In addition to working on the Genealogy Do-Over, I’ve also been working on a new chapter of my life that involves systematically eliminating toxic things from my life and focusing on those things that propel me toward my goals.
Because of this new “project,” I have even less time to work on my research … for now. But that’s okay. There’s no time limit for me to complete this Do-Over, and it’s not something I want to rush anyway. Fortunately, this week’s topics were pretty easy to tackle because I created a solid plan before we started.
Objective: Manage Projects and Tasks
I’m a list-maker. Boy, do I love lists. I love crossing stuff off of lists even more! I’m one of those people who will do some random task and when I realize it’s not on the list … I put it on the list, just so I can cross it off! For me, crossing things off a list is more motivational than pretty much anything else.
So managing my projects essentially consists of a series of lists. I have a master list that has my goal items on it. Then on separate lists, I have broken those goals down into smaller pieces with even smaller checklist tasks. For example, one of my goals is to re-do my website with WordPress and get away from the BaseKit site I have now. That is on my master list. On a separate list, I have tasks like ( ) research and choose a theme; ( ) research cost for web designer; ( ) create logo; ( ) consider and research affiliate links … you get the idea.
As for managing my tasks within my research, I handle it pretty much the same way – with one exception. My research to-do lists are kept in Evernote so I can access them no matter where I happen to be. (Technically, right now they are on post-it notes in the front of the files I’ve been working on, but as soon as I finish Week 2, watch out Evernote!)
Objective: Track Searches
Now this is a whole new ball of wax. I have never tracked my searches. Heck, who am I kidding? I barely ever tracked my research. So yes, I was one of those folks who performed the same searches for the same information over and over and over … only realizing it upon saving that I now had (at least) two of that digital image. As a matter of fact, in this blog post I confessed that I forgot I had in my files a death certificate naming an ancestor’s mother (up to that point she had been considered a ‘brick wall’ for me). There’s no telling how long that death certificate had been there. Years, probably.
If that doesn’t make it clear that I need a do-over, I’m not sure what will.
So what am I doing to remedy this problem in the future? I’m going to start tracking my searches either in or on the back of my research log. It is important that I keep these two documents together – whether I do it by hand or on a spreadsheet (we all know I’m leaning toward that spreadsheet though, right?) so I don’t end up in the weeds. This is something I will have to play with a little bit before I settle on a format. Since I’m not doing any research yet, that may be a while. (Or I may end up with an impromptu search tracking sheet during my trip to Salt Lake City for FGS/RootsTech – because oh, there will be research).
What else am I doing?
I am still entering all of the materials I have for my maternal grandparents. I am adding at least 20 locality links to my OneNote notebooks each week. And I’ve decided that I’m going to try to do some sort of mind meld with an archivist or two while I’m in Salt Lake City. Then I’ll come home and make a list the stuff I need to buy. I’m also still managing to keep up with my ProGen 24 assignments, so that’s a plus!
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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