Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Everything in one place

I try to keep all of my genealogy information in one place (one computer program).  It just makes it so much easier to keep track of things.  If you have stuff scattered between several programs it gets confusing.  Y’all already know that I use Legacy as my genealogy database program but I keep other things in Legacy as well.   I do use MS Excel when I am trying to sort out a lot of records in a certain place that pertain to more than one person of the same name.  I also have a letterhead template in MS Word that I use when I write to people/repositories and I do write up complex proof arguments using MS Word.  However, I can attach the Excel and Word documents to Legacy so it still keeps everything in one place. 

If you don’t use Legacy, make sure you take the time to learn what all your program can do.  Many times there are features that you don’t readily see but can save you a ton of time.

Here are some things I have in Legacy that help me keep everything in one place.

All of my living extended family is already in Legacy.  Most of the living people I contact for genealogical purposes are also in my tree somewhere.  If they aren’t I add them just so that I can put all of their contact information In there.  When you take the time to add all of this information up front it will not only keep everything is in one place but it will save you a ton of time.  

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But that isn’t the only type of address I keep track of.  I also have every repository that I use.  It takes me two seconds to find what I need.  I enter it one time and then it is there when I need it.  In the notes section I can write down things like how much copies cost, do I have to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, what records are they missing etc.  On the pages I have for libraries, I can also put things like the hours they are open and any special collections they have that are of interest to me.  I can send emails directly from this screen and go their homepage.

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I can also print source citation labels directly from the program.  I can use these on the documents themselves or on the sheet protectors they are in.  I don’t have to use a separate program to do this.  I can print address labels for correspondence and even name tags for reunions.

When I create a To-Do that involves me writing a letter (like to a state archive) I can link the letter right to the To-Do even though I created it in MS Word.  Again, it keeps everything in one place. 



Here is one of my favorite tricks.  I can put everything I know about a location in the location’s notes.  This is for my use only.  I can refer to it whenever I need to.  This keeps me from having to have separate files for all of the place information I have gathered over the years.



Having as much information you can in ONE computer program will save you time and aggravation.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Awesome!!!

    I purchased Legacy at RootsTech2014 and am looking forward to using it. I've been a fan of Family Tree Maker for a long time and I've used other programs also in the many years of computer genealogy. Thank you for the time saver tips in the use of this genealogy program. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    I want you to know that your blog post is listed in today Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2014/04/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-april-25.html

    Have a fantastic weekend!

  3. Great idea to enter all of the repositories that you use, along with notes. I have only entered the ones that I have records from. I have a list of repositories with all the pertinent information about them in a notebook, but it's much easier to look it up in Legacy.

    1. One thing that I didn't mention is when you enter a task on the To-Do list you can attach a repository. You can then filter the list by repository. For example, I can print a list of everything I need to do at a certain place. I am getting ready to go to the Georgia Room at the Augusta-Richmond County Library. I can print a list of all the books I need to look at while I am there. My list will have all the details I need and there is a place for me to write my notes. If I bring my laptop, I will still have everything I need at my fingertips without even having to print anything.

    2. Yes, I do that! Another great feature of Legacy. :-)