Monday, September 9, 2013

Creating a schedule

Now that my summer is pretty much over, I must go back to thinking about how I am going to spend my time. More importantly, how will I spend my time on genealogy?

I like to make little schedules in my mind, to help me stay focus and this way I won’t spend all my time playing Candy Crush. I want to expand my family tree, not necessarily advance to the next level in Candy Crush. Okay, I do play Candy Crush and yes I have been stuck on the same level for almost a month, so it is really easy to put that frustrating game aside and think about what I really want to do.
Last spring, I had a different schedule because I was working on a huge scanning project and working on an obituary project. These projects are done and now I can concentrate on the new tasks on hand. So how do I schedule my time? I first need to identify what I need to do. I received 7 photo albums from my sister who received them from my aunt and they don’t all have pictures, some are more like scrapbooks, so I have a new scanning project to do. So to stay on task, I will probably designate one day a week for this scanning project.

My scanning project will entail, not only scanning, but then naming, filing the scan into the proper folder, attaching the scan to my genealogy program and updating names and facts based on the scan.  I now realize this scanning project will take a while, so I like to designate Monday’s to my scanning project. I usually don’t schedule appointments for Monday because I have a habit of forgetting them over the weekend. It is wonderful that doctor’s offices call and remind me of appointments, but when they are closed on Fridays, they call on Thursday to remind me of an appointment that if four days away.  I get so busy on my weekends, which include Fridays because my husband doesn’t work Fridays, that on Monday I have totally forgotten that appointment. Lesson learned, try not to schedule appointments on Monday. With all that said, if I end up having a commitment on Monday, I can then push my scanning project to Tuesday.
Wednesdays I volunteer at the Genealogy Library and that is pretty much written in stone. I work my schedule around this day. The only time I don’t volunteer is when I am out of town on vacation. Currently I have only two Wednesday this fall that I know I will miss.

I also I try to schedule things only four days a week for genealogy, Monday through Thursday since my husband is off on Fridays. Fridays are my grocery shopping day and that takes up a couple of hours in the morning. I also try to clean my house on Fridays because my husband makes the chores go so much faster when he helps. A lot of time, he cleans the yard or garage and I do the house.
So looking at my schedule this leaves Tuesdays and Thursdays to actual genealogy research. I think this schedule looks really nice, not overwhelming. I will have time to squeeze in my Newsletter Editor duties during these days, I teach classes once in a while and this will also fit into my schedule nicely.

So today is Monday and I should start my scanning, but my computer room is a little messing and I think I will spend a little time getting some of this into shape. I will also spend a little time going through my emails too. Perhaps I will push back my scanning to Tuesday or Thursday when the desk is cleaned off and I have room to open the photo album and can easily remove items to scan, and then place them back.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Learning new things!

On Wednesday of this week, my genealogical library reopened, and since I am the Wednesday volunteer for the library, I was there! I decided to try something different, since we usually don’t get people showing up early in the library and our monthly meetings don’t start until October. I decided to show a Webinar in the morning. A lot of the Webinars from Legacy Family Tree are offered on Wednesdays but those are usually around 11 am Arizona time. I wanted something earlier and lucky for our library a member had donated 5 different Webinar CD’s. Since there would be four Wednesdays in September, I planned on showing four of the 5 Webinars. Unfortunately, I had to cancelled the last week viewing because I won’t be there and I wanted to make it easier for my replacement, I decided not to show one that week. If she wants to great, if not that is great too.

Anyway, the first Webinar that we viewed was about finding female ancestors. The nice thing about the CD’s is that they include a handout. The four page handout was basically an outline of the PowerPoint, but included links and it is a lot easier than trying to write all this down while viewing. For myself, I find if I can just sit and listen and glance at the handout I absorb so much more than if I am trying to writing stuff down. I just don’t absorb anything because I am busy trying to write everything down.
Another good thing about these free Webinars that Legacy offers is that they allow you to watch them the following week after the original airing for free. They do have additional viewings that are free all the time. Therefore, you can view the live viewing and be eligible for free prizes and then when the viewing is turned on free the following week, watch again and this time, pause to write notes.

Learning and relearning is a great way to become a better researcher in looking for your ancestors. I find that we get stuck doing the same stuff all the time and then wonder why we get the same results all the time. We are creatures of habit and we use what is familiar. I like learning and relearning new ways of doing things and trying them. Even if you only learn one new trick or method, it might be the thing you need to break through your brick wall.

Don’t forget that on YouTube there are a lot of cool videos too. What I like about YouTube is that they are usually shorter than the Webinars which are at least 1 hour long while the videos are as short as a couple minutes and maybe as long as 20 minutes. Try setting aside 20 minutes a week to find a video on learning something dealing with genealogy. Are we really too busy to find 20 minutes a week? You might think you are, but the next time you are waiting for your food on the stove or in the oven to finish cooking in 20 minutes, fill the time with watching a video!

Plus, a lot of genealogy websites have free learning tool too, even paid sites like offers free tutorials. I like those and the ones on But look around and you will be surprise at what you find! So when you get frustrated because you are not expanding your family, try expanding your knowledge!

Education is a continual process! Enjoy learning.