I LOVE MS Excel. Actually, I love spreadsheets in general. It doesn’t have to be Excel specifically though I do think Excel is the best.
If you are on Facebook there is a group called Excel-ling Genealogists where you will see all kinds of great ideas on how to use spreadsheets to your advantage. There are some sample files uploaded to this group that you will also have access to if you join.
I normally use spreadsheets to help me analysis data. I can do multi-tiered sorts which helps me see patterns. I also use a spreadsheet for my research log when I am working on a major case study/proof argument. I recently came up with another spreadsheet idea that I thought I would pass on.
By now you should know that one of my priorities is being an ethical genealogist. I love photos of grave markers so I love sites like Find A Grave. When I see a photo of interest to me I ALWAYS ask permission from the photographer to download the photo. For more info on that click HERE. When I send the email I ask about the specific photo but I also ask for blanket permission for any other photos that they took as well as permission to use any of the photos on the three blogs I write for if the need should arise. I always assure them that I will give them full credit as the photographer. I have never been turned out. People are usually understanding and cooperative when you are respectful and acknowledge them.
I used to keep a simple list of these people in Evernote but I found that as the list got longer it was harder for me to see if I already had permission from someone when I found a photo I needed. I decided that this would be the sort of thing that would be better in a spreadsheet. I don’t want to screenshot my actual spreadsheet because it contains the names of living people (again, an ethics thing) so took a screenshot of a pretend one. I keep the list sorted in alphabetical order so that it is easier for me to see people. If the person operates under a nickname I can quickly change the sort. My real list is quite a bit longer than this one because I have been snagging photos from Find A Grave for over six years.
Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis