Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 11:15 AM by

For folks who are newer or less-frequent users on Ancestry.com,
we’re sharing some genealogy DOs and a DON’T for searching for ancestors on the site.
They come from Family
Tree University’s Master Ancestry.com Workshop
next week, Aug. 15-18.

Ancestry.com is a genealogy staple, but because it’s so large and contains so much
information, it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for. As the site evolves,
certain views and features change, too, which can add to your confusion. If you want
to take advantage of the full complement of Ancestry.com’s databases (which number
more than 30,000 and range in size from 2 million-plus names all the way down to one
name), there are some essential steps you should add to your to-do list: 

  • Do search specific collections. It’s easy to head straight for the global search
    on the home page, but the other, smaller collections listed in the Card
    Catalog
    may turn up hidden gems.
  • Do create a game plan for your search. It’s tempting—and it can be useful—to
    just type in a name and hit Search, but you end up with a lot of results to wade through.
    Once you get past the relevant results on the first couple of pages, try a different
    approach: Set a specific goal for the type of information you want to find and the
    kind of record that would contain this information. Adjusting your search terms accordingly
    (and using filters when you view your matches) will bring more-accurate results.
  • Do familiarize yourself with everything Ancestry.com has to offer—from trees
    and shaky leaf hints (yes, these can be very helpful when used with care)—to historical
    records, message boards (which are free
    for anyone to use), and AncestryDNA.
  • Do try Ancestry.com for free during a free-access weekend (usually around holidays
    such as the Fourth of July or Veterans Day), at a FamilySearch
    Center
    , or at a library that offers Ancestry Library Edition. This way, you can
    get comfortable with the site before you subscribe (or decide not to).

  • Do revisit your searches every so often, as databases are frequently added
    and updated. New results may show up.

And we’ll add one don’t:

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Posted on August 2nd, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

Your
family history begins with your own memories—and what you remember can serve as a
useful springboard for learning more about your whole family’s history, connecting
you emotionally to past generations.

Your memories also can provide critical research clues for genealogy research. When’s
the last time you mined your own memories for details you can use to research your
family tree? Story
of My Life
author Sunny Morton is here with a guest post on three focuses
for your dive into your memories:

  1. People. Who do you recall—even vaguely—in connection with your family?
    The neighbors across the street from your grandparents? Your mother’s sorority sister?
    Dad’s business partner? Memories of people can lead to more memories, and even to
    research resources.

    Mention your grandparents’ neighbors—the ones who always came to play cards—to your
    cousins or an aunt and see what stories come to light. Does anyone know how they came
    to be good friends? How did your grandparents act around their friends? What else
    do relatives recall about the neighborhood? Did anyone stay in contact with that neighbor’s
    family?

    If Mom’s sorority sister is still alive, her memories or memorabilia may give you
    fresh perspective on your mother’s younger years. Recalling the name of the sorority
    can lead to its records, photo collections and more insight into your mother’s time
    at college. A similar line of thinking about a father’s business partner may lead
    you to that family’s recollections, business records, ads or listings in city directories,
    or news articles about your father or his business partner.

  2.  

  3. Places. What places were part of your childhood, or your parents’ lives?
    Think about where you (or they) went for family gatherings, and about family cemeteries,
    churches, funeral homes, schools, places of business, vacation destinations and other
    locations that figure in family memories. Consider your old neighborhood, your grandparents’
    ranch or farm, or your mother’s description of her childhood home.

    What can these memories tell you about your family history? Mention them to relatives
    and see what recollections they prompt. Look for Sanborn or other maps of old neighborhoods.
    See if you can find old images of the cottages at Lake Erie. And definitely look for
    records connected with these places, such as membership records for Grandma’s Methodist
    church or burial information from a cemetery or funeral home.

    Use the same line of thinking to explore the “researchability” of other memories:
    a sporting event you attended with your dad (find news coverage to flesh out the memory),
    or an annual trip to the state fair to see Grandpa’s prize-winning livestock (look
    for state fair award lists and photos).

  4.  

  5. Objects. The “stuff” you associate with your family, such as an automobile
    or household appliance, provides another piece of the family puzzle that can jog memories.
    Did your mother use only one brand of detergent? Was your brother obsessed
    with Superman comics? These details provide insight into daily lives, personalities
    and values. Memorabilia such as photos and heirlooms can further inspire your memory
    of people and places. What pictures or descriptions can you find, and what meaning
    did they have? Share these and other treasured family artifacts with relatives—you
    never know what they might remember.

My new book Story
of My Life
can help you remember and document memories of the people, places,
events and objects associated with your family history. The book provides a place
for you to organize your thoughts and tie them to a certain time, place or person.

Story
of My Life
is available as
an easy-to-use softcover workbook
and as
a writeable PDF
—just type your answers and save them in a pre-formatted document
you can print or share as you like.

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Posted on July 25th, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

When you start writing your life’s stories, you may wonder what to put in and what
to leave out. Should you mention that time you got arrested, or when your best friend
betrayed you? What about your difficult relationship with your dad? What if telling
your stories will reveal someone else’s secrets?

Writing your life story can raise questions about how to be fair and honest, and what
stories of your life should keep private. Story
of My Life
 
workbook author
and guest blogger Sunny Morton has three quick things to consider when you start writing
your family history:

  • Everyone has a right to privacy. Writing about your life doesn’t obligate you
    to share all your stories. Chances are there are some events, relationships,
    failures or disappointments in your past you’d rather not write about.

    While you should consider acknowledging all life-changing events (even if you choose
    not to dwell on details), you don’t have to write about everything. For painful events
    that prompted major changes in your relationships, career, living circumstances or
    way of life, a passing mention—along with the results—may be sufficient: “After my
    divorce, I moved to Seattle, where my sister lived. I wanted to leave painful memories
    behind.”

  • Honesty is key. You don’t need to tell everything—but everything you tell should
    be true. Of course, you won’t intend to write falsehoods, but it can be tempting
    to downplay your role in a big family argument or skip over the nice things your “worthless”
    baby brother actually has done for you. Nobody is all good or all bad, including yourself.
    Try to write about everyone fairly. In doing so, you may discover some new truths
    in the process of writing: how you felt about someone, what you learned from a situation,
    how you feel now.

    Consider including at least some of these insights in your life-story writings. You
    may think it’s obvious what the past taught you or how you might feel, but that may
    not be the case. And your insights or life lessons may turn out to be the most valuable
    part of sharing your memories (for you and others).

  • Think twice before revealing someone else’s secrets. Many who write their life
    stories have to decide whether to divulge confidential or sensitive information about
    someone else. Should you write about a relative’s addiction, debts, temper or marital
    problems? Consider the answers to three questions:

    • First, is this your story to tell? If it didn’t significantly affect your life, it
      doesn’t really belong in your life story.
    • Second, what are your motives? Revenge, or an unfortunate but real need to set the
      record straight?
    • Finally, who may be hurt by your revelation? Even if the person with the secret is
      dead, that person may have living loved ones who may suffer.

After considering these questions, you may still see the need to reveal
confidences, but you may approach it more sensitively.

    My new book Story of My Life guides you through the process of deciding what
    stories to tell, telling them (including lessons learned) honestly, and focusing on
    what’s most important. You’ll find hundreds of memory prompts and reflection questions
    about the people and events of your past.

    Story of My Life is available as
    an easy-to-use softcover workbook
    and as
    a writeable PDF
    —just type your answers and save them in a preformatted document
    you can print or share as you like.

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    Posted on July 22nd, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

    Chances are you’ve become frustrated at times when searching for ancestors online
    at genealogy sites such as Ancestry.com, MyHeritage and FamilySearch.
    Knowing why genealogy searches sometimes fail can help you figure out how to fix them.

    Below is our cheat sheet of common issues that trip up your searches, plus tips to
    fix them.

    Get expert guidance on using Ancestry.com in our Become
    an Ancestry.com Power User online course
    , starting Monday, Aug. 1, at Family Tree
    University. This four-week course will help you delve into the Ancestry’s rich resources
    and pull out records where you came up empty before.

    Problem Why it Happens Solution
    Transcription errors You’re not actually searching the documents on genealogy websites. Instead, you’re
    searching a textual index created by a person (or sometimes, software) who transcribed
    what he or she thought the documents said. Illegible records, poor-quality digital
    images and human error cause a mismatch between the index and your search terms.

      • Use filters and wildcards to find variant names, enter date ranges, and broaden
      the geographic area

      • Search for variant and incorrect name spellings

      • Search with fewer terms, i.e., leave the name blank

      • Try another site with the same data set (the index may be different)

      • Browse the records

      Record errors Enumerators and clerks who created records may have recorded wrong information, your
      ancestor may have reported it wrong, or another informant (such as neighbor) may have
      taken a  guess. The index accurately reflects the record, but it doesn’t match
      your search.

