#Wk4GeneanolgyDoOverBlog: Managing Projects and Tasks, Tracking Searches

 

 

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community

A Thomas MacEntee GeneaBlogger Community

 

Week #4 Goals:

  1. Managing Projects and tasks
  2. Tracking Searches

You will see how I manage my time and projects as I review and update you on each week’s goals for the Do-Over.

Let’s start with an update of my Do-Over:

Week #1 went along easily enough setting aside previous research, preparing to research and establishing base practices and guidelines. It is an ongoing project.

I set aside an hour each day for paper filing. Once I have all my files where they should be, one hour will keep me up to date and on target. I was feeling overwhelmed at the amount of research that had not been filed, so I decided to dole it out into manageable size. It still allows me time to do my research, homework, spend time with family and friends, with maybe a little time for housework, if I so desire to spend my time that.

Anyone who is a genealogist or family historian must know that housework is always at the bottom of the list unless it is related to feeding, clean clothes and walking the dog, right?

My digital files are also an ongoing project with the new naming system. I decided as I need the file for my research- it will be renamed in a modified version of Diana Ritchie’s naming system. (STEARNS June b19XX birth certificate, STEARNS June B19XX marriage certificate, and so on.) It not only places all my records related to each person together, I can quickly see what file I haven’t added yet.  An easy way to track progress at a glance.

Preparation for research is always on going. I will make every effort not to follow BSO’s (Bright shinny objects.) When I find something in my reading or even on Facebook post, it is added to my ever growing “To Do List.”

I WILL NOT research when I am rushed, distractible or fatigued. This only leads to errors.

I WILL slow down in my research making sure I capture all the document, story, or photo has to offer.

I WILL learn new methods of tracking my research, new places to research and new tools will be added to my Genealogy Toolbox.

In regards to best practices I will continue to tweak and improve them.

 

I WILL follow my research plan:

  1. Find the person; write what I know; write I hypothesis I want to prove; identify the sources and my research strategy. Answer my Who, What, Where is, Where in, When, Why and How questions.
  2. Keeping in mind the GPS standards: a reasonably exhaustive search; complete and accurate citations of sources; analysis and correlate collected evidence; resolve any conflicting evidence and write a reasonable, coherent written conclusion.
  3. Follow the Thomas MacEntee’s 10 Golden rules of Genealogy: remember there is no easy button; research from a place of “I don’t know;” track my work and cite my sources; ask for help; I will start my research-no blank pages; think like my ancestor; share my information (I don’t own my ancestor); be nice-play well with others; remember to divide your information into required, important and optional.

The hardest one so far is sorting information into categories. I’m greedy. I want it all. I need to remember the purpose of why I am researching, that way I can add the facts but keep the “fluff” for later. The fluff is important when telling your family stories. It give your ancestor personality but it can distract you from your research. Document it, source it so you can go back later, add it to the “To do list” for later.

 

Week #2 Goals:

Setting my Research Goals were part of my preparation I mentioned in week one.

I conducted my self-interview.

See Damegussie.wordpress.com for my goals and my self-interview obituary.

Family interviews will be conducted when weather permits. I did send out a worksheet of questions that I will ask for them. Hopefully they will find photos and documents to back them up with. I have my portable scanner, IPad and worksheet with a written interview release form all set up in a packet for each family member I will interview.

 

Week #3 Goals:

Tracking research- I attended Thomas MacEntee’s Boot Camp on using an excel worksheet and citing our sources. In becoming proficient in the use of the Excel worksheet, I have watch the video multiple times. I also watch Dear Myrtle Wacky Wednesday Excel Worksheets video #1, #2 and #3.

Last week, I posted that learning the worksheet was easier using ourselves for importing the information. I hit a little roadblock when I tried to advance my learning but adding to the spreadsheet my own section. I froze myself out of my worksheet. I had to start again. Entering the information into the second worksheet did go faster, but I still not sure how comfortable I am with excel spreadsheets.

I will continue to use the spreadsheet and research log spreadsheet through the thirteen week Genealogy Do-Over. If by the end of that time I am not comfortable with them I will return do my word document type of documenting my research. The goal is to make research easy, cite all source, track your progress, follow GPS standards, answer the 5 W’s and how questions, follow your research plan and share with others.

