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.
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.
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