Genealogist at Work-Scanning Progress

Well, didn’t take me long to remember why I didn’t make much progress with scanning the files in my filing cabinet.

1) it is incredibly boring

2) there are a lot of things I don’t really know what to do with, like copies of index books that I might need or might not.

3) it is incredibly boring

4) it is time consuming

and 5) it is incredibly boring….

I did however make a good start on getting the files out, and stacked on my desk so that I had at least one empty drawer.  I don’t know why that was motivating, but it was. 🙂  Plus now I could put my paper cutter, three hole punch, laminator, etc in the drawer and make room on the desk for the stack.  Yes, I am well aware that I really only traded spots for my two stacks of problems. But the constant falling of papers off my desk is bound to be motivating, at least in the “this stuff needs to be tossed category.”

I also started making copies of the papers in the stack and adding them to the ever growing documents in Evernote (over 7700 notes to date).  I was amazed at the documents in the stack that had never been entered into the Master Genealogist. My grandmother’s obit, that I have had since 1990.  My grandfather’s death certificate that I got in 2014.  My brother’s shot record, my mom had been carrying since 1960!

In the mix were also papers that just needed to be tossed: old bills, fliers for school activities for a kid who graduated last May, you know the things your family doesn’t want to toss, but they really should have.

And in between we celebrated Christmas and New Year’s and ate and slept and watched a little TV.  And I worked on my Proctor blog post, which meant one whole day on FamilySearch checking source citations and finding new documents to add to Evernote.

A genealogy resolution is like any other. If I decided this year to lose weight, and then I just stopped eating altogether, I’d soon die.  About three weeks in from what I have read. Personally I haven’t ever tried  to see how long it would take. Two hours is enough for me. 🙂  But if I cut back a little at each meal, I hardly miss the extra food, and slowly but surely the scales do move.  This time next year, I could be 50 pounds lighter just by eating 500 less calories a day.

So I could decide to scan documents and do no other genealogy until the 8 filing cabinets are done.  Anyone got any suggestions for a new hobby, because as passionate as I am about my family history, I am not that passionate! No  one is. Because as we see above, scanning is INCREDIBLY BORING!

We have to do a few documents each week and a little new genealogy in the mean time. If I scan just 5 documents a weekend by this time next year, I’d have 260 documents scanned and put into my genealogy program!

Here’s how I clean house. Each afternoon, I clean one room (or two depending on the size.) I mean really clean. Dust, vacuum, clean light switches, mop… The things my mother called Spring Cleaning.  I only do that one room (or two depending on size).  I totally focus on cleaning that one room. I may straighten in another room, or pick up in another room, but on that one day, that one room gets my total focus.  And on Saturday morning, I have an immaculate house (at least downstairs, kids keep upstairs clean for now)  The thing is if I deep cleaned my entire house in one day, by the time I got to the kitchen, my cleaning skills would be a little bit sketchy.  I’d be tired. I’d be overwhelmed. I’d be tired of cleaning.  But because the kitchen gets a nightly straightening after dinner, and a weekly deep clean on it’s day, the kitchen looks just as clean as the bathrooms which are Monday’s chores.

Scanning my genealogy is the same way. If I set down and scanned all 8 filing cabinets in one day, they would get scanned. I would be tired. I’d be overwhelmed. I’d be sick of genealogy. But the quality of the last few would be a little bit sketchy. Whereas the first few would be scanned, transcribed, cited, tagged…. the last few would be merely copied.


This ladies and gents is why we need to do our genealogy resolution one week at a time. A few records at a time. Because otherwise we do a poor job. And a job worth doing is worth doing right!

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