Friday, May 22, 2015

Useful Smart Phone Apps For Genealogy Research

This is a repost of Lisa Lisson's blog post on 27 Apr 2015.  If you want to read the original post, click here.  For the rest of you, I will copy and paste her post below:

Genealogists have embraced technology in their research. The use of smartphones and tablets by researchers is the norm these days. I find I use my smartphone frequently in my “on the go” research. When I research in the North Carolina state archives, I move around…a lot! You might find me in the main research room, the microfilm room or the genealogy library one floor down. Moving my laptop and setting up a workspace multiple times is just not an efficient use of time when researching.

With the number of genealogy related apps available, my smartphone becomes a very practical and indispensable research tool. Interestingly, my most used apps when researching are not considered “genealogy” related, but are more office type apps.

1. Your Favorite Online Family Tree App – Genealogists use a variety of online family tree sites to record their family trees. Many of these sites also have apps that will allow the user to keep family trees synced on a smartphone. Having my family tree synced and close by for reference is a must when I am researching.

2. Dropbox – This is my choice for cloud storage. I keep genealogy reports (both client and personal) for quick reference when needed. I also keep copies of genealogy records here. Tip: I write personal research reports to myself just as if I were a client. I store them on Dropbox for easy access when needed.

3. Evernote – Evernote is a great place to store all kinds of information for use in your genealogy research. A peek inside my Evernote will reveal research plans, research notes, and references to online links.

4. Your Phone’s Camera – I photograph many original documents using my phone’s camera. I have observed other researchers photographing records on the microfilm viewing screen. (I personally have not been very successful with that.)

5. Google Maps with Navigation feature – Google maps get me where I am going. Tip: Print out your navigational directions as a backup. Research trips often take genealogists into rural areas where cell phone coverage can be spotty. Having printed directions can make the difference between finding your destination or not.

6. Conference Apps – Many conferences have apps available to assist the attendee in getting the most out of their conference attendance. Are you attending the NGS national conference 13-16 May 2015? If so, check out the conference app.

7 Voice Recorder – A voice recorder app is very useful when conducting oral history interviews. (I just use the one that came on my phone.) Having this type of app on your smartphone is perfect for those impromptu interviews that come up at family gatherings.

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