Interview with Author Nathan Dylan Goodwin
Author Nathan Dylan Goodwin (The Sterling Affair) joins Lisa Louise Cooke for a conversation about writing, DNA, Criminal Cold Cases, and his new book The Chester Creek Murders.
This audio comes from my YouTube video series Elevenses with Lisa episode 47.
Listen to the Podcast Episode
To Listen click the media player below (AUDIO ONLY):
- 04:41 How Nathan Dylan Goodwin researches his books
- 11:07 Golden State Killer Case & what he learned from Barbara Venter
- 18:40 Nathan’s genealogy research
- 27:239 How he creates his characters
- 33:11 how to add flair to family history stories
Watch the Original Video
You can watch the video interview at the Elevenses with Lisa episode 47 show notes page.
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Doing genealogy research generates a wide variety of research notes: typed and handwritten, audio, photos, video, and screenshots of information on websites. If you want one tool to pull together your current research projects, Evernote might just be the answer. In this video and article you’ll learn the role that Evernote can play, what it is and how to set it up, and your options for using for free or as a subscriber.
Evernote for Genealogy Video Tutorial
In this video and article Lisa Louise Cooke will discuss:
- What Evernote is and the role Evernote can play in your genealogy research
- How to get started with Evernote
- Using it for free or as a subscriber
- Best Practices for tagging, notebooks and more.
Use it for free or upgrade to get all the bells and whistles like OCR and use on all your devices. (We will be compensated if you use our affiliate link. Thank you for supporting this free show.)
Watch Live: Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 11:00 am CT
Three ways to watch:
1. Video Player (Live) – Watch live at the appointed time in the video player above.
2. On YouTube (Live) – Click the Watch on YouTube button to watch live at the appointed time at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel. Log into YouTube with your free Google account to participate in the live chat.
3. Video Player above (Replay) – Available immediately after the live premiere and chat.
Episode 70 Show Notes – Coming Sept. 9, 2021
In my recent videos on how to avoid research rabbit holes that keep you from your genealogy goals, I mentioned that I use Evernote to capture BSOs or bright shiny objects that are interesting but not what I’m working on at the moment. So in this video I’m going to explain what Evernote is, and how to get started using it.
Give Evernote a try with our link
(Using our link helps support the free show. Thanks!)
What is Evernote?
Evernote puts all your notes in one place and offers an incredibly fast and easy way to retrieve them.
Evernote is a:
- software program for your computer (Win & Mac) that you download for free from their website
- mobile app (iOS & Android): search for Evernote in your device’s app store
- a web clipper for your computer’s web browser
Genealogy can get a big messy. Information can be gathered from countless sources and in a variety of forms. You could funnel things through a cloud service like Dropbox. However, because Evernote is a note taking app, it offers unique and super helpful features:
- Create all types of notes
- From all of your devices. Thanks to Cloud synchronization you can take a note on any device and always have access to the most current version. (Free mobile app)
- Web clipping – It allows you to clip items from the Internet (rather than saving entire bulky web pages),
- OCR technology makes notes (such as newspaper articles) keyword searchable (subscription)
- Data like URLs and the date you created the note is automatically included
- No total storage limit, just monthly upload
- You can use it for free, and upgrade for all the bells and whistles.
Getting Started with Evernote
- Sign in for a free account at https://evernote.grsm.io/genealogy
- Install the software on your desktop computer (Windows & Mac)
- Download the web clipper to your browser (app store or Google it)
- Download the free Evernote app to your mobile devices from the iTunes App Store or Google Play
Features & Costs
(Subject to change. Visit evernote.com/compare-plans)
Software Home Layout
Evernote’s Home view gives you a summary of what you’ve got going on in Evernote. If Home is new to you and you don’t see it, simply head to the left Navigation menu and click Home.
Home gives you a place to sort of summarize what you’ve got going on in Evernote. It also allows you to add more personalization.
A fun way to personalize Evernote is by adding a background image. Click Customize in the upper right corner, and then click the Change Background button. Here you can add a preset image or add your own.
By default, Home comes with widgets such as:
- Notes (highlighting your most recent notes, and Suggested notes based on your activity)
- A Scratch Pad
- Recently Captured items by type (web clips, images, documents, audio and emails)
While you’re in Customize mode, you’ll see additional available widgets like:
- Calendar (allowing you to sync your Google calendar with Evernote)
- Filtered Notes
- Pinned Notes
- An additional Scratch Pad
We’ll explore some of these further in a moment. But first, let’s create our first note!
All Notes View – Snippet View:
- Left column = your files and organization
- Center column = search for notes
- Right column = the note you are currently working on
Change the layout by clicking the View Options icon (in Snippet View it appears at the top of the search column). This will give you a variety of layout options.
Change what appears or is hidden from view, and whether the view is dark or light by clicking View in the menu.
Create a note by clicking the New Note (+) button at the top of the screen.
