Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Busy Genealogist's Plan

Let's face it - while we would all love to spend most of our day doing genealogy or genealogy related activities, this just isn't possible for the majority of us.  We have family and work responsibilities along with a long to-do list of errands to run and tasks to complete.  Most of the time, you oly have ten to thirty minutes a day (if that!) to squeeze in some genealogy.  To make matters worse, you spend the little time you do have for genealogy figuring out what to do next!

But it isn't like this topic isn't discussed often.  Nearly every major genealogy blog and magazine has dedicated at least one articule to this topic.  We've all read the columns, and yet, the problem remains the same.

So what is a busy genealogist to do?

Make a plan in the form of a "quick" to-do list.  In other words, make a list of things that you can do in a short amount of time so that you are making progress (even if it is small) and you feel like your research is going somewhere.  If you have this list handy, then whenever you get ten or twenty extra minutes, you can complete a task.

What exactly do you put on this list?

The list should be personalized to suit your needs, but the general idea can remain the same.  I have included some general ideas for you here that can easily be personalized for your research.
  • Scan ten photos.
  • Learn about where you can locate a specific record that you need.
  • File ten papers.
  • Print an updated family group sheet/pedigree chart/research plan/etc.
  • Create a research plan for a particular ancestor or couple
  • Read a genealogy blog to learn about something new.
By having a plan like this, you can ensure that you will make progress in your research without having to devote a large chunk of time.


GrannyPam said...

Great idea Elyse. I keep a to do list on my desk all the time, sometimes genealogy items, some other things.

Gini said...

Right on time and purpose, I have so little time lately for Genealogy and am very frustrated. It's a great idea, I have been doing my list and I take family group sheets or some form of Genealogy that I can take to work with me and do 15 to 20 mins on my lunch hour as I eat my sandwich or whatever I packed that day. Thank you Elyse, it would be great to hear from others and ways they fit Genealogy into thier busy lives, for a while I thought I was the only one!

Gayle Gresham said...

Thanks, Elyse! I've been completely overwhelmed with finishing the research on my book about my family's history. My organization has really gone down hill. I hadn't thought about keeping a "to do" list of items that can be done in a short amount of time.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being the first to comment on my free genealogy book contest Elyse.

I was just thinking this morning that here I am writing blog posts and doing things like promoting a contest on my blog, and doing very little genealogical research for my own family trees.