Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Do I Want a Blog?

Well, I don't really know other than I think it might help me get on track with organizing my hopelessly disorganized research efforts. I've picked the word "FOCUS" as my mantra and have decided that I need to spend at least 15 minutes a day filing or otherwise putting papers, pictures and links in some kind of order so I can find them.

So, do I really need another thing to add to my to do list? Probably not. However, I spend too much time looking for notes, pictures I know I have, obits that I think I have and contact information that I should have . My hope is making my efforts public will spurr me on to get at it and get it done.

I bought two plastic portable file boxes at Wal-mart a while ago and a couple of weeks ago dragged one out and put some legal sized hanging folders in it. Then, since I couldn't find my file tabs (must organize the supplies too!), wrote names on post-it notes and stuck them to the folders. I had grabbed a pile of papers and as I went through them, decided where they should be filed and wrote up a post-it note if I didn't already have one. When I finished that night, I put the folders in alphabetical order. I think I need to use one file box for general genealogy stuff - cemetery maps and directions to them, leads to pursue - i.e "To Do" items, info on houses, an index to my notebooks, notes that pertain to several families etc. And the other for specific family names.

I may be able to reduce the amount of paper later on, but have to wait until it's filed to make decisions about what to keep.

I also have a mess of "Favourites" that I can never successfully navigate and have vowed to make better use of so I can get to my links no matter where I am. The added bonus is that I can share my links with others without having to do all of the typing.

And then there are the pictures. The ones I can never locate when I want them or could swear I had one, but can't find it. What to do about those? I think Picasa might be the answer. I downloaded it a long time ago, but then stopped tagging and renaming photos and it got out of hand. Maybe I just need to change some settings and create a new folder for photos that are renamed and tag them a few at a time.

Ok, so here's this week's goal:
  1. Daily, spend 15 minutes sorting and filing genealogy research papers.
  2. Daily, spend 5 minutes looking at websites that I've bookmarked and deleting or adding them to
  3. Spend 1/2 hour setting up Picasa to better track my photo sorting efforts and then spend at least 1/2 hour weekly working on naming and tagging photos.
  4. Spend 1/2 hour weekly blogging about my successes (and failures!).

Check back next week to see how I made out.

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