Bottom line is what makes you most comfortable in adhering to them is the best plan for you. I have noticed that I did cite my sources, tracked my progress, and followed the GPS standards prior to the Do-Over. Yes, my citation are improving. I have slowed down in my research but I think it is more because of the learning curve than to not taking time to mine the records for all data.  I was documenting everything I saw on a document or in a photograph prior to the Do-over, just in a different manner.

Conducting research- I am learning new website and resources as to where to find my ancestors. Everyday there is something new to learn. I will grab every bit of information that people are willing to share. I will also share what I have learned with others.

I have mainly been researching my immediate family records. I have found little tidbits of memorabilia that have yields past residences, birth, marriage, death dates and brought back floods of images and memories I had forgotten about. Items found-recorded-sourced and tracked properly for future use by others.

Week #4 Goals: Managing projects and tasks; Tracking searches

Managing projects and tasks- I watched Thomas MacEntee’s video on project management. I have put his method of managing on my “to do list.” I am having enough of a struggle with the spreadsheets now without adding another one into the mix.

That doesn’t mean I am not tracking my project and tasks. I am scheduling a certain portion of each day and some times a day of the week for each task on my list.

Daily task include: upon waking take scheduled medication/vitamins, check bank accounts and e-mails for 30 minutes, check Facebook for 15 minutes,(Facebook and e-mails get checked again at lunch time and dinner time), take Ninja Buddy (my Italian Greyhound) out for a walk, feed us, take next round of medicine/vitamins, 15-30 minutes filing, repeat- meals, walk the dog throughout the day, before settling in for the night final e-mail and Facebook check, walk the dog, snuggle in for the night.

Sunday: Scanning documents and photo day-at least 1 hour at some point during the day (sometimes 3pm EST with Facebook group when home), Family and friends day.

Monday: clean the Bathroom, watch Monday’s with Myrt, plan research goals and task for the week. Work 1-4 hours on research of my husband’s line, read any homework chapters of current classes or Do-Over (1-2 hours,)

Tuesday: clean kitchen, research on my mother’s line 1-4 hours, read or watch video/webinars as needed for research/education goals, CARD NIGHT with the ladies (usually finish around midnight) I’m glad it is where I live so I don’t have to travel that late at night alone.

Wednesday: Laundry day while watching Legacy Family Tree Webinar at 2 PM EST, currently also watching Beginning Genealogy with Dear Myrtle at 12 Noon EST and Dear Myrtle’s Wacky Wednesday at 9 PM EST, Research 1-2 hours either side.

Thursday: clean bedroom, research Dad’s line 1-4 hours, grocery shopping, relaxing from the long days of Tuesday and Wednesday, and maybe starting my Blog post for this week.

Friday: prepare weekly meals in individual servings and freezing them for later use, this is my open research day depending on how I feel, what needs to be followed up on from the week’s previous research, CARD NIGHT with the ladies. Post my weekly Blog post.

Saturday: family day, open research day, or whatever I feel like day, Watch Genealogy Game night with Dear Myrtle 9 PM EST if awake and home.

Once warm weather returns and the roads are passable I will add research trips to my schedule during the week. Most of our local historical societies are closed during the winter months.

Tracking searches is an ongoing process. Currently using a handwritten log book and word document for the person I am researching. I have a word document for each person or subject I research. I’m starting to add them to the excel spreadsheet along with my other research. SLOW learning curve with the Excel spreadsheet continues.

 

Reading material for Blizzard Juno

Reading material for Blizzard Juno

This week we had a visitors on the East Coast call Blizzard Juno. Where I lived we were lucky not to lose power. I was prepared with emergency food, water and reading material by flashlight or battery operated lanterns. Our snow total in Merrimack, Hillsborough county, New Hampshire in the historic Reeds Ferry district was 22 inches of light, fluffy, crystalline snow. Easy to sweep and shovel as needed for Ninja Buddy’s walk.  I posted updates on my Facebook Pages June Stearns Butka and Where in the State is Mom.

 

Blizzard Juno visits

Blizzard Juno visits

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