      Same as above

      Incorrect search terms You might be wrong about details such as when your immigrant arrived or when Great-great-grandma
      was born, so your search terms don’t match the record you want.

        • Same as above

          • Double-check your research and information sources. Disregard family stories that
          lack a basis in records.

            The record doesn’t exist Disasters such as fire, flood or custodial neglect may have destroyed the records.
            Or maybe they were never created in the first place, such as for early vital records
            in much of the US. It’s also possible your ancestor wasn’t enumerated in the census,
            or no one reported his birth.

              • Check the collection search page and local genealogy guides for information on record
              gaps.

                • Look for substitute sources, such as church records for vital records.

                  The record isn’t online
                  Libraries and archives are full of valuable records that exist only on paper or microfilm.
                  Occasionally, one or more documents might be missed during digitization. 

                    • Check local library websites and genealogy guides for record locations. Visit the
                    archive, hire a researcher to visit for you, or request a copy by mail or email.

                      • Look for other, more-accessible records with the information you need.

                        The record is online, but isn’t indexed A collection may be digitized and browsable online, but no searchable index exists. Figure out how the collection is organized (such as by state and county, chronologically,
                        etc.) and browse to the record you need.

                        Register
                        for our four-week Become an Ancestry.com Power User course at FamilyTreeUniversity.com

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                        Posted on July 19th, 2016 at 11:15 AM by

                        Struggling to remember part of your past? Check out these four quick ways to spark
                        memories from guest blogger and author of the Story of My Life workbook, Sunny
                        Jane Morton:

                        Recording your own history can be a rewarding experience, both personally and for
                        your genealogy research—you never know what clues you’ll recall! But it can be frustrating
                        when you don’t remember certain things as clearly as you’d like. Below are four strategies
                        to jog your memories. Use these to evoke the feelings and facts of specific time periods,
                        people, places or events in your past:

                        1. Listen to music. Music can be especially powerful for evoking emotional memories.
                          Play songs from the time period in question and see what feelings and memories surface.
                          Pull out your old music albums, cassette tapes or CDs to remind yourself of your old
                          “must-listen” albums. If you no longer own a device that can play these (or the cassette
                          tape has deteriorated too much), look for updated formats at your local library. You
                          could also use YouTube to look for individual
                          songs or playlists of popular songs for a certain time period. Use search terms to
                          bring up the name of a singer, band, song or album. Try a phrase like songs from
                          the 40s
                          or 1960s music, or do similar searches in your web browser. Billboard
                          Top 100 songs 1955
                          brings up lists of hits you can then track down individually.
                          If that search doesn’t work for you, try searching the Internet
                          Archive
                          . Its Live Music Archive is
                          strongest for music recorded since the mid-1980s, but there is an enormous collection
                          of Grateful Dead music (for
                          example) that you can stream or download. Browse or search for the recording artists
                          and songs you listened to. Or go way back into your family’s music memories
                          with a digital collection of more
                          than 3000 78rpm records and cylinder recordings from the early 20th century.

                        2. Visit a place. Travel back to the setting of an event or time period. Walk
                          through your old neighborhood, visit your alma mater or stop at the church or courthouse
                          where you were married. If you can’t go to the actual place you want to remember,
                          find a local surrogate to recreate the ambience. Visit a local beach, suburban street,
                          high school football game or neighborhood street festival. The sights, sounds and
                          smells (funnel cake!) may trigger memories. Or make a virtual visit to that place
                          via Google Earth; try the Street View to see
                          the place at eye level. Even things that have changed may make you better recall what
                          was there before.

                        3. Look at pictures and memorabilia. Get out your old photo albums, yearbooks,
                          date books, letters, documents, clothing, jewelry, collections, awards, trophies and
                          other mementoes of the past. Spend some time studying them in detail. Who appears
                          in your memorabilia? What event or memory does it represent? Why did you keep it?
                          What was going on in the background? What related memories does the sight of that
                          person/object/place bring to mind?

                        4. Reminisce. Contact someone who was part of your life during the time you’re
                          trying to recall. After reconnecting, see if they’re willing to talk about “old times.”
                          Compare memories: It can be both interesting and revealing when you recall things
                          differently. Ask if they recall the things you’re trying to remember—why you all did
                          something, or the name of the person on the left in a photo you can share. A couple
                          words of advice: Be considerate of those whose memories of that time may be unpleasant
                          or who may not want to bring up the past. And don’t argue when your memories conflict.

