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Episode 4 Elevenses with Lisa – Mobile Organization

Episode 4 Elevenses with Lisa – Mobile Organization

Live show air date: April 16, 2020

Episode 4 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the new online video series where we take a break, visit and learn. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the details from Episode 4.
(Mobile organization training begins at the 28:28 mark)


 

Resources

Premium Members: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) 

Questions and Answers

Bill in Athens, TX is looking forward to having his wife bake a batch of the Sour Cream Drop Cookies recipe that I shared in episode 2 of Elevenses with Lisa. (Click here to get the recipe and hear the story of genealogical serendipity that led to its discovery.)

Recipes from long ago often don’t include all the details we’ve come to expect in today’s recipes. Here are Bill’s questions and my answers: 

Q: What oven temperature have you found works best? 

A: 375 degrees.

Q: About how many cookies does this recipe make?

A: Using a teaspoon to drop the rounded cookies on the sheet yielded about 2 dozen. I froze half the batch, and they defrosted nicely.

Consensus on the Show’s Name

Many, many viewers chimed in on whether or not to keep or change the name Elevenses with Lisa. The overwhelming consensus was to keep the name. And now I can tell you, that’s what I wanted to do. Thank you to everyone who sent messages!

Keep the name

Caryl was one of many who encouraged me to keep the name.

Part 3 of How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in Episode 3:

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.

This week we covered:

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
Mobile Genealogy Organization (Alice

Does your mobile computing environment feel like this? Keep reading for organization ideas.

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:

  1. Tap the Share icon on the web page.
  2. Select Evernote from the menu. If you don’t see it tap More for the complete menu of available apps.
    Tap More to find the Evernote app

    Tap More to find the Evernote app

    If you still don’t see it, make sure you have downloaded the app.

  3. The app will open and should open a new note. Edit the note as desired.
    Edit the BSO note

    Edit the BSO note

  4. Tag the note with the “BSO” tag, as well as any other tags you find helpful.
    Tag with the BSO tag

    Tag with the BSO tag

  5. Tap Save.
  6. 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.
    The BSO tagged note

    The BSO tagged note

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.”

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.
    Tap Add to Home Screen

    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.
    Bookmark apps in the BSO folder

    Bookmark apps in the BSO folder

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.

Resources

Watch the Next Episode

In Episode 5 of Elevenses with Lisa we cover the final part of How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole. This section will cover tips for staying organized while researching on your computer.

Comments & Questions

Please leave your comments and questions below. Thanks for joining me for Elevenses with Lisa!

 
Episode 3 Elevenses with Lisa – Dealing with BSOs

Episode 3 Elevenses with Lisa – Dealing with BSOs

Live show air date: April 9, 2020

Episode 3 Video and Show Notes

Elevenses with Lisa is the online video series by author, international genealogy speaker, and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, Lisa Louise Cooke. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the show notes from Episode 3. (Dealing with BSOs training begins at the 15:39 mark.)

Download the Handout

Premium Members Exclusive: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. 

Staying Connected with the Grandkids and Friends

During this time of staying at home, we all miss our loved ones and friends. This week I shared an app with you that is great for playing virtually. Here’s what I did with my grandkids.

  1. Set up a computer, phone or tablet for calling on FaceTime. (You could also use Skype, Zoom or any other number of free services.)
  2. Download the Draw Something app to a second device – phone or tablet. Since this is a drawing game, a tablet gives you a bit more room to work. 
  3. Friend your grandkids through the app. 
  4. Video call your grandkids on the first device, and then take turns drawing and guessing pictures on the second device.

 

How Alice the Genealogist Avoids the Rabbit Hole Part 2

Don’t let unexpected genealogical finds send you down a rabbit hole any longer. In this episode I cover concrete strategies for staying focused on what matters most, while not losing track of opportunities that present themselves. You’ll also learn about free tech tools that you can put in place to give you peace of mind, take back those lost hours, and help you be more productive.

Identify BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects)

You can’t avoid danger (to your current research plan) if you don’t know what it looks like! My test will help you determine if what has caught your eye while researching online is a BSO.

how to identify a bso

How Alice identifies a BSO

Take the BSO Test:

  1. Does this get me closer to answering my research question?
  2. On a scale of 1 – 10 how potentially critical is this to my research?
  3. Am I willing to give up finding the answer to my research question to pursue this?