Creating a new note is as simple as starting to type. Evernote saves your work instantly and without any extra effort on your part. Notes are saved in “the Cloud” on Evernote’s servers. This means all of your notes are automatically backed up. In addition, all of your notes will sync across all of your various computing devices. And Evernote facilitates sharing notes with others for research collaboration.
Click the Info icon at the top of the note to see the meta-data for that note. You can add and edit this information.
Types of Notes:
Note Info has changed and can now be found by pressing Control + Shift + I on your keyboard, or clicking the More Actions (3 dots icon) in the upper right corner of the note and selecting Note Info.
Tagging is the Key to Organization
Add a tag based on important keywords associated with the note.
Examples of tags for genealogy:
- Surnames (Cooke, Moore)
- Record types (birth, census, land)
- Locations (Indiana, Germany)
- Time frames (1900-1909, 1910-1919)
- Tasks (pending, add to database, follow up, etc.)
To tag a note, click Add Tag at the top of the note and select a tag from your list or add a new tag. Tags will appear in the left column. Click any tag in the left column to retrieve all notes with that tag.
In June of 2021 Evernote added a Tasks feature. It operates just a little differently than how I’ve been using tasks. Evernote tasks are:
- To Do Items
- Note Specific (versus a tag which can retrieve all notes with that task)
- Often Deadline Driven
- Assignable to Others
Where is the Trash?
You will find Evernote’s Trash bin at the bottom of the Navigation bar on the left.
Notebooks take organization a step further. I create notebooks sparingly. I use them to divide Evernote up into workspaces: Genealogy, Personal, Business, etc. I also use them for long-term and collaborative research projects that I may want to share with others. You can drag and drop notebooks on top of each other to create Stacks, although Evernote only allows one level of stacking.
How to create a new notebook:
- In the menu select: File > New Notebook
- Name the new notebook in the pop-up window
- Select notebook type – usually you would set it up to synchronize, but you do have the option to have the notebook reside only on the computer it was created by selecting Local
The Cloud and Synchronization
Notes are saved on your computer and in the Cloud on Evernote’s servers. This means all of your notes are automatically backed up, and also accessible from your account on their website. Your notes will sync across all of your computing devices that have Evernote installed. There’s no need to manually sync with the new version. It happens automatically whenever you’re connected to the internet.
As you visit webpages, you can clip just the portion of the page that you want to remember and keep rather than printing the page or bookmarking it. You can type the source citation directly into the note. Clippings appear as images in the note.
How to clip a screenshot using the computer software:
- Right-click on the Evernote icon in your computer task bar.
- Select Clip Screenshot.
- Use the cross-hairs to draw a box around the desired content.
- Release you mouse and you will see a quick flash on the screen indicating the content has been saved as a note in Evernote.
- In Evernote click on the note to type additional information if desired.
How to download the free Evernote web clipper for your web browser:
- Go to: evernote.com/webclipper
- The download page will detect the browser that you are using and offer the correct web clipper. Click the download button.
- The Evernote web clipper will install in your web browser (look in the upper right corner of your browser for the elephant icon.)
- Sign into your Evernote account in the clipper.
Using the Browser Web Clipper:
When you visit a web page and find something that you want to clip, click the Evernote Web Clipper (elephant) icon in your web browser. The browser web clipper can save:
- a full page (even the parts out of view)
- an article
- a simplified article (removing unwanted graphics and text not pertaining to the article)
- a screenshot (where you precision clip with cross hairs)
- a bookmark
As you clip you can select which notebook to file the note in and add any desired tags. It will also include the URL in the note header.
Search and Retrieval
Type a keyword into the search box and Evernote will locate and display notes that contain the keyword in the center column. This includes typed text from a website clipping or image, as in the example above. With a subscription, OCR technology makes it possible for you to search for words in Evernote to retrieve notes that include those words, both on the clipped image and in printed handwritten text.
Genealogy Gems Premium Videos including:
- Organize Your Research with Evernote
- Making Evernote Effortless
- Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan
- Evernote: 10 Projects You Can Do
- Collaborative Genealogy with Evernote
Premium Members: download this exclusive ad-free show notes cheat sheet PDF.
Not a member yet? Learn more and join the Genealogy Gems and Elevenses with Lisa family here.
Video and Show Notes
How Alice the Genealogist Avoids the Rabbit Hole Continued…
Part 1 and part 2 of this short series can be found in episode 68. In part 1 we covered what makes us vulnerable to getting distracted, and how a research plan can help. In part 2 we talked about how to deal with BSOs (bright shiny objects!)
In episode 68 we covered:
1. Use a Cloud-Notetaking Service
- Get a free Cloud note-taking tool and use it consistently. (Examples include Evernote, OneNote, and Google Keep.)
- Use the website, software, and/or app to capture unexpected finds while researching. Both Evernote and OneNote work on all platforms.
- Your notes in your account will synchronize between your devices (depending on the program and plan you choose.) You can add to your notes or work with them anytime, anywhere.