                        In the end, you still may not remember every detail as crisply as you’d like. But
                        life-story writing is rewarding when it’s about your feelings and thoughts about the
                        past, not just the memories themselves. Take special note of how your perceptions
                        of the past may have changed (or not).

                        Reflect on how an event or person changed you—even if you don’t recall them perfectly.
                        Note life lessons you took away with you, particularly those that have guided your
                        life since. Write these things down.

                        A guided journal such as my new book Story of My Life is the perfect place
                        to capture your thoughts and memories. It’s organized by time period and contains
                        hundreds of memory prompts and reflection questions.

                        There are plenty of places to record specific memories and celebrate special relationships. Story
                        of My Life
                        is available as
                        an easy-to-use softcover workbook
                        and as
                        a writeable PDF
                        —just type your answers and save them in a pre-formatted document
                        you can print or share as you like.

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                        Posted on July 19th, 2016 at 11:00 AM by


                        Struggling to remember part of your past? Check out these four quick ways to spark
                        memories from guest blogger and author of the Story of My Life workbook, Sunny
                        Jane Morton:

                        Recording your own history can be a rewarding experience, both personally and for
                        your genealogy research—you never know what clues you’ll recall! But it can be frustrating
                        when you don’t remember certain things as clearly as you’d like. Below are four strategies
                        to jog your memories. Use these to evoke the feelings and facts of specific time periods,
                        people, places or events in your past:

                        1. Listen to music. Music can be especially powerful for evoking emotional memories.
                          Play songs from the time period in question and see what feelings and memories surface.
                          Pull out your old music albums, cassette tapes or CDs to remind yourself of your old
                          “must-listen” albums. If you no longer own a device that can play these (or the cassette
                          tape has deteriorated too much), look for updated formats at your local library. You
                          could also use YouTube to look for individual
                          songs or playlists of popular songs for a certain time period. Use search terms to
                          bring up the name of a singer, band, song or album. Try a phrase like songs from
                          the 40s
                          or 1960s music, or do similar searches in your web browser. Billboard
                          Top 100 songs 1955
                          brings up lists of hits you can then track down individually.
                          If that search doesn’t work for you, try searching the Internet
                          Archive
                          . Its Live Music Archive is
                          strongest for music recorded since the mid-1980s, but there is an enormous collection
                          of Grateful Dead music (for
                          example) that you can stream or download. Browse or search for the recording artists
                          and songs you listened to. Or go way back into your family’s music memories
                          with a digital collection of more
                          than 3000 78rpm records and cylinder recordings from the early 20th century.
                        2. Visit a place. Travel back to the setting of an event or time period. Walk
                          through your old neighborhood, visit your alma mater or stop at the church or courthouse
                          where you were married. If you can’t go to the actual place you want to remember,
                          find a local surrogate to recreate the ambience. Visit a local beach, suburban street,
                          high school football game or neighborhood street festival. The sights, sounds and
                          smells (funnel cake!) may trigger memories. Or make a virtual visit to that place
                          via Google Earth; try the Street View to see
                          the place at eye level. Even things that have changed may make you better recall what
                          was there before.
                        3. Look at pictures and memorabilia. Get out your old photo albums, yearbooks,
                          date books, letters, documents, clothing, jewelry, collections, awards, trophies and
                          other mementoes of the past. Spend some time studying them in detail. Who appears
                          in your memorabilia? What event or memory does it represent? Why did you keep it?
                          What was going on in the background? What related memories does the sight of that
                          person/object/place bring to mind?
                        4. Reminisce. Contact someone who was part of your life during the time you’re
                          trying to recall. After reconnecting, see if they’re willing to talk about “old times.”
                          Compare memories: It can be both interesting and revealing when you recall things
                          differently. Ask if they recall the things you’re trying to remember—why you all did
                          something, or the name of the person on the left in a photo you can share. A couple
                          words of advice: Be considerate of those whose memories of that time may be unpleasant
                          or who may not want to bring up the past. And don’t argue when your memories conflict.

                        In the end, you still may not remember every detail as crisply as you’d like. But
                        life-story writing is rewarding when it’s about your feelings and thoughts about the
                        past, not just the memories themselves. Take special note of how your perceptions
                        of the past may have changed (or not). Reflect on how an event or person changed you—even
                        if you don’t recall them perfectly. Note life lessons you took away with you, particularly
                        those that have guided your life since. Write these things down.

