It’s that time of year when people vow to make some improvement in their lives in the coming months- lose weight, quit smoking, get more exercise, etc. It’s also a great time to take inventory of your genealogy research and set some goals. I know I have been doing just that, and I’ve compiled a short list of what I’d like to accomplish in 2015.
1. Advance my genealogy knowledge by taking advantage of the many great podcasts, webinars, videos and blogposts out there. Really, there is no excuse for not keeping up on the latest trends, or learning a new skill when there are so many resources available at the click of a mouse. Simply subscribing to the Geneawebinars blog gives you a several-times-weekly view of the wide variety of offerings from all over the web.
2. Learn how to write better source citations that make the material easy to find, yet don’t cause me to have a nervous breakdown over their propriety. Somewhere out there is a happy medium between the rigidness of a “proper” source citation and a footnote entry that someone will actually understand and use. I find myself often stressing out about whether my source citation lives up to standards, while at the same time knowing the bottom line with my client is what the source tells them about their ancestor. Maybe the Evidence Explained blog would be a good place to start.
3. Find a way to streamline the process of writing client reports. Up to now, all of my research reports are one-of-a-kind, handcrafted documents that are as unique as the families they are about. While this is a wonderful final product to give to a client, it’s somewhat hard on me. I often put off writing reports because I know how time-consuming it will be, and how much of my heart and soul goes into it. I’d just like to come up with a tried and true formula I can use and then embellish it so I don’t dread the process so much.
4. Work on my own genealogy once in a while. Every so often I run across a new source or technique I would like to try to help me find out more about my elusive ancestors (everyone has them!). Then I realize I haven’t worked on their lines in so long it would take too much time to re-acquaint myself with their details, and the opportunity is lost.
5. Re-commit myself to writing this blog! Somehow I knew when I started that my intentions were good, but the jump from intentions, and even ideas for topics, to actually writing has been a challenge for me this year. I’m working on a few writing prompts, and have some good ideas to hopefully be able to turn into twice monthly blog posts. I’ve been nagging my 13 year old son to keep up with his blog posts, so I really ought to practice what I preach!
Thanks for reading, and I’m hoping you achieve your genealogy goals in 2015!