Taking notes at genealogy conferences

Template for taking notes at a genealogy conferenceIf you’re going to RootsTech next week (or any other genealogy conference this year) I encourage you to check out the free template I created in Transpose.

Transpose is a business platform/website that I wrote about last year. It allows you to create templates (which they now call “solutions”) to create customized forms. You can also download solutions that others have created and uploaded into the Transpose Public Library.

I’ve created a bunch of solutions for my own use and uploaded seven solutions to the Transpose Public Library. One of these is a solution called Genealogy Conference Notes. It’s designed to make it easy to take notes at a genealogy conference.

I’ve only been to one genealogy conference since I created this solution (the Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois conference last August). Using the template, I created a new record for each lecture. The template allowed me to capture general notes from the lecture and also jot down which ancestors the information might apply to, along with action ideas. It worked out really well for me–I love having a structured place to take notes. When I got home, I had a list of concrete action steps.

I chose to take notes on my laptop, because I prefer a full keyboard. Transpose has an app you can use on a tablet or smartphone, but I haven’t yet tried out taking notes with my solution on a mobile platform.

If you’re interested in trying it, you’ll need a free account at Transpose. Go to the Genealogy Conference Notes solution in the library and just copy it into your account. There it will be among any other solutions you copy or download. Just click on the solution and create a new record for each lecture you attend. All the information you capture will be saved for you in Transpose, in a searchable and filterable database.

You can also use it as a basis creating your own solution that works better for your needs. The folks at Transpose work hard to make it easy for you to use the platform. Here’s a great getting started tutorial.

I can’t wait to use it for the next genealogy conference I attend!

Registration open for NGS conference

Registration is now open for the National Genealogical Society’s 2016 conference! It will be held May 4-7 in Ft. Lauderdale. I attended the 2015 conference and was very impressed by the quality of the sessions I sat in on. I’m planning to attend this year’s conference and am really looking forward to it.

For the past two years, I’ve attended RootsTech and have enjoyed it as well, though I found the enormity (15,000 or more attendees) a bit overwhelming. This year, it’s being held February 3-6 in Salt Lake City. I decided not to attend because we have a new puppy and I don’t want to saddle my husband with all the work. (Plus, I’d miss Bix, my puppy!) I hope to get back to RootsTech in 2017.

I’m also giving serious consideration to attending the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Genealogy Jamboree once again. I loved it last year. It will be held June 3-5 in Burbank, California.

Do you attend genealogy conferences? Which conferences will you attend this year? If you’re planning to be at NGS or the Jamboree, please let me know in the comments!

Download NGS conference recordings

ngslogo200I was really blown away by the quality of the conference sessions I attended at the National Genealogical Society conference this past May. The sessions were in depth and quite scholarly and I really felt like it was a great value. Of course, that value was enhanced by the fact that the conference was held within easy driving distance of my home. But I liked it so much I’m giving serious consideration to attending the 2016 NGS conference in Ft. Lauderdale, May 4-7.

This weekend I was spending a little time on my backlog of papers picked up at the conference this year (I didn’t manage to properly process my NGS papers) and found the order form for conference session recordings. I was delighted to see that they are available as MP3s, rather than CDs, since my 2014 MacBook doesn’t have a CD drive. I downloaded three sessions, and so far have listened to one.

At $9 each, these downloadable sessions are a great deal, in my opinion. If you’re interested, just go to the 2015 NGS conference page of Jamb Inc’s website. (And while you’re there take notice of  the fact there are many past NGS conference recordings available, as well as other genealogy conferences).

I downloaded two sessions I wasn’t able to attend, about resources in states I’m researching, as well one I did attend (Julie Miller’s excellent Anatomy of a Pension File). I wanted to hear Julie’s talk again, as I proceed in processing my own ancestors’ Civil War pension files. And I’m glad I did; it’s already been very helpful.

Whether you attended the conference or didn’t, you might find these recordings really helpful.

Free live streaming of select Jamboree sessions

Free live streaming of SCGS Jamboree!I’m very excited to be attending the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree June 5 to 7. (I loved the NGS conference so much, I’m ready for more learning!)

Here’s some great news: If you can’t attend in person, you can attend some of the sessions virtually. And there’s no charge, thanks to sponsor Ancestry.com.

Registration for live streaming is now open.  Once you register, you’ll have access to all streaming sessions. (You don’t have to register for individual sessions.) Four sessions will be streamed on Friday, six on Saturday and four on Sunday. You can see the list of streaming sessions on this Jamboree blog post. You don’t even have to be available that weekend; you can watch archived versions of the Jamboree live streams up until July 5. If you want to purchase recordings to keep forever, that’s another available option (and there are savings if you pre-order).

I’m also attending the DNA Day on June 4. Live streaming is available for that day as well, for a fee. You can watch any of a select six individual sessions for $20 each or all six for $99. The schedule is detailed in this post. These sessions are not archived or recorded.

SCGS is wonderful about educating the public. They offer free webinars twice a month. The fact that fourteen of the Jamboree sessions are being offered free of charge to genealogy enthusiasts everywhere is really laudable. I look forward to meeting these generous people!