I hope I’m not boring you with my research trip! It’s taking up most of my genealogy-related thoughts these days. After a glorious five days focused solely on family-history research, I’ve had to get to back to other responsibilities. So it seems really important for me to have a plan in place to to process all the information and photographs that I captured during my trip. In the absence of such a process, I think I’d be in real danger of losing some valuable information.
I put together a little plan to capture all this information and I’m in the midst of these efforts now. Today, I thought I’d share what I’m doing to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.
These are my areas of concern:
- Documents captured by my phone camera
- Printed documents that were waiting for me at the Daviess County Public Library
- Photographs taken at cemeteries
- Questions/challenges that came up along the way
On this trip, most of the documents I captured took the form of photos on my phone. If I’d planned better, I would have taken them through an app, like Genius Scan, that makes a tidier photo, saved as pdf, and prompts me to email it to myself or export it to Dropbox or Evernote or elsewhere. But I didn’t plan that far in advance and instead just clicked away on my phone. This would be a problem if I let them languish on my immense, ill-organized photo library on my phone. So instead, I’m moving each important image from my phone into my Surnames folder and renaming each using my file-naming protocol, just like I do with downloaded documents. I’m giving priority to this process (rather than to actually gleaning all the information from the document immediately), so I’ve created a folder called Documents found on my 2019 Kentucky Research Trip, where I’m placing the renamed files to process soon. As soon as all the photos are copied from my photo library, I’ll process each of them just like I process documents I download.
The printed documents I’ll simply scan and either put into that holding folder or just process them right after scanning. There were only a handful of those, primarily obituaries.
Believe it or not, I did no photocopying and no scanning at any of the repositories I visited. I just took pictures with my phone. If I’d been getting information from large books, I would have wanted to use a machine to copy or scan. But most of what I looked at were loose pages from vertical files or case files so the phone was very easy. (And encouraged by the repositories.)
With the cemetery photos, I’m copying particularly helpful ones to my hard drive just like the documents. They’ll go into my folder structure, be filed by ancestor and used a source document in Reunion.
As for the questions and challenges, I did a pretty good job of keeping a log in Evernote each day, taking of note of next steps and questions that came up. I could leave them there, but what I think I’ll do is move them to Trello. I’ve been wanting to experiment with Trello for my genealogy task list. (I use it for so many other things in my life and business.) On July 4, reader Jerry Hereford was generous enough to share how he sets that up in Trello in a comment on this post and I want to give his method a try. You can bet that I’ll be writing about how that turns out!
It was really important to me not to let real life grab all my time before I set up a system to fully benefit from everything I learned on the research trip. For the next month, probably, that will be my focus. I really need to act on this information while it’s fresh in my mind!
If you have any suggestions for other things I need to do, I’m all ears!