                        A guided journal such as my new book Story of My Life is the perfect place
                        to capture your thoughts and memories. It’s organized by time period and contains
                        hundreds of memory prompts and reflection questions. There are plenty of places to
                        record specific memories and celebrate special relationships. Story of My Life is
                        available as
                        an easy-to-use softcover workbook
                        and as
                        a writeable PDF
                        —just type your answers and save them in a pre-formatted document
                        you can print or share as you like.

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                        Posted on July 12th, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

                        Want to dig into your past? Guest blogger and author of the Story of My Life workbook
                        Sunny Jane Morton shares three quick tips for recalling childhood memories:

                        What do you remember from your childhood? If you’re like most people, the answer may
                        be, “Not much.” The older you get, the more remote and vague your youngest years may
                        seem. That can be so frustrating when you want to document your life story (and the
                        first chapter is missing!) or bring to mind clues from your childhood that would help
                        you research your family history.

                        When starting to piece together your childhood memories, try following these three
                        steps:

                        1. Capture your memories as they are. You may not have many clear, consistent
                          memories before about age 10. The ones you do have may seem fragmented. That’s because
                          you experienced the world as a child, with a child’s emotions and perceptions, and
                          you stored them away in the same fashion. But these memories still have value. Write
                          them down. Then think about them over the course of several days or weeks. You may
                          find bits of memory or explanation resurfacing. Add them to your written account.
                        2. “Borrow” memories from loved ones. It’s not cheating to gather memories about
                          your youngest years from those who remember them better. Ask parents, grandparents,
                          aunts and uncles, siblings, old neighbors and longtime friends about specific events
                          or your childhood generally. Their memories will have limitations, too, but it’s worth
                          asking.
                        3. Research your past to fill in the blanks. Once you’ve compiled your memories
                          alongside those of your loved ones, you may still identify gaps in the stories. Consider
                          what missing details may be researched, particularly those that would bring the story
                          back alive for you. Perhaps you could look up the specs on the 1950 Oldsmobile your
                          father bought, the names of your grandparents’ neighbors or the route you would have
                          taken on that road trip the summer you turned 12.

                        Learn more about each of these steps—from writing down and fleshing out vague memories
                        to researching their contexts—in the Story of My Life workbook by Sunny Jane
                        Morton. This life-story writing guide is packed with memory-jogging journaling prompts
                        and more tips for fleshing out your life’s most meaningful stories. Story of My
                        Life
                        is available as
                        an easy-to-use softcover workbook
                        and as
                        a writeable PDF
                        —just type your answers and save them in a pre-formatted document
                        you can print or share as you like.

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                        Posted on July 1st, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

                        Hi all, our Find
                        Your Ancestors in Online Newspapers weeklong workshop
                        starts July 11! You
                        might know old newspapers are my favorite record type
                        . To show you what kind of
                        fascinating finds you might be missing out on if you’re not using digitized
                        online newspapers, here are a few of my recent newspaper discoveries (including on
                        free websites):

                        This profile of my husband’s great-grandfather, then 87 years old (not the man pictured—that’s
                        the reporter), is in the Jan. 8, 1960, Buffalo Courier-Express (digitized on
                        the free Old Fulton NY Postcards site).
                        It tells of his early life and career as a bricklayer. He used to haul lime in a wooden
                        cart, stirring it to keep the cart from catching fire.

                        My paternal grandfather, a star student in a Texas orphanage, was
                        in the papers frequently
                        (due in part, I think, to the superintendent’s PR efforts).
                        Several articles, like this one from the Aug. 10, 1919, San Antonio Express,
                        include pictures. My grandfather is on the left and my dad looks just like
                        him. This paper also was free, in the Portal
                        to Texas History
                        .

                        Before reliable birth and death records, it’s difficult to know to look for a child
                        who died at two hours old, but newspapers can clue you in. The Cincinnati Daily
                        Star
                        s free to search from 1875 to 1880 on Chronicling
                        America
                        . (This is the August 5, 1878, edition.)

                        The Cincinnati Enquirer, available on subscription site Newspapers.com,
                        has been a goldmine of information about my local family. This article from April
                        16, 1894, relates the sudden death of my cousin three times removed.

                        More saloon trouble: The Aug. 31, 1880, Cincinnati Daily Gazette, available
                        through subscription site GenealogyBank,
                        told of my fourth-great-uncle’s troublemaking due to his dissatisfaction with his
                        tab.

