Monday, January 9, 2012

Motivation Monday - Week 1 Update

In an earlier post I discussed setting genealogy goals for the new year. The first step to this end was to join a support group formed by Stephanie over at Corn And Cotton: My Family's Story. Each week I hope to have some progress report in each of the categories selected to improve my research.

The most surprising part was the response the original post garnered. Many people stopped by to offer support and give excellent organizational tips. How encouraging for a rookie researcher to be part of a community that readily shares support and guidance.

1. Organize - Last week I purchased several plastic bins and hanging file folders. This is a pretty basic beginning of surnames, repositories, online resources and cemetery information. I hope to create a more detailed method to file my paper data.

Additionally, my son-in-law, Lucas suggested I look into Evernote. Will be investigating in coming weeks.

2. Focus - Several words of wisdom were related on this particular goal. Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana suggested an alarm clock (or smartphone) set in 15 minute increments to help stay on task.

In practice this sounds easy, but there were more times than I can count where I hit "snooze!" This will most certainly take more discipline and commitment to achieve.

3. Conduct oral history interviews - This week I have discovered several websites with helpful tips on conducting interviews.

50 Questions for Family History Interviews - Genealogy
Oral History Interview, Questions and Topics - JewishGen

4.Connect with other researchers - Nothing to report this week.

5. Give back to the community - Saturday I registered for Worldwide Indexing over at the FamilySearch website. It was very easy and a great tutorial is provided. My plan is to spend at least a hour each week on this goal.

6. Prepare to present a workshop at the local public library - There was a great comment about not bitting off more than I could chew. Randall stated "think of it like a body builder's workout; their muscles grow by 'challenging' them to lift all they comfortably can, then go just a little more" What a great analogy!

A wonderful step forward to achieving this goal came from another genealogy friend. I met Jennifer Holik-Urban on Twitter last year. In the mornings we have casual conversations about weather, our families and weekend plans.

Jennifer read about the project and made several suggestions. She even sent helpful information about beginning genealogy presentations. Another great example of the generosity found in this community!

I do have a confession to make this week. I have a new obsession. Thanks to another Twitter friend, Caroline, too much time is being spent on Pinterest.

What is a girl to do? Too many distracting shiny objects on the Interenet!

And so goes week one of the "get myself in gear" genealogy project.

*alarm clock graphic courtesy The Graphics Fairy


  1. You did great this week, Deb! I *love* Evernote. I know that I don't use it quite as I should (or maybe I should say as fully as I should) so I look forward to seeing how you use it. We can learn it together!

    Happy Monday! Go Team MoMo! (Ok, maybe I've had too much caffeine today... lol)

    1. Stephanie,

      Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement!

  2. Keep posting on your organization etc., Deb. You're motivating all of us sitting in our chairs, surrounded by boxes and piles... Hmmm, where IS that timer?

    1. Celia,

      The trick is to stay motivated to get organized! Bright shiny things easily distract.

  3. Hi Deb, this looks great and I didn't even realize you were a *new* researcher . You are a brave woman trying to use an alarm clock. I've found that if I go in with a few things on a short to do list for a certain chunk of time allotted, then it helps me to get it all done and stay focused along the way. I also keep facebook and other reading material closed during that time so I don't lose my focus. Thanks so much for sharing. It's cool to see what others are doing! And keep it up, you are doing great!

  4. Ginger,

    Thanks for you comments. Also, the great suggestions. That is a great idea to keep Facebook & such closed while researching. Many times I find myself hopping over to see what is happening on Twitter!