With the dawn of the New Year, possibilities sparkle like the fresh snow and all seems possible with the first of the year. What, are we already sick of the white stuff? I guess some of us have already had our fill. OK, scrap that simile and letâ€™s move on.
At the start of the New Year, I envision myself taking the steps I need to improve in all areas of my life. When it comes to family history, I am eager to get started. Many of us have made our annual resolutions, but I donâ€™t like that term. Maybe itâ€™s become too clichÃ© or maybe Iâ€™ve just had too many years where resolutions ended up paving that infamous road. I prefer a â€œto-do listâ€ where I can check off items as they are accomplished. Are you game? Here are some items you might want to include on your list:
My mom often employs her older grandchildren to transcribe notes sheâ€™s taken on research trips and snippets of information from the index cards sheâ€™s been creating since the 1970s.
Many of us collaborate with family members via e-mail sharing information on the families we are researching. In my case, things keep getting lost in my e-mail inbox, so I started folders for each surname Iâ€™m researching so that if I donâ€™t have a chance to investigate and process these notes or records as they come into my e-mail, Iâ€™ll be able to easily find them when I get time.
Who sees the problem with this â€œsolution?â€ If you guessed that the e-mails would sit in e-mail purgatory for too long, go to the head of the class. Eventually the e-mails get archived, emptying that folder and now doubling the places Iâ€™d have to look for it. Plus, I have my electronic computer files set up with the same filing system, and I have to look there too. (We wonâ€™t even talk about the stuff that hasnâ€™t made it into electronic form.) Itâ€™s just as easy to take that item as it comes in and save it as a document, text or HTML file and put it in the proper place. Then I only have one folder to go to when it comes time to work on a family line. And Iâ€™m going through those folders and as I empty them, Iâ€™m deleting them, thus also helping to unclutter my inbox and keep Outlook from bogging everything down.
While Iâ€™m at it, I need to dust off my scanner and get some of the paper records I have into electronic format too. Continue reading