What do YOU think of the book? On Thursday, December 4, we invite everyone to post comments on She Left Me the Gun on theGenealogy Gems Facebook page. We welcome comments for a full 24 hours (12am-12am Eastern Standard Time, USA) for our worldwide audience. But we’ll monitor the page and give feedback from 9am-9pm EST. Emma Brockes herself hopes to pop in with comments and responses to your questions. (So start thinking of what you want to say!)
Author Emma Brockes
Of course, I’m really looking forward to the December podcast, when you’ll hear my conversation with Emma about the book. Here’s my favorite quote from the interview:
“When [your] parent dies…your relationship with their history changes almost overnight. It suddenly becomes much more relevant to you because you feel like you are the only one left who is in a position to remember it. So having never wanted to know anything about my mother’s life, suddenly after her death it seemed imperative to me to find out absolutely everything….It felt to me that I couldn’t…stake out the parameters of what I’d lost until I knew everything there was to know about her.” -Emma Brockes, on She Left Me the Gun
Meanwhile, we have two more books to recommend this quarter for our no-fuss genealogy book club, based on YOUR feedback:
One of our listeners, Mary, wrote to us about The Woman in the Photograph by Mani Feniger. She said, “I just ordered this book and thought you might be interested in reading it. I am looking forward to reading it myself.” Here’s a little blurb I found on the book: “Mani Feniger wanted nothing to do with the relics of her mother’s life before she escaped from Nazi Germany in 1936. But when the fall of the Berlin Wall exposed the buried secrets and startling revelations of her mother’s past, she was drawn into an exploration–of history and family, individuality and identity, mothers and daughters–that would change her life forever.”
And here’s a suggestion from Mike: “Here’s a book I found that you and your listeners might also enjoy. The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey recounts the story of a poor emigrant family and what happened to one of the daughters. I found it fascinating. The story is non-fiction and takes place around New Orleans in the first half of the 19th century. There is much family research involved, some heart-wrenching descriptions of what the emigrants suffered, and delightful insights into the New Orleans of that time period. It’s the kind of research that we family historians love to do but is more dramatic than many of the personal stories we work on.”
Ancestry’s new site is now available to all U.S. users–across browsers, mobile devices, and the PC/Mac divide. It’s more than just a cosmetic or branding overhaul. The way Ancestry explains it, many changes boil down to helping users find family stories and improving their mobile experience. And while using the new site is still optional (see below), there are good reasons to start using it now. Mostly because the old site will be going away–possibly along with data you enter in it from this point forward. Many users adapt without much thought; for others, these changes are painful.
“The new Ancestry experience was based on extensive research of problems our users are facing and their current needs,” states an FAQ on Ancestry. “We surveyed and interviewed thousands of users and found that new and long-time users wanted to be able to find and write their family stories. Based on this information we decided to provide more powerful storytelling features (LifeStory), coupled with tools to make research easier (updated Facts view) as well as organize media efficiently (Gallery)….Also, “the new experience was designed to work better across all mobile devices. You’ll be able to see the media gallery, Historical Insights, and LifeStory, too. More improvements for the mobile experience are planned.”
If you’ve been using Story View, the news is mixed. The new LifeStory feature is the next generation of Story View and “is better integrated into the overall profile page.” But Story View is going away–and as of June 1, “if you edit a Story View, the information will not be changed in the new LifeStory.” Also, the current FAQ says that Ancestry still hasn’t decided whether to transfer data from the Story View to the LifeStory.
Ancestry expert Crista Cowan explains the updated Facts view in the new Ancestry site: “Just like before, you will find the facts you’ve discovered and entered about the life of a person in your tree running down the page like a timeline. You will also find that the parents, spouse and children of the person are on the right-hand side of the page just where they have always been. The big change you will discover is that the sources that support those facts and relationships are now front and center.” Read more from her blog post here. The comments on that post and on the original announcement are great places to read the mixed opinions about the new site.
Below is Ancestry’s video about the new site:
Users can currently opt in or out of the new site (click Classic Site or New Ancestry on the username drop-down menu), but that option will go away soon. If you’re still on the fence about using the new site, read Ancestry’s FAQs about the changes, especially those that affect what changes you make from this point forward. Here’s a detailed listof the planned feature roll-outs, along with the estimated dates for them.
