Thursday, November 6, 2014

Legacy: More on entering tasks in the To-Do List

I had several Legacy users email me about Yesterday’s Post wanting to see how I set up my To-Do tasks for the search I planned to do on Fold3.  Ask and ye shall receive.

The To-Do item has three tabs so I have screenshot each one.

Task 1

It only takes a minute to fill this stuff in.  The Category and Locality fields have auto fill.  I use the TAG to show which tasks I have started working on but haven’t been completed yet.  For example, if I have written off to a courthouse for a marriage record I will tag that task so that I know that I am waiting for something.  UNtagged tasks are ones that I plan to do in the future but I haven’t started on yet.  The Fold3 task I opened and closed on the same day so I didn’t have to worry about the tag and I also didn’t enter a reminder date.  Normally I do enter reminder dates.  How far in the future I put the reminder depends totally on what the task is.



Task 2

This is an example of an negative search.  Now I have a record that I searched the database and when I searched it.  Because of filtering (which I will talk about further down) if I ever want to look at what all I have done to find any military records for James I can filter his list to show me just the category Military Record.  I can see all positive and negative searches I have done as well as any searches I have entered that I still plan to do.

If I had found a record for James I would have said so and I would have attached a complete source citation.  If I had a filing system (paper or electronic) that I wanted to cross reference to I could enter a File ID number so that I could locate where the document is physically located. 



Task 3

You notice that I have included the repository information.  For a repository such as Fold3 this isn’t as critical but if this was a courthouse I would definitely want complete contact information including physical and mailing addresses, phone number, fax, email, URL etc.  There is also a notes tab where you can record things such as how much the documents cost to copy, do you have to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, will they take email requests etc.  This is VERY handy information.  You only have to enter a repository once.  You can then just select it from a drop down list.  Even with websites like Fold3 I want to add the repository because I can then use the filtering/sorting feature to find all of the tasks I need to do at Fold3 so I don’t miss anything.


So what are the advantages of taking the time to do this for every single search I conduct on every single person and making sure I fill our every single field?  FILTERING.   The To-Do List’s filtering capability is a great research tool. 

Task 4

1 – You can search by keywords if you have your list sorted by task name (the sort will be shown on the next screenshot).

2 – You can see All To-Dos, Individual To-Dos, or General To-Dos (general ones are not tied to a specific individual).

3 – This is where you will see just your filtered list based on the options you select below.

4 – You can chose to see all categories or a specific category (such as Military Record that James had).  You will get a dropdown list.

5 – You can chose all localities or a specific one.  You will get a dropdown list.

6 – You can look at just your open tasks if you wish.  This is how I normally have mine filtered but I can look at the closed ones any time I want.

7 – I designate my tasks by type so that I can use this filter.

8 – I already explained how I used the Tag feature but you can use it any way you wish.

9 – I do set the priority on my tasks because there are some tasks that are definitely more urgent than others and that gives me another filtering option.

10 – If you highlight a task in the list, you can then go directly to that person.  Valentin’s task is highlight but I scrolled down a bit in the task list for the screenshot so you can’t see it.

After you change the filters to what you want, click Apply Filter and your list in the window will then be filtered to your preferences.


Here is the Sort tab.

Task 5

The Sort tab will put your tasks in a particular order.  I might want to sort with the Category first so that I can see all of the Military Record entries together, or, I might sort with Open Date first so I can see the tasks in date order and I can work on the oldest ones first.  You have three levels of sorting.  After you make your selections make sure you click Apply. 

Some other things you need to know.  You can copy and paste tags and there is a To-Do task clipboard just like there is for events.  If you know how to do this with events it works the same way with To-Dos.  Just look for the same icons you are used to using.

You can print out To-Do List Reports which is very handy.  For example, if you filter by a specific repository you can print just those tasks for that repository.  I do this all the time.  I go to several genealogical and university libraries in the area as well as the Georgia State Archives.  There are many options on the report menu so that you will get a printout of exactly what you want to see.  There is even an option to include a blank area for notes for each task. 

In Research Guidance, if you click the Plan to Search button a To-Do task will be automatically created for you and it will include all of the repository information.  This is a big timesaver.  All you need to do is go in and add a few notes to the Task Description and change any settings you want to change (priority for example).

Legacy’s To-Do List is an excellent Research Calendar/Log.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Michele,

    I want to let you know that three of your blog posts are listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!