Monday, December 26, 2011

Motivation Monday - The Grades Are In!

At the start of December, I listed my goals for the month ~ a great idea of some savvy bloggers mentioned in my previous post.  Keeping in mind that December would be a busy month with travel, preparing for the holidays and such, I kept the expectations realistic.

  • I blogged three out of the four weeks & commented on blogs and Google+ posts on an almost daily basis.  Google+ is an excellent discussion board for genealogists.  There are so many thoughtful and interesting posts and I am "finding" many new-to-me genealogists to follow.  The immediate give and take on Google+ is something I don't experience with my blog, so I appreciate the sense of community and helpful comments and tips.   
  • I cleaned up my Legacy genealogy database ~ including:
    • the master surnames list
    • the master locations list
    • the master sources list
  • I reviewed my 2011 genealogy goals as well as what I accomplished this year.  Now it is time to grade myself:
    • Data Entry (inputting records from my Newfoundland Research Trip)  Grade = C
      • I continue to work on this research data entry project but it is slow going and will take more time than originally planned.  This is a project to put on my list for 2012.
    • Organization (spending one hour each week) going through both my paper and computer files  to be better organized in 2012.  Grade = B
      • I got through a great deal of paper (scanning, shredding, and recycling).  I am slowly moving in the direction of having most of my genealogy on my computer (with backups).
    • Working Smarter Not Harder = Overall Grade B+
      • Research Logs ~ I started using Legacy's To-Do lists and kept track of the results (both positive and negative).  The more I used the To-Do lists the easier it became and the more useful they were.  [I was quite jealous when I saw the RootsMagic 5 Research Log and am hoping for this improvement in Legacy Family Tree]    Grade = A-
      • Sources ~ I am happy to say that I have converted and cleaned up all of my master sources.  I finally came up with a system that works for me and keeps my sources consistent.  It involves becoming a confirmed "lumper" and learning to use the Sourcewriter templates (and some cheat sheets) to my advantage.  Grade = A
      • Data Entry ~ I made a conscious effort this year to clean up my data entry so that it would be clear and consistent.  Since my database is not as large as most others, I decided to focus on records I already had and made sure my downloaded copies and scans were correctly named, legible and transcribed or abstracted. I started with the various census entries, moved on to military registrations and enlistments, continued with immigration records, naturalization records, and finished up the year with all my Swedish Church records.  There are additional classes of records to get through but I have made significant headway.  Working on this project took time away from new research BUT it was worthwhile as it gave me an opportunity to take a second look at all my records, spend time analyzing them, and oftentimes I found new or overlooked information.  Grade = B+
      • Back Ups ~ I was very good this year backing up my data and thank Thomas MacEntee for his monthly reminders!  The peace of mind backing up my data gives me is priceless.  Grade = A
      • Learning Legacy ~ I spent about five hours each month learning how to do more with my Legacy database program.  I reread the Legacy manual, re-watched the Legacy training CDs, attended Legacy webinars, and used the Legacy User's Forum to learn more about Legacy and how to make it do what I want and need.  Grade = B+  
        • What did I learn how to do?  
          • manipulate the sentence structure in fact/event sentences,
          • use the search capabilities find particular people, events, and time frames,
          • use global search and replace to clean up my database, and 
          • make good use of  research guidance (together with a stand alone program GenSmarts) to come up with research plans and research logs.  
    • Using Facebook and Social Media ~ I have not taken advantage of Facebook as much as I should for corresponding with family and extended family.  So many people are on Facebook but I do not find the conversation on Facebook as interesting or immediate as that on Google+.  Since lots of family and extended family are on Facebook, I need to work on making better use of it in 2012.  I started using Google+ when it was first offered by invitation and I love it!  It is incredibly intuitive to me ~ I like the Stream, Circles, and the ability to interact and post and/or read others' posts in one place.  I hope that 2012 brings lots of genealogy Hangouts!  Grade = B-
Overall my grade this year is "not bad but needs improvement."  Stay tuned as I will post later this week about my goals for 2012.  

So how did you do on your 2011 resolutions and what are your goals for 2012?

DigitalArt at FreeDigitalPhotos ~ Thanks

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