2. Schedule BSO Time
I use Google Calendar to stay organized and schedule my BSO time. Create a BSO calendar, and then schedule BSO time on your calendar. These will help you remember to follow up. Knowing you have set aside time in the future to explore the BSO helps you mentally let them go and stay on track with your research plan.
In this episode:
3. Mobile BSO Organization
Success comes from pairing your research plan and process with a great supportive research environment. We have a variety of “environments” we work within such as:
- On paper at our desk
- On our mobile devices
- On our computer
Let’s look at how we can set up a workflow for BSOs while mobile computing. My two favorite methods for capturing BSOs on a smartphone or tablet are 1) Cloud Notetaking, and 2) Home Screen “Bookmark Apps”.
Option 1: Cloud Notetaking
I’ll be using Evernote on an iPhone as an example. (You may see slight variations in the instructions depending on the service you use and your device.)
Evernote is a great choice if you want to easily sync and use your notes on all devices including your desktop computer and / or laptop computer.
Before you begin, you’ll need a free Evernote account at evernote.com. You’ll also need to download the free Evernote app from your device’s app store, and log into your account.
When you come across a BSO while researching online in a web browser (such as the Chrome or Safari app), here’s how to capture it:
- Tap the Share icon on the web page.
- Select Evernote from the menu. If you don’t see it tap More for the complete menu of available apps. If you still don’t see it, make sure you have downloaded the app.
- The app will open and should open a new note. Edit the note as desired.
- Tag the note with the “BSO” tag, as well as any other tags you find helpful.
- Tap Save.
- The note is now saved to Evernote. If you are on WiFi, Evernote will synchronize so that the note will be available from any device signed into your Evernote account.
Option 2: Home Screen “Bookmark Apps”
Keep in mind that these aren’t the same as “Bookmarks” found in your web browser apps. I call them “Bookmark Apps” because they do save a particular web page, and they look just like apps. In the menu this feature is called “add to home screen.” (see image)
Bookmark Apps are best for when you plan to do your BSO follow up on the same mobile device.
How to capture a BSO as a Bookmark App:
- In your browser app, when you come across a BSO web page, tap the share icon.
- Tap Add to Home Screen.
- Edit the title so it will be easy to remember why you wanted to follow up on it.
- Tap Add (iOS – this may be different on Android, or different browsers)
- The web page “bookmark app” is now on your home screen.
Once you have created at least two BSO bookmark apps, you can then create a folder.
How to create a folder:
- Move the bookmark app by pressing and holding it until it shakes.
- Keep your finger on it and drag it onto the other BSO bookmark. This will create a folder.
- Name the folder “BSO”.
- Press the home button to save.
Now whenever you have some spare time you can tap the BSO folder and get back to one of those items that previously caught your eye.
How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole Part 4
Creating a Supportive Computing Environment
The following tools are available for your computer desktop or laptop.
In addition to using Ctrl+Shift+T (Win) or Cmd+Shift+T (Mac) to restore a closed browser tab, you can also right-click on the new tab plus sign and select Reopen closed tab from the pop-up menu. You can do this multiple times and web pages will continue to open in the reverse-order that they were closed.
Turn Multiple Tabs into One and Save Memory with OneTab
Online genealogy research can leave you with a lot of open web browser tabs. While using multiple tabs allows you to jump back and forth between web pages and records, they can take up valuable computer memory.
You can dramatically reduce your memory usage with the OneTab extension available for both the Chrome and Firefox browsers. With one click, OneTab will combine your open tabs into a clickable list in one browser tab. You can even export the list for future reference.
Reduce Email Distractions
- Gmail now has a Snooze feature which allows you to temporarily file an email until the date and time you select.
- Snoozed emails will reappear in your Inbox at the scheduled time.
- Retrieve snoozed emails at any time by clicking “Snoozed” in the menu on the left.
Get Back on Track with MyActivity
When you are signed into your Google account, MyActivity tracks the searches you conduct and the websites you visit. By visiting your MyActivity, you can search for and return to any previous activity. You can also turn it off. Go to MyActivity and click Activity Controls from the menu. Switch the slider to the off position. Visit MyActivity at https://myactivity.google.com/myactivity
Save Time by Previewing Your Google Search Results
Rather than clicking on each search result and loading the page (which also takes you away from the rest of your search results), use the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome. Once installed you can simply hover your mouse over a result link to reveal a preview of the page. Then you can decide whether to click through or preview additional results.
Click here to get the Google Results Previewer web extension for Chrome.
Resources for Further Learning
Premium Members: download this exclusive ad-free show notes cheat sheet PDF. Not a member yet? Learn more and join the Genealogy Gems and Elevenses with Lisa family here.
Genealogy Gems Premium Videos:
- Organize Your Online Life
- Using Evernote to Create a Research Plan
Evernote Quick Reference Guide, by Lisa Louise Cooke. Available at Genealogy Gems Store.