The K.I.S.S Method of genealogy-My Way!

#365daysofJune day17

This blog is in answer to Dear Myrtle’s 2016 Participant Forms. Her form is for anyone that wants to be consider for her random monthly drawing. I’m a winner already by just participating. A surprise bonus is always a welcome gift.

Her questions made me stop and think. To review my habits, good and bad. In doing so, it made me really consider the approach, BEST FOR MY RESEARCH, that I’m using or plan on using in the future.

I'm Doing It!
I’m Doing It!

I decided that using the K.I.S.S. method of Keeping It Simple and Straightforward is best for me. I have tried different research logs and Do-Over’s (Thomas MacEntee, Dear Myrtle and Cousin Russ and The Organized Genealogist) suggestions over the past year. I opened my mind to new ideas and ways to research. There was many trails and errors. I’m not a technical type of person. Learning new computer programs is a major challenge for me, especially if someone is not sitting beside me showing me Step-By-Step.

I finding that keeping a Microsoft Word Document Folder for each person that includes my research notes, links, conclusions and records is the easiest way to keep me on task.  I still keep an Excel worksheet for links; where I need to research, for what I did research and Books to review, as a backup. I’m slowly transferring my paper files to my Surname Folders on my computer. The folder includes images, the Microsoft word document and other records needed or collected for my research. When transferring the paper files to digital format, I’m reviewing my Family Tree Program file, for the person I’m working one, at the same time. Slow and Steady goals is my approach.

When I started my research, back in the 1970’s, I did everything on paper and index cards. I did, eventually, start to keep links and my thoughts in Microsoft Word.  Printing paper form for my files.

This past year:

I color coded my papers files;

Learn how to use Excel worksheets;

Attempted to learn Scrivener (still looking at it as an options);

New Family Tree program software FTM2104, Legacy and most recently Roots magic;

On-line tree programs like My Heritage, Geni, and Family Search;

On-line storage, “The Cloud” programs and

Watching How to Webinars on new programs, research ideas and what’s new to genealogy are just some of the steps I have toward my goal of finding what is best for me.

What I found was that some of the old mixed with the new is my approach to moving forward and staying on task for my research.

Keeping the OLD includes:

Microsoft Word Documents,

Index Cards for challenges that need sorting out, such as, same names and locations,

Paper files for original documents with back digital forms of them,

Scanning photographs and documents to digital form,

Watching Webinars, attending conferences, local Historical society meetings,

Local repository research trips and

Continue converting paper files to the Digital Surname folders on my computer;


In with the NEW:

Excel Worksheet Research Log, (Thank you, Cousin Russ and Thomas MacEntee, for sharing your research logs with us)

Using my Smart Phone, mini IPAD for research trips, Thank you Lisa Louise Cook,

Keep an open mind to new approaches,

Participate in Webinars that improve my genealogical research and organization,

I’m sure over the course of the next year I will being adding new things to review and decide if they are what is best for me.

I want to keep it simple for me. If I’m not comfortable with something, after giving it the old college try, I will move on to the next option-old or new.

What is your Biggest Genealogy Challenge?

Staying on task and recording my research is my biggest challenge. It’s still a challenge not to follow the Bright Shiny Objects. Having the excel worksheet to record the links or books to research later helps keep me on task. I strongly believe the K.I.S.S. method I have chosen will help keep me on task. Ask me in a year if I still agree.

Happy Researching and Organizing!


3 thoughts on “The K.I.S.S Method of genealogy-My Way!

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