Once you’ve identified BSOs, it’s time to implement a process for dealing with them so you can stay focused on our research question, as well as return to the BSO to explore its potential.

5 Ways to Capture & Return to BSOs

1. Use a Cloud Note-taking Service

Get yourself a free Cloud note-taking tool (Evernote, OneNote, Google Docs, etc.) and use it consistently. Use the website, software, and/or app to capture unexpected finds while researching.

I happen to use Evernote. If you’re new to Evernote, here’s a quick video that will help explain it to you.

 

Here’s an example of how I use Evernote to capture BSOs:

  • Create a tag in Evernote called BSO.
  • Each time you come across something that tempts you to deviate from your current focus, clip it and tag it with the BSO tag. This will allow you to move on with your research plan with confidence, knowing that it will be easy to locate and pursue the BSO later.
  • Add additional tags if desired to help you remember what it was about or why it interested you, such as a surname tag.
  • Evernote notes can have multiple tags, so use them.
  • Annotate the note to provide additional information as to why the BSO caught your eye, and what you plan to follow up on later.
  • Evernote will attach a link to the page where you clipped the item to the note. This means with one click you can return to the original source. 
Notes tagged in Evernote

Notes tagged in Evernote

The benefit of using a Cloud-based note-taking tool is that your notes will be available to you on all your devices (depending on whether you have a free or subscription plan.) You can add additional information to your notes, and work with them anytime, anywhere.

2. Schedule BSO Time

One of the main reasons we get side-tracked by BSOs while working online is that we are afraid if we don’t look at it right now we’ll lost it or never go back to it. By scheduling time  specifically for working on tagged BSOs, you will feel more confident about letting them go while you are working on a research plan.

I schedule my time in the free Google calendar. You can have several different calendars (i.e. categories of types of things you schedule.) Create a “BSO” calendar and color code it so it’s easy to spot. Schedule BSO time and follow up items as future events on your calendar. Set Notifications and Email Reminders for each item.

Scheduling BSO times means you can mentally let them go for now! 

Schedule your BSO time

Create a “BSO” calendar

Coming in the next episode:

In Episode 4 of Elevenses with Lisa we will cover Mobile Organization. We spend a lot of time on our phones and tablets. Get ready for the best tips and tricks that will help you stay on task.

Mobile Genealogy Organization (Alice

Mobile Genealogy Organization

 

Resources

Premium Members Exclusive: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) 
Become a Premium Member here.

Did You Enjoy this Episode?

Please leave your comments and questions below. 

Episode 2 Elevenses with Lisa – Research Plans

Episode 2 Elevenses with Lisa – Research Plans

Live show air date: April 2, 2020

Episode 2 Video and Show Notes

Elevenses with Lisa is the new online video series by author and international genealogy speaker and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast, Lisa Louise Cooke. Click to watch below, and scroll down for all the show notes from Episode 2. (The “Alice” presentation on research plans begins at the 14:40 mark.)

Download the Handout

Premium Members Exclusive: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) 

The Live Show is Moving to the Genealogy Gems YouTube Channel

Join me for the live show Elevenses with Lisa at the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel starting April 16, 2020. (Episodes 1-3 were held on Facebook Live.) 

  1. Go to the Genealogy Gems YouTube channel here.
  2. Once there click the Subscribe button.
  3. Then click the bell icon to receive notifications. (This is important because it will alert you by email that a new show has been scheduled or published.)
    subscribe to our YouTube channel notifications

    After “Subscribing” click the bell icon.

  4. Look for the next scheduled live episode at the top of the list of videos and click “Set Reminder”

Click here to learn more about how to tune in the live show.

The Cookie Recipe

Many of you asked for the yummy cookie recipe I mention in this episode. Isn’t it incredible that a woman in California who was attending my genealogy presentation had a sister with a cookbook from the little town in Minnesota of my mother-in-laws ancestors from 80 years ago that contained the exact family recipe I was in search of? Talk about genealogical serendipity!

