So you say you’d like to be a little more organized?….

In keeping with my 2014 challenge, one of the things I want to do is make sure I have found all the documents for an ancestor. That they are scanned, transcribed, and properly sourced.

First, scanning. I admit, I cheat.  I use FamilySearch, Fold3, and Ancestry for my documents.  The 40,000 ones in my filing cabinets will have to wait. FamilySearch has started the process of putting probate records for TN online. One can only hope that they do the same with deeds very soon. Why scan, when you can download. Hubby calls it working where the light is brighter syndrome. I don’t care what you call it, I have more data than I’ll ever be able to process online, why dig out that scanner.

Second, I copy it to Evernote. I have folders for each census year, for City Directories, Civil War and one name studies. Copy the image to a note and then I am ready for step three.

Third, add it to my genealogy program, The Master Genealogist. I create a tag (event) for each piece of data, and then cite my sources. If I don’t have an already created source citation, I’ll create one myself. There are several style guides available, but I prefer the seat of my pants method. It probably won’t get me published in a National Genealogy magazine, but that’s fine, I’ve self published several ancestors on my blog and the internet hasn’t died yet. :)

Fourth, once it’s all nice and entered, and cited, copy the source citation and add it to the note in Evernote. Attach the image to the event in TMG and you are as good to go as you are going to be.  No need to scan, file, carry it around.

But there is one final step. Once a month, burn all your images to an external hard drive or two and make sure at least one is stored offsite. 

There you have it. How to be more organized with your genealogy in 2014 than you were in  2013. 

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