Evernote for genealogy

I gave a talk at the monthly meeting tonight about Evernote. Evernote is software that remembers everything so that I don’t have to. Given the powerful features that even the free version has, you’d almost think that it was designed specifically for genealogists.

I’m not going to re-hash my talk here. There are plenty of resources on the Web if you weren’t able to make it to my talk. I did tell those who were there that I would provide some resources, though, to help them to learn more about using Evernote specifically for their genealogical research.

YouTube resources for Evernote and genealogy

Let’s begin with a video that tells you about what Evernote is. I covered a lot of ground pretty quickly, so a brief recap might be helpful. This is an great (if a little bit campy) video which covers the basis of What Evernote Is in just a shade over six minutes.

Got it? Good.

Now let’s move on to HOW to use Evernote . The actual ins and outs of using Evernote were a little beyond the scope of my talk, since I was more keen to let folks know just want it could do. That’s often the toughest thing to get one’s head around.

But after you know what it can do, you need to know how to actually make it do that, don’t you? Here’s a concise video about 15 minutes in length which will tell you more about how to use it. It’s important to understand that since Evernote is on pretty much any device where you can use it (iPad, Android tablet, smartphone, and of course Mac and PC), how it looks in this video might not be how it actually looks on your device. Feel free to search Youtube for helpful videos for your specific device.

You’re now an expert on WHAT EVERNOTE IS and HOW TO USE EVERNOTE! Good for you! But how do can you harness its power for your genealogical research? The following video is just over an hour long and goes into everything from basics to genealogical best practices for Evernote. It’s a bit slow getting going, and it’s a little bit dry and wandering, but it has good information for you to learn about applying it in your genealogical life.

Pinterest resources for Evernote and genealogy

Are you a Pinterest user? I’m not so familiar with it myself, but if you follow this link, you’ll find a whole whack of pins about Evernote for Genealogy.

What are the problems with Evernote and genealogy?

As gushing as I was about Evernote, I’m sure that it’s not for everyone. When evaluating how well you can use something, it’s often helpful to understand why other people find that it doesn’t work. Thankfully, one blogger has written a lengthy but informative article of why Evernote doesn’t work for her genealogy research. Read Problems with Evernote and Genealogy on her website.

Get Evernote and power up your genealogical research

I’d promised that I’d give you a link that you can use to sign up for Evernote. For full disclosure, if you sign up for Evernote and you buy the premium version (which I can’t recommend enough), I’ll get a month of premium for free. Like I said, it’s probably my favourite $5 to spend every month. I don’t desperately need a month free, but, if you’re going to sign up anyway, I’ll gladly accept my reward.

To sign up for Evernote now, click this link right here and enjoy the benefits of having Evernote tidy up your thinking!

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The Master Genealogist software to be discontinued

The publisher of The Master Genealogist (TMG) genealogy software, Bob Velke, announced at the end of July that he will no longer be continuing to develop the program. After 25 years in production—and just a few short months after the latest version release–he cites health matters in his own life as one of the drivers behind his decision to no longer develop the software any further.

His company, Wholly Genes Software, will continue to maintain a support forum for user-to-user support. However, he says, aside from a patch or two for bugs that may be found in the software, he’ll no longer be actively supporting the software once the clock strikes the year 2015.

The Alberta Family Histories Society currently has a TMG user group. Organizer Alan advises that he will be surveying to see if there is interest in continuing on with the TMG user group. After all, for those who already have and use the software, it’s not as though it will suddenly self-destruct after support ends.

While TMG will continue to be for sale for another few weeks, if you are just thinking now of acquiring genealogy software, you’ll be well-advised to steer clear of TMG. Thankfully, there are plenty of other software packages that will manage your genealogy data and research. AFHS has user groups for Reunion, Legacy, and Family Tree Maker (though some or all of these may be inactive at present… contact the organizers by their e-mail on the AFHS SIG page to find out more).

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Free beginners class: Find the ancestors in YOUR attic

Volunteers help our databases grow

Learn about the ancestors in YOUR attic

The Alberta Family Histories Society is offering a free beginners class* (and you can’t do much better than free, right?).

Date: March 16, 2014
Location: AFHS Library

Learn how to find those ancestors in your attic and what to do to get started. We will cover the latest in research methods, including use of on-line sources. We will also have some suggestions about what to do with your information once you’ve found it!

For more details, visit our website:
http://afhs.ab.ca/resources/education.shtml

* Class is free for AFHS members. Others will pay a $35 membership fee.

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Dave Obee is Coming to Calgary!

obee

I can’t tell you how excited I am to announce that the Alberta Family Histories Society is bringing Dave Obee to Calgary to present four different talks on doing genealogy research in Canada.  Dave Obee is an internationally known writer, presenter, research and teacher and his works are standard titles used by libraries and researchers the world over. I know that I use his books all the time in my work as a genealogy and local history researcher and consultant.  I have never heard Dave speak, but I have had more than one person tell me that they would go to any presentation that he gives because he is such a great speaker.  Even if you think you know everything about a topic, he always has something new to add to your research arsenal.  I can hardly wait. 

The event will take place on April 5, 2014 at the Sheraton Cavalier Hotel in Calgary.  You can find information and a registration form at http://www.afhs.ab.ca/familyroots/  And the best thing about this is that is soooo inexpensive.  You will be able to see one of the acknowledged leaders is the field of Canadian (and other) genealogy research for the incredibly low price (if you register before March 1) of $35.00!  That is a steal of a deal, but if you register you and your loved one before Valentine’s day, you will save $10.00 on the two registrations.  This is darn near a giveaway.  Even after March 1 when the price goes up to $45.00, it is still an excellent deal.

So, what I’m saying is, you have the opportunity to hear one of the best and most knowledgeable researchers around today for a ridiculously low price (really, I can’t even fill up my subcompact car for $35.00).  How can you say no?

 Need more convincing?  Check out Dave’s website http://www.daveobee.com/  You’ll be able to read his bio, check out the great books he’s written (and even download some of them for free) and see a picture of him receiving his Honourary Doctorate at the University of Victoria.  C’mon now, you really have to come to this seminar!

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AFHS library open one evening a month

Beginning this past week, the AFHS library will be opening one evening per month. This will likely remain the second Tuesday of every month for the time-being. This past Tuesday was my first shift as a library volunteer, and since nobody wandered in, it was mostly a great opportunity for me to work on my own projects.

There are, hopefully, others in the same boat as me, where daytime visits are impossible, and Saturdays may not be the most opportune time for you. Be sure to keep February 11, 2014 in your calendar, as the library will again be open from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

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