Friday, 2 January 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 1: Setting Previous Research Aside

Like others, I got excited at the prospect of Thomas MacEntee's 'Genealogy Do-Over', and immediately flung myself into the first three topics he is covering this week:

  • Setting Previous Research Aside
  • Preparing to Research
  • Establishing Base Practices and Guidelines
Part 1: Setting Previous Research Aside
There have been many ideas for paper, moving digital files from here to there, labelling things, committing not to look at them and so on.  I realised I was wasting precious Do-Over time reading all the helpful posts on Facebook about what everyone else was doing with their files, and took a good, long, hard look at my files.

I don't actually have too much of this.  The reason is not because I am super-organised and have scanned everything to within an inch of its life, but because, at the point where I was most fascinated by genealogy, I was also unemployed and in debt.  This, unfortunately, continued for years - and meant that I could not afford to go to places and order things and buy things.  So I have ended up with one box of bits of paper, two binders of BMD certificates (from my younger days, when I had money) - and that's pretty much it.

Software, electronic stuff, digital files
Computer mouseHere is my downfall.  I can be researching in a very grown-up way, and as soon as I see a new piece of software/program which helps you catalogue your lists of Great-Aunt Ethel's recipes, I'm there, drooling over the keyboard as I download the free trial.  It is only then that I realise I haven't got a Great-Aunt Ethel...

So, while others are (literally) 'setting aside' their research, I will be 'setting aside' my magpie-like longing for shiny new programs.  I will be turning my 35+ years' worth of research into a reference library, rather than heaving it all into an encrypted folder on my hard drive and throwing away the password.

Part 2: Preparing to Research is for another day.  Might even be tomorrow, if I don't get distracted by the latest-and-greatest genealogy software...*grin*


    1. Good luck, Ros, with Thomas's Challenge. I must admit when I first read about it I thought "sign me up", but on reflection I have decided it is not for me, and I am instead adopting Cassmob (Pauleen's) approach of "Revisit, Record, Revise". as my 2015 motto. I look forward to reading about your progress on your "Do Over".

    2. I suppose I am what he would call a 'modified participant' i.e. I am not going to set all those years of research aside completely, but I am going to go through his 13 weeks and spruce up the way I do things.



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