Have you backed up your Ancestry tree lately? It’s a good idea to do it regularly. We found ourselves reminding people how to do this recently in the wake of news that Ancestry may go up for auction. Read our how-to post here.
Show Notes: Over the years I’ve talked a lot about how to use Evernote and Snagit. Both are amazing tools for research and make it easy to do web clipping. If you’ve been wondering what the difference is between these two powerful tools, or if you haven’t and you’re trying to figure out which one you should start using, you’re in the right place. Today we’re doing a head-to-head comparison of Evernote and Snagit (with a focus on web clipping) and figuring out which one is best for you and your genealogy research.
I got an email from one of our Premium Members named Nancy, and she says, “Can you help me understand why I would need Evernote and Snagit? I have both installed on my computer, but need to spend time becoming proficient in both. If they duplicate one another wouldn’t want to spend time learning both if Snagit is superior.”
This is a really smart question because like the old saying, time is money. And in the case of genealogy, time is ancestors! No one wants to stop and learn yet another tech tool if they don’t have to. So, let’s look at Evernote vs. Snagit, in a head-to-head comparison, and dig into their strengths and weaknesses. If you have both, this will also help you decide what to use in any given situation.
Evernote is a cloud-based notetaking tool that includes a web clipper.
Snagit is a screen capture / AKA web clipper tool.
So, first and foremost the thing they have in common is that they both can capture all or a portion of content that appears on your computer screen. You can clip exactly the part you want and save it as an image for future reference or use.
That’s a pretty simplified description – but essentially, web clipping is the common denominator. But from there, they diverge.
Evernote is primarily a note taking tool. It takes all kinds of notes (audio, photo, video, documents, web clipping, typed, handwritten.) All notes are added to it, and you work in it like a workstation where you can organize and quickly search and retrieve your notes. It can apply OCR to your screen captured notes, making them keyword searchable and editable. Evernote allows you to instantly access your notes from any device that you are signed into your account.
Snagit is primarily a screen capture tool. In fact, it’s screen capture on steroids compared to Evernote. It’s not a place to store notes, but it’s a fantastic way to web-clip or capture information, edit, annotate and manipulate it, save it, and use it in other programs (and we’ll talk more about that in a moment.) Snagit can capture both images and video of content on the web, and it can do other things like use OCR to convert the text that appears in the web content you’re clipping as an image and turn it into editable text. When you web clip with Snagit, you are creating an image. That image must be saved to a cloud service like Dropbox in order to be able to access the note from all your devices.
You can learn a lot more about what these two tools do in my other videos:
Another thing they have in common is that they are both software programs.
Evernote: In addition to being able to use it as a software program on your computer, you can also use Evernote on your mobile device by downloading the app from your app store. You can also use it on any computer by simply signing into your account at Evernote.com. That being said, the software is preferred over the website because it resides on your computer and is faster.
Cost: About $9/monthly or about $80 for the yearly subscription ($6.67 / MONTH).
There is a free version, but you can only use it on 2 devices, it doesn’t include OCR and there are very strict limits on storage, which we’ll address in just a moment. If you’re going to use Evernote for your research and other things, you’re going to need the yearly subscription.
Snagit: Snagit is software that you download to your computer (whether desktop or laptop.) You can buy it as a stand alone purchase, or you can also purchase an ongoing maintenance subscription which provides you with upgrades. There is not mobile app.
Cost: About $64 for one software license + 1 year maintenance (free upgrade). You don’t have to pay for ongoing maintenance.
Conclusion: Unless the free version of Evernote is adequate for your needs, Snagit it more economical. 10 months of Evernote on-going subscription would cover the cost of the one-time purchase of Snagit. However, if you need all the features of Evernote, then go for the yearly subscription to keep the cost down.
Storage and Retention
Because Evernote is a subscription, this brings up the question of whether you can use your notes after you stop subscribing. And storage limits are also a concern.
Snagit: No storage limits. All the content you capture is stored on your computer, not the cloud. It’s yours forever. There’s no limit to how much you can clip or create.