                        There’s also the coverage of my third-great-grandparents’
                        divorce
                        , my Federal
                        League baseball player
                        , and other finds I haven’t blogged about.

                        The Find
                        Your Ancestors in Online Newspapers workshop
                        will help you get around online newspaper
                        site frustrations such as locating online newspaper sources in the first place, overcoming
                        poor OCR indexing, finding ancestors with common names, and working with search options
                        on specific websites.

                        It includes seven video classes you can watch whenever you want during the week (and
                        download to watch later), message board discussions and advice from workshop instructor
                        James M. Beidler.

                        Register
                        for this valuable workshop today at FamilyTreeUniversity.com
                        !

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                        Posted on June 22nd, 2016 at 11:03 AM by

                        The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and FamilySearch
                        have signed an agreement that will make FamilySearch.org’s
                        growing, free digital historical book collection
                        accessible through the DPLA website.

                        The DPLA website catalogs more than 13 million digital resources from libraries, archives
                        and museums across America. You can keyword search the site’s catalog listings (but
                        not the digitized items themselves) for names, places, military regiments, employers,
                        social clubs and other terms from your family tree.

                        From search results on DPLA, you can click to view—and usually, keyword search—the
                        digitized item on the holding library’s website.

                        With this new partnership, DPLA will incorporate metadata from FamilySearch.org’s
                        online digital book collection, making more than 200,000 family history books discoverable
                        through DPLA’s search portal later this year. Users who find a FamilySearch book via
                        DPLA will be able to click to see the digital book on FamilySearch.org.

                        The digitized historical book collection at FamilySearch.org includes genealogy and
                        family history publications from some of the most important family history libraries
                        in the world. You already can search
                        the collection on the FamilySearch website
                        , but listing its contents in DPLA will
                        make the books easier for a broader audience to find.

                        The March/April
                        2016 Family Tree Magazine
                        has our how-to
                        guide for finding ancestors in the free FamilySearch digitized books
                        , and our Unofficial
                        Guide to FamilySearch.org
                        book
                        helps you make the most of all the site’s free
                        genealogy resources.    

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                        Posted on June 14th, 2016 at 11:00 AM by

                        If you’re like many people, your email resembles Pandora’s box: full of unknown content
                        that you might be afraid of opening. The scary part isn’t so much each individual
                        message, but the unending stream of new content filling your inbox faster than you
                        can deal with.

                        While some productivity gurus preach the elusive concept of “inbox zero,” you actually
                        have a few practical ways to better manage your inbox. Co-host of The Genealogy
                        Guys
                        podcast and author of Organize
                        Your Genealogy
                        Drew Smith shares a few quick steps for organizing your mess
                        of an email inbox:

                        1. Set up an email account just for your genealogical research. This minimizes
                          losing important personal and financial messages amidst genealogical correspondence.
                          If you’ve been doing genealogical research a while and are reluctant to start over
                          with a new email address, reverse the situation and create a new email address just
                          for your non-genealogy work.
                        2. Check your spam folder on a regular basis. You don’t have to do it every day—just
                          do it often enough so that you won’t lose something due to the automatic spam-deleting
                          system or when you were expecting something but couldn’t find it in your regular inbox.
                          If you’re worried about forgetting to check your spam folder, add that (and any other
                          research tasks) to your calendar.
                        3. Learn as much as you can about your email software’s filters. This will allow
                          you to automatically move low-importance email out of your inbox and into another
                          folder, to be read when you have more time. Email that fits into this category might
                          include messages from mailing lists and society newsletters.
                        4. Use email filtering to identify important email and move it to a high-priority
                          folder.
                          This might include email coming from specific correspondents, such as
                          another genealogist you are working with on a research project.
                        5. Scan through the remaining items. Use the subject line to see if you can delete
                          the item without opening it. In some cases, you’ll want to read the contents, but
                          you’ll still be able to delete it after reading. In a few other cases, you can forward
                          the email to someone else who can do a better job of dealing with it. If the email
                          is something that you yourself can deal with in just a few minutes, reply right away
                          (or do whatever quick task the email is asking you to do).

                        What remains are items that you want to save for reference (get this content into
                        a note-taking system, such as Evernote) and
                        items that will take some time to deal with (move these into a folder to be dealt
                        with when you’ve scheduled a block of time to work on them).

                        Learn more about organizing your correspondence and genealogy research by purchasing
                        your copy of Drew’s Organize Your Genealogy today
                        .

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