-end. I have 5 FHL films at my library, and they won’t be here forever! So I’m challenging myself by breaking this project down with a “genealogy reward” between each mini-project.
It is currently 11:15. If I can finish one of my 5 mini-projects before 2:00, I will reward myself today with 2 hours at the library. I will come back to begin watching the football playoffs – during which I’ll be working on another project. Overall project goal: 2 mini-projects completed today and 2 hours at the library.
Tomorrow will be church, then lunch, then an afternoon of football – and working on mini-projects. I COULD say that if I complete 2 more mini-projects during the football games, then I can spend any “left-over” time organizing my genealogy binder, buy if I can complete ALL of the remaining projects by tomorrow evening, I will give myself an entire DAY of genealogy on Monday, both at the library and at home.
Is this a legitimate genealogy blog post? I don’t know, but by putting these goals out there “for the public”, I hope to be more determined to GET THEM DONE!
UPDATE: 1:40 – phase one COMPLETE!!
UPDATE 2: 10:00 pm – I accomplished my goals for today PLUS one EXTRA mini-project! VERY HAPPY!
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