Evernote: Evernote does store your notes on your computer, but it also stores them in the Evernote cloud. While Evernote doesn’t have an overall storage limit, it does have limits on how much you can create each month. There is a free version that allows you to 60 MB of monthly uploads. This is talking about the size of your notes. If you add photographs to Evernote, you’re going to use that up very quickly. There’s also a 25 MB maximum note size limit. No note or clipping can be larger than 25MB. With the subscription you get 10 GB of monthly uploads (which would be pretty hard to max out) and the note size limit is 200 MB.
Conclusion: You’ll need the yearly subscription to really be able to use Evernote for genealogy. And while there are limits, you’re likely never to reach them. And you can use it offline because notes are on your computer.
Snagit has no limits and stores only on your computer unless you share your content to other sources. And that brings us to comparing how these tools allow you to export your content. In other words, can you get stuff out that you put into it?
The necessity for an ongoing subscription to Evernote brings up to the next important comparison: how can you export and use your web-clippings and in the case of Evernote other types of notes?
Evernote: Not easy. You can export your notes as the Evernote file format called ENEX or as HTML, which is used in structuring web pages. Keep in mind that web clippings are image files, and we normally need image files in JPEG or PNG format to be able to use them in a variety of other programs.
In the menu click File > Export Note. Available file types are limited.
Snagit: Easy. You can export your clippings in countless ways. Pretty much all major file types are supported. You can easily add content directly to a large number of popular programs such as Word, PowerPoint and even Evernote! So, if you’re writing a family history story or book and you want to clip something on the web and include it, Snagit can send it right to your document with just a click.
Conclusion: If you need to be able to easily get web clippings and captured content out of the program and use it in other ways, use Snagit. If you want to keep your clippings and notes all in one place and be able to keep them organized and find them easily, use Evernote.
When it comes to sharing content with other researchers or your family, both Evernote and Snagit do a great job in their own way.
Evernote: Each note has a convenient Share button that allows you to invite other people to view just that note. It also gives you a unique link to the note that can be shared. And you can email notes. You can also put a group of notes into a notebook and then share the entire notebook. You can control whether the person being shared with can just view the notes or if they can edit them. So, it does facilitate collaboration by allowing you both to edit the same note. That permission can also be turned off. That all being said, Evernote is really a tool for you, and it’s not focused on sharing as a priority, or on sharing in order to be able to publish the content in many other ways.
Snagit: With Snagit, if you want to share with someone else to collaborate, you’ll need to send it to them, either by email or shared cloud storage. They can then edit the item in their Snagit software and send it back. So, it doesn’t offer the ability to collaborate quite as easily as Evernote. However, Snagit’s sharing and publishing capability is one of its greatest strengths and priorities. Just click Share in the menu and you’ll have the ability to save the content as a file to your computer, email it to someone, upload it to your own website, your printer, a wide range of software programs and cloud storage services, and yes, even to Evernote!
Click Share in Snagit’s menu
Conclusion: If you want to share with other people, both tools can do the job, although Evernote inches ahead because it facilitates both people being able to edit the same note within Evernote. If you want to share your content for use in other programs and publish it in other ways, Snagit is the best choice.
Evernote vs. Snagit Conclusions
After a head-to-head comparison, we’ve discovered that your selection between these two tools depends on your task and your goals:
Use Evernote if you want to be able to:
keep all your work in one place organized and searchable
create a wide variety of notes such as audio, video, web clippings, PDFs, typed notes, etc.
have OCR automatically applied to web clippings and images
collaborate with other people on your notes
easily create notes on mobile
Use Snagit if you want to:
create high-quality web clippings and videos in universally usable file formats that are exportable
create web-clippings of hard to capture content like wide screen family trees, and information that appears further down a web page that you can’t see all on the screen at the same time
be able manipulate your content with annotations or drop it into project templates
easily export your captured content into a variety of other programs
not have to pay an ongoing subscription.
Another way of looking at it is that Evernote is more of a final destination for content you’re collecting, and Snagit is a content collector that makes it easy to use that content wherever you need it.
If you want to have one place to store and use a wide variety of notes including web clippings, Evernote is the best choice. If you want full flexibility in capturing and creating online content and using it in other programs and projects, Snagit is the best choice. I like to use them in combination. I keep my genealogy and other notes organized in Evernote, and then I use Snagit to capture web content exactly the way I want it and send it into Evernote as needed. And I use both programs for a whole lot more than just genealogy! I clip recipes, projects and ideas, and I use Snagit for all the images I create for Genealogy Gems.
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