Monday, January 2, 2012

Motivation Monday: January Goals

About this time last year, I set a list of genealogy goals for the year. It seemed reasonable at the time but, in the end, I completed less than half of them and made only a little bit of progress on some others. In spite of that, I still think it's important to have an idea of what I'd like to accomplish in 2012 but I'm going to narrow the time frame. Having a a whole year to complete something leaves too much room for procrastination on my part so I'm narrowing the time frame to monthly.

I've considered posting monthly goals before - usually when reading posts by other bloggers (Tonia at Tonia's Roots and Tina at Gen Wish List are two that immediately come to mind). Now Stephanie at Corn and Cotton: My Family's Stories has started a new monthly meme called Motivation Monday which entails posting goals and accomplishments on the first Monday of each month. I'm going to give it a try. 

Here's my first installment.

  • Prepare for the ultimate research trip - a visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. I'll have three full days at The Library before Rootstech starts. I'm still figuring out what to work on but have started the process. With less than four weeks until I leave this task will take every minute I can find. (This is my first visit to FHL so any advice about how to prepare would be appreciated.) 
  • Attend 2nd Saturday Family History Workshop sponsored by Kentucky Genealogical Society and Kentucky Historical Society.
  • Complete and submit lesson 4 of the NGS Home Study Course.
  • Write 8 blog posts (this counts as one). 
  • None - focus this month will be devoted to prepping for FHL.
  • Determine if I can get by in Salt Lake for a week of research and conferencing with just my Android tablet and phone. I've made a list of every function I can think of that I might need or want to do and have started testing the tablet's ability to perform those tasks. So far, it looks promising but I'm not finished testing. I've already used the tablet in research facilities so I know it will do the job at the library but when I tried that I was also traveling with a laptop that I used at night in the hotels. 


  1. To Prepare for SLC, first verify that what you are going to look for does not exist on FamilySearch. Next, suggestion for you, any lines that go west of the Mississippi, concentrate on those first.

    Might consider land records and deeds, sometimes these are available in SLC and not so easy to do other places, even in the courthouses if they limit access.

    Prioritize your to do/want list, go for the most desired first.

    Have film or book numbers recorded on your to do list, then, you can run, grab, and use. Some films are not available in the library and must be requested, if you find some that you want, suggest doing those requests FIRST thing, FIRST day.

    OHHHH, and if you are serious about not taking a computer, you can save books and film images to a flash drive. I strongly urge you to consider taking more than 1, and copy all files to both, and/or, you can email files to yourself from the scanners. Learn how to do this and do it. You may remember my post about the gal that formatted her flash drive on the last day of a one week visit and lost everything she had done and had nothing other than that one flash drive. Backups here are as important as they are at home on our computers.

    Have fun!

  2. Thanks, Tina.

    Carol, Thanks for the advice. I didn't remember about the ability to email files to yourself. I'm planning to upload from the flash drive to the tablet at least several times a day (maybe after every copy, we'll see). From the tablet, I can copy the files to Dropbox so I'll actually have 3 copies of everything.

  3. Nice goals, Linda! Have a great time and hope you find a lot at the FHC. Agree, it's the ultimate research trip. I went to SLIG last Jan. and still have research from that trip I haven't processed yet. Better make that a goal for this year, I guess!

  4. In addition to Carol's tips, I would suggest taking a pad of sticky notes. I pull films from the drawers all at once and put a sticky note on each file drawer. It makes it much faster and easier to replace the films. Especially when you are tired and your brain is fried.

    Also, organize your to do list by floor so you can quickly decide which items to look at once you are there.

    Remember, the library will be very busy. You might consider using a camera and photographing film images rather than running to the reader/scanners and standing in line every time you want a copy of something. Save that for those really important documents. Something to think about.

    Speaking of getting tired...there is a break room on the first floor well stocked with vending machines. They have soups microwavable meals, etc. I like to take snacks along and take breaks to keep my energy up.

    Hope this helps! Looking forward to meeting you.

  5. Linda, Sounds like you are going to have a fantastic year, Rootstech and 3 days of reseacrh in SLC. I am super envious right now. Glad to see you joining us in Motivation Monday, did you add your link to Steph's blog? Good luck this month wit all your goals and preparations.

  6. Wow - You're going to have a great trip. All of that research and education! Good luck - and I can't wait to see how you make the most of January. :)

    PS - Do you want me to add your link into the link up module above the comments on my blog? Hopefully it will bring you more supporters. :)

  7. Sure Stephanie, that would be great. Thanks.

  8. Have fun in SLC...I'm jealous!

  9. Great goals, Linda and I will be very jealous of you at the FHL!

  10. My one bit of advice (and I know some others don't agree with me on this one) is don't worry about looking at films. They can be sent to your local Family History Center. But the books and non-lending items ...that is where you want to spend your time in SLC.

  11. Kim, I actually totally agree with you, IF you live near a Family History Center. That said, the fees I saved by looking at as many films as I did during our month long stay, probably paid for my camping fee for the month, which was NOT cheap! LOL