Here’s the recipe (I set my oven to 375 degrees):

Larson sour cream cookie recipe (1)

Sour Cream Drop Cookie Recipe from the 1940s.

TV Viewing Recommendation

I also shared with you that my favorite television series is Good Neighbors (The Good Life in the UK). It stars the amazing ensemble cast of Richard Briers, Felicity Kendall, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington. Sometimes you can catch the series on Amazon Prime, or PBS, but the DVDs are well worth having. (If you decide to order them, we appreciate you using our affiliate link below. We are compensated when you make a purchase, at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting this free Elevenses with Lisa show.)

Colorize Your Family Photos

We got some happy news during this time of self-quarantine. MyHeritage is granting free access to  MyHeritage In Color™ through April 23, 2020. Click the image below to read my article about colorizing your old family photos at MyHeritage.

Click to read more about colorizing your old family photos at MyHeritage.

How Alice the Genealogist Avoids the Rabbit Hole Part 1

Don’t let unexpected genealogical finds send you down a rabbit hole any longer. We’ll cover concrete strategies for staying focused on what matters most, while not losing track of opportunities that present themselves. You’ll also learn about free tech tools that you can put in place to give you peace of mind, take back those lost hours, and help you be more productive.

 
How Alice the Genealogist avoids falling down the online rabbit hole

Follow along with me to learn how Alice the Genealogist avoids falling down the online rabbit hole!

Vulnerability to Rabbit Holes

In order to improve in anything, you have to know your vulnerabilities. When it comes to falling down a genealogical rabbit hole I’ve identified 5 of the most common vulnerabilities:

  1. Not having a crystal-clear research question
  2. Not having your next steps mapped out
  3. Not having a specific method for dealing with BSOs (bright shiny objects)
  4. Not implementing that method consistently
  5. No muscle to stick with your plan

We’re going to tackle 1, 2, and 3 above. With these in place I believe you’ll feel confident and take care of 4 & 5!

1. Write a Research Question

Before beginning your research, take a moment to write out your research question or statement. It will help guide you and keep you on task.

Think about what you want to specifically accomplish. State your goal in specific terms:

“Identify the village in Germany where Louise Nikolowski and her family were from so I can locate church records.”

Effective Research Questions
(according to the Board of Certification of Genealogists)

Genealogy Standards #10:

Questions underlying research plans concern aspects of identity, relationship, events, and situations. The questions are sufficiently broad to be answerable with evidence from relevant places and times. They are sufficiently focused to yield answers that may be tested and shown to meet or not meet the Genealogical Proof Standard.”

Genealogical-research questions:

  • clearly describe a unique person, group, or event as the focus of the question
  • clearly state what kind of information that you’re hoping to discover, such as an identity, relationship, event, or biographical detail.

Keep this research question in front of you by:

  • printing it out and setting it in front of your monitor
  • putting it on a “sticky” note on your computer’s desktop (virtually or physically!)
  • writing it at the top of your physical or virtual notebook.
2. Map Your Next Moves

Break your primary research question down into smaller, individual research questions.

According to Elizabeth Shown Mills, after analyzing the existing data:

“we prepare a research plan that defines:

  1. the resources to be explored
  2. the strategies to be applied
  3. the individuals who are to be included in that search
  4. any special circumstances that will affect the project.”

Example Question:

Where is the birthplace of Gustav Sporowski (father of Alfreda) who resided in Gillespie, Illinois in 1910-1918?

Actionable Steps

Here are examples of questions to be answered that support the research question:

Question 1 – Did he apply for citizenship? If so, what is listed?

Question 2 – Find passenger list: what place of origin is listed?

Question 3 – What was listed for other passengers accompanying him? (If any)

Question 4 – Where are other Sporowskis from that are listed in passenger lists?

For each question above, make a list of the resources (records) you need to find to answer these questions, and where you plan to look for them. Track the outcome.

 “we prepare a research plan that defines:

  1. the resources to be explored
  2. the strategies to be applied
  3. the individuals who are to be included in that search
  4. any special circumstances that will affect the project.”

 

Resources

Premium Members Exclusive: Show Notes PDF – Genealogy Gems Premium Members can click here to download the show notes PDF for this episode. (Log in required.) 

 

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