Things I Needed To Do Yesterday: Genealogy Checklist

After 12 years of genealogy, I am constantly amazed that I still have a very long list of things I need to do. Things I needed to do yesterday. Things I understand the importance of, but am usually too embarrassed in polite company to admit I haven’t done them yet. I am painfully reminded of this every time I attend a genealogy conference, especially FGS and NGS. I wish there was some magical Time Fairy who could add more hours to each day with a flick of her fairy-dust wrist.

Here’s what’s on my “Needed To Do Yesterday” list for the 2009-2010 Genealogy Year:

  • Maps. I still haven’t utilized maps to their full extent, though I’ve taken umpteen classes and KNOW this is a serious untapped resource for me. Maps have lived very much on the periphery of my research. Ditto for platting out land.
  • Timelines. Sad to say it, I have probably done exactly one timeline. I have a folder marked “Timelines”. I know they can help point out holes and put some order to the thought processes. I have grand and glorious plans to exploit timelines, but haven’t yet. ARGHH.
  • Me. One of the cardinal rules in genealogy is to start with yourself and I have tried to start writing about MY life many times and gotten sidetracked at the archives or the courthouse or whatever ancient record has cast its spell over me. I did spend one afternoon in my old neighborhood taking pictures & videos of my schools & homes & old jobs, but other than that, I still haven’t adequately written about my life thus far. ARGHH.
  • Organization. I’m not sure—see, I’m about to tell a lie—I’m SURE I don’t have a workable system of organization. It’s sort of cobbled together over the years & marked by fits of fearĀ  & backing up marathons. I can pretty much find things when I need them but I still have many moments where my mind says : Is this backed up? Is it properly sourced? What if my computer crashes? Where are my pictures? I do backup to external hard drives & DVDs but somehow I’m still not at peace with my process.

That’s enough for tonight. I might have well have streaked naked across the internet, the way I’ve bared my genealogical embarrassments, LOL. But I thought I’d share this in the hopes that you could make your own “Shoulda Been Done This” list. And pledge, alongside with me, to get a movin’.