As usual, I have continued to modify my form and I find that some areas I don’t use the way that I thought I would. I also found a few other things that I wanted to keep track of, so I’m updating my workbook. The workbook now includes an example of how to use the basic information full page sheet, a blank full page sheet, a blank “doubly related” sheet and an example and blank DNA Circle sheet.
For the basic information sheet, I decided not to keep track of the Chromosome because I’ve found that to be less helpful that I thought it would be. Instead, I’ve started keeping track of when I contacted a person (I can include a date or a check mark and a smiley face if I got a response) instead of using my notes section for that. I can also indicate if I’ve added a match to my DNA painter profile.
I decreased the area for keeping track of “In Common With” matches because I’ve decided that until I get quicker with using my DNA matches in my research, I’m just overwhelming myself with matches that don’t have a tree.
In the Notes section, I can keep track of details from emails and I can indicate if I’ve added that person’s family “path” into my Public tree on Ancestry.
For my own organization system, I use the DNA Circle sheets as family dividers. In my example, I have a “circle” for John Smith and Sally Jones. I would add basic information sheets for anyone who matches that couple and place those sheets after the Circle sheet in the workbook. I also color code the tabs (right click > tab color) so that I can find the Circle sheets quickly.
I’ve included this new format in the downloads tab titled “DNA Workbook” or you can download it here.
As I work more with my DNA matches, I keep finding additional information that I’d like to keep track of. I really like the Ancestry DNA circles, but unless information in two trees matches in pretty specific ways, the matches don’t show up in your circle. I wish there was a way to add people to a user created circle to help me keep track of those matches.
So I decided that I needed a way to keep track of “In Common With” matches to make a DNA circle of my own. Because I was always jotting notes in the margins of my DNA planner half-sheet, I decided I needed a full sheet version as well.
This sheet has the original layout on the left, but on the right side, I’ve included an area to keep track of “In Common With” matches. You’ll notice that on the left side, I have included my actual information. That is the email address that I use when exchanging information with people who are a DNA match for one of my kits. And those are my GEDmatch number, FTDNA number and MyHeritage name. Might as well get those out there for my cousins to find me with! I keep track of which chromosome we have matching segments on in the center column.
Honestly, at this point in my research, I mainly use Ancestry and GEDmatch, so if I need more space for GEDmatch kits, I rename the FTDNA and MyHeritage lines and use them for the additional information, but I wanted to show how it could be used.
All of the information on the right side is fictional. I wanted to show how you can customize your sheet by making some words bold as well as how I indicate a number of shared cMs. When I end up with a cluster of matches on a specific segment of DNA, I take a screenshot of that information and print it on the back of this sheet. (I’m not showing the kit details to protect the privacy of those matches, but I would include that as well.) You’ll see that on the left side of the sheet, the chromosome number 12 is in red to show that I have a screen shot of that information on the back of my page.
I still use my half-sheet for people that I share smaller numbers of cMs with or haven’t quite found a connection for or who I don’t have contact information for yet. But I’m finding this full sheet to be helpful for keeping all of my information straight in my mind.
You can find the sheet in the Downloads tab at the top of the blog, or by clicking here. Blank DNA Full Sheet