The Time-saving Tips for Genealogists chat at last month’s Family Tree University Virtual Genealogy Conference was especially interesting to me, considering my recently expanded family.
Of course I didn’t have the half-hour to attend the chat, but Virtual Conference participants get transcripts of all the chats, so I’m still able to benefit from other researchers’ wisdom and share some time-saving tips with you:
- Everyone agreed that organization, staying on-task and information overload are time drains when it comes to genealogy research. Social media also distracts us, and catching up after being away from research steals time, too.
- Organization was a theme. Be organized from the startusing a research log to keep track of your to-do list for each family line and place you’re searching really helps. At least one participant uses Evernote to keep her research log. Trello also was recommended (especially for those who think visually).
- Keep track of negative search results, too (i.e., you didn’t find the record you were looking for) so you don’t repeat the same search. Track your online searches of growing databases, so you can go back to look for new results.
- Schedule your genealogical research time on your calendar, just like any other appointment you have.
- When visiting a repository, plan ahead, use online tools (such as a library catalog and visitor information) to prepare, and call to verify hours, what you can bring in, etc. This gives you more research time.
- To-do list apps chatters use include Remember the Milk, Any.do and Wunderlist.
- Sometimes getting away from home to research is better, because you face fewer distractions.
- Set a research goal for the week (or a period of time that works for you).
We’ll host another Virtual Genealogy Conference this Fall, so stay tuned! In the mean time, check out our Organize Your Genealogy One-Week Workshop, taking place March 15-22.