Wednesday, February 22, 2017

All Quiet On The Genealogy Front

I bet you thought I had abandoned you! There hasn't been much to post about lately, mainly because almost all the genealogy elite have been at RootsTech.  Where I would normally peruse 35-40 genealogy-related blogs each day, that number has been down to 10-12.  But I expect, now that our trusted sources are returning home and gathering their thoughts and notes from the conference, more will be forthcoming.

As always, when something of interest comes along, I will share it with all of you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Genealogy Research at the Library of Congress

Image result for photo of library of congress

If you are ever in Washington, D.C., I highly recommend you take the time to visit the Library of Congress, take the 10 minutes needed to procure a library card, and visit the reading room. The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of genealogical information.  In cleaning out my desk this week, I uncovered my copy of the how-to handout from the LOC entitled, Genealogical Research At The Library of Congress.  If you plan on visiting the LOC to to research, please give this a read before hand.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Boomerang for Gmail

One of the most disorganized parts of most of our digital lives is our email inbox. I struggled for years to come up with a system that works for me.  My rule is that there is NEVER more than 12 emails in my inbox. One of the tools I use to accomplish that is Boomerang for Gmail.  If you use Google as your email provider, you will find this post and video very informative.

This handy little tool does two important things:
  1. It allows you to remove an email from your inbox and return it to you when you need to act on it - or be reminded of something in the email and
  2. When composing an email, it gives you an option to "send later".
Boomerang also allows you to:
  1. Track responses
  2. Schedule recurring emails
  3. Add notes to emails and
  4. Request "read" receipts 
What, you might ask, does any of this have to do with genealogy?  Well, I believe we do our best work when we are organized and are using our time efficiently.  These days a great deal of our correspondence, bills, financial statements, advertisements, reminders, etc. get delivered to us through email.  Keeping that aspect of our lives clean and efficiently organized is a great place to start working smarter everywhere else. 

Check out the YouTube video below for more details on how Boomerang for Gmail can help you better organize your email inbox.

What Is A Google Alert?

Image result for google alerts logo

Did you know that you can automate your Google searches?  If you perform regular searches, always looking for new information that appears online, Google has a solution to manually typing in those searches over and over again.

In fact, Google will perform a search for you every day or every week and even send any newly-found results to you as email messages. If you forget, Google still remembers and sends an email message with the results, if any. Even better, Google only sends each new piece of information one time. You never see repeats. Each new email message contains only new results that Google has found since the last email message was sent.

Google Alerts are great for many purposes, including:
  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • keeping current on a company in which you have made an investment
  • getting the latest updates on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
  • searching for ancestral information
  • and probably a few thousand other uses.
The best feature of Google Alerts? It is available FREE of charge.

To create an alert:

First, go to Google Alerts.

In the box at the top, enter the topic you want to follow

To change your settings, click show options (next to "Create Alert" button)

You can change:
  • How often you get notifications
  • The types of sites you’ll see
  • Your language
  • The part of the world you want info from
  • How many results you want to see
  • What accounts get the alert (i.e., you email address)

Click Create Alert and you will get an email whenever Google finds matching search results.

Edit an alert

Go to Google alerts.
Next to an alert, click Edit .
If you don’t see any options, click Show options.
Make your changes.
Click Update Alert.
To change how you get alerts, click Settings check the options you want and click Save.

Delete an alert

Go to Google alerts.
Next to the alert you want to remove, click Delete .

Optional: You can also delete an alert by clicking Unsubscribe at the bottom of an alert email.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Enjoy Rootstech From The Comfort Of Your Couch

Just a reminder that Rootstech starts this week.  Lynn Palermo just posted on The Armchair Genealogist how you can reap some of the benefits of being there without actually leaving home. It's pretty cold in Utah this time of year!

Hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to explore the conference.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

RootsTech 2017 Live Streaming Schedule

I really wanted to attend RootsTech this year. I think the think that always ends up discouraging me is the idea of being in Utah in February.  Cold .... Brrrrr.....

But for those of us who are warm and happy here in Charleston, you can still attend the free conference sessions from the comfort of your cozy armchair at home.

RootsTech 2017 has announced its live streaming schedule.  There are some very good sessions you might want to consider adding to your calendar.  The link above gives you all the information you need.  Also, if you can't make one of the sessions you are interested in, they will be posted on the RootsTech website for a limited time after the conference is over.

It's a win-win - no excuse not to take advantage of this fabulous resource!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Eight Mistakes You Don't Want To Make

I know how easy it is to settle down to do some family history research and, 3 or 4 or 5 hours later, getting up from my desk and discovering that I have been working feaverishly and don't have much to show for it.  I have allowed myself to wander around,, Fold-3, and a dozen other sites collecting information without properly saving, labeling, citing or organizing any of it.  I have gotten better over the years but it has been a struggle.

As we continue working as a group helping each other break down our brick walls, I thought you might gain some perspective on your research habits by reading an article entitled, Don't Make These Eight Mistakes In Your Genealogy Research.

Good advice that I hope you will implement as part of your own genealogy journey.