Topic 3: Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
I needed to do something a little different with regard to adding media and information to my genealogy software since I decided to do a separate “research” database (in Family Tree Maker) and a “sourced” database (in Roots Magic). And I still need to get a grip on the somewhat willy-nilly approach I’ve been using since finding so much information available online.
I still want to use OneNote in tandem with my genealogy software. I know some of the things I am doing in OneNote can be done in my software but the software has its drawbacks. One, I can’t spread everything out to view at once, I have to open each document separately. When I put screen clippings into OneNote, it helps to be able to “view” it all at once. Two, I don’t like either Roots Magic or Family Tree Maker’s timelines. They don’t suit my purposes as I like to make notes of conflicting or missing information right on the timeline. It then becomes the pre-research plan. Later, I can copy and paste research notes from OneNote into my software if I decide I want that information in my genealogy database. The trick is to remember to date everything so I know whether or not the software has the latest notes.
I was playing around in Scapple (mind mapping software from the creators of Scrivener) and made myself a chart back in July 2014 to illustrate (for my own purposes) how I should be working with the documents I already have. They need to be scanned, the information extracted and added to my genealogy databases. New source documents are coming in as well so they need to be dealt with.
Obviously all the steps aren’t necessary for every document but I wanted a checklist of sorts to be sure that things get added to OneNote and timelines. You’ll notice that the last steps include putting the information in genealogy software. All of this is subject to change because I tweak things as I go.
Some things I still need to decide on:
1. I want to set aside 2 days per week to work on family history. I need to pick 2 days and stick to my plan otherwise I get wrapped up in quilting for days and weeks on end and don’t get back to family history research. (Case in point is this post. I had to drag myself away from my quilting software where I have spent the last 3 days drawing an applique quilt border.) I am thinking Tuesday and Wednesday because those are the 2 days the local family history center is opened. I can only get there every other week but at least I know it would be open if I decided to go and do some research on my designated genealogy days.
2. The To-Do List… One long list or many little lists? I’m leaning towards one list because I like the way everything shows up in a prioritized list when I open Family Tree Maker. But the question is where to put the one list? Maybe one list for each of my 4 surname notebooks? Yes, I think I will play around with that idea. Now my OneNote Surname Notebook looks like this when I open it.
The very first section is an Inbox. Anything I clip from the web ends up in the Quick Notes section of my personal ON notebook. I then sort through those web clips and add them to the appropriate Surname Notebook Inbox unless I know exactly which Family Group Section it belongs to — then it goes there. The next section is for my new To-Do List. It’s just a tickler list of things that need to be done. More elaborate plans and information are listed on my Research Plan and Research Record in each Family Group Section.
Cite This Page:
Erin Williamson Klein, “My Work Flow.” My Family History Files, 14 January 2015 (: [access date]).
Please do not copy without attribution and link back to this page.
And a do-over.
Genealogy Do-Over Week 1 — 2-8 January 2015
Topic 1: Setting Previous Research Aside
After a 10 year break in research, I was forced into a do-over of sorts when I had to reenter all my previous research into updated software. I am not completely done with that as I am ignoring my mother’s line for the time being. I have taken up more research since I restarted but when I come across something like this: Fanny Lulu: Back from the dead (someone’s incorrect research that I grafted into my tree), I have to stop and think: If I am not going to do this slowly, methodically, and correctly, what’s the point of doing it at all?
What follows is the draft of a post I wrote in July 2014 but never posted to my blog. I wrote this after I decided to start with a brand-new, properly-sourced tree in Roots Magic.
I’ve been a little quiet on my blog lately. I have been mulling some things over. I had to take a step back and really think about what I was doing with my old and new family history research.
First and foremost, I wanted to apply the Genealogical Proof Standard [GPS] to the work I had already done and continue that practice with the new work I am doing. Secondly, I want to have most of my family research documents stored digitally. I have my old research that I need to input into my updated genealogy software. I want to take the documents and photos from my old research and put them on my computer and store copies in the cloud. And I want to add the digital files to OneNote to help me analyze what has been done and what still needs to be done.
I mentioned before that I used to have all my documents in sheet protectors in notebooks. It was simple to retrieve the documents and review them when I had a research dilemma. Putting the digital documents into OneNote notebooks in some semblance of order would take the place of papers and photos filed into physical notebooks. I should point out the documents were originally in notebooks before I thought it would be the epitome of organization to have them all residing in file folders in drawers of a filing cabinet. For my personal research purposes, I just don’t like my documents in folders in a filing cabinet. (Just one of the quirks to my being a very visual person, I guess.) I should also point out that I need there to be some structure in place when adding the digital files to OneNote otherwise it seems to me to be the digital equivalent to the pile of papers on a desk—something you have to search through. I would like to be able to go right to the document without having to run a search for it. The structure of my OneNote Notebooks was something I was in the process of putting together at the beginning of 2014.
Finally, in order to continue to apply the GPS to new research, I wanted to have a system in place where any new research conducted would follow a work flow that automatically adhered to the Genealogical Proof Standard. [We want to apply the GPS in our family history research to establish that a series of events involves the same person and to establish family relationships.] The Genealogical Proof Standard is five steps that should be followed during our research. In brief, they are:
1. Conduct a reasonably exhaustive search
2. Cite your sources (You knew that was going to be here somewhere, didn’t you?)
3. Analyze your findings
4. Resolve conflicting evidence
5. Write your conclusions (It doesn’t have to be a definitive work. Just a paragraph or even a list will do.)
My main problem is that, even though I told myself “no new research”, new documents are coming in faster than I am scrutinizing my old research against the GPS and that systematic work flow I had envisioned isn’t in place yet. So I have been sitting here in a Zen-like state contemplating just how to make this new work flow happen. (Hahaha. No, my contemplation is really not very Zen-like.)