Thanks to guest blogger, Lisa Alzo, for the article below.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe that we are just days away from saying “so long” to 2012! The festivities surrounding New Year’s Eve often prompt us to make resolutions (I prefer to use “set goals”). If you’re looking to improve your genealogical research and writing skills in the New Year, here are 13 (for 2013) easy resolutions you can make and keep!
1. Make a plan. Do your past research habits include just randomly typing names into online databases, or Googling an ancestor’s surname? Then it may be time to change them. Developing a Research Plan to focus your research tasks and keep a research log to track your searches. Not sure how? “Plan Your Way to Research Success” (on CD) can help get you started.
2. Clean up your family tree. As genealogists, it’s useful to review our family trees for incomplete or incorrect data that can impede future research success. If you don’t have a copy of Legacy Family Tree 7.5, consider investing in it now, or if you’re already a Legacy 7.0 user, don’t forget about the free update.
3. Tidy your sources. Slacking off on those proper source citations? The New Year is the perfect time to remedy this bad habit. Learn how with a copy of Evidence Explained.
4. Back up your data. Start the year off right by backing up your family tree, digital images, and critical research documents. Make an appointment to do this regularly. Get advice from Thomas MacEntee’s Webinar-on-CD.
5. Contact those cousins! You never know who holds the missing pieces of your family history puzzle. Social media makes it easier than ever to reach out to relatives and find family—do it before it’s too late! Use Legacy Family Tree's Interview Questions (over 1,200 to choose from) to ask just the right questions.
6. Record family stories. This year, go beyond the “name gathering” and dig deeper to learn answers to the “Why?” questions. Using an app like Saving Memories Forever makes it easy.
7. Scan those photographs! In 2012, we were sadly reminded that disasters happen and how painful it is to lose precious family photographs. Learn how to scan and preserve them with a copy of Digital Imaging Essentials by Geoff Rasmussen.
8. Join a genealogical/historical society. Not everything is online! These organizations offer untapped resources and networking opportunities. Check with the Federation of Genealogical Societies or use Google to find one you like.
9. Explore a new resource. Using the same databases over and over? Learn about new resources and techniques for finding female ancestors, using land & property records, Croatian genealogy, and more, with Legacy Family Tree’s QuickGuides™.
10. Attend a conference. Whether it’s your local society’s seminar, or a national conference, try to make at least one 2013 event. Check Conference Keepers for a list. Can’t leave home? There are live streaming events (e.g. from RootsTech), and Legacy Webinars (see #13).
11. Attack a brick wall. Dedicate 2013 to defining a brick wall research problem and make plans to attack it head on. Get help from the Legacy Brick Walls Bundle CDs.
12. Publish your research. Take your research beyond the “boxes and lines” and considering sharing your findings in a blog or a book. Learn how with the “Ready, Set, Write!” CD.
13. Learn something new. Legacy Family Tree’s 2013 Webinar schedule has more than 40 classes from genealogy's leading educators. With over 60 hours of free genealogy education, there’s no excuse not to improve your knowledge or skills!
Wishing you an abundance of genealogical success in 2013!