Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.
The To-Do List Part III (Intermediate)
In Part III of this series we are going to look at the different tabs on the main screen and how to use sorting and filtering to your advantage.
When you are on this tab you can go up and down your list and see a synopsis of each task. Notice that there is a tag button here so that you can tag or untag tasks on the fly. Also notice the button at the bottom which will take you to the current person highlighted in the list. If you double click the highlighted task it will open the task so that you can edit it. The number of tasks listed in the top bar are the number of your filtered tasks. I have mine set to only show open tasks so I have 18 that are still open.
This tab will show you whatever you have entered in the Description box. You can go up and down the list with the tab selected and read all of your descriptions.
This tab will show the results of your searches. Since my list is filtered to only show open tasks none of the listed tasks will have results. Notice that the To-Do tab, the Description tab and the Repository tab have asterisks on them. That means there is information entered there. The Results tab does not have an asterisk which means there is no information entered. The last two tabs, Filter Options and Sort Order don't have asterisks because these are global tabs that don't apply to individuals. You will see these asterisks in other places in Legacy, namely the Merge screen and the Name List.
This will show the repositories that I have entered for each task
Filter Options Tab
The filter options give you complete control over what you see. I have mine filtered to only show Open tasks to include all categories, all localities, all types, tagged and untagged, and all priorities. You can change your filtering to drill down to exactly where you need to see. If you change the filtering make sure you click the Apply Filter button. Also notice the Apply Filter Options when opening this To-Do List. You do NOT want to check this box if you are doing a temporary filter. If you then exit the To-Do List, Legacy will remember the last filtering you set using this box. Filtering become very important when you want to print a list and we will get to that.
Sort Order Tab
The Sort Order governs the hierarchy of how you want your To-Do List to sort on your screen. This is independent of how your filter is set. For example, in this screenshot you see that I have the list to first sort by status which will bring all of my open tasks to the top of the list but I have the filtering set to only show open tasks so it is a bit moot. If I were to change my filtering to include closed tasks then this would kick in pushing the closed tasks to the bottom. Between filtering and sorting you can have your main To-Do List set show just the tasks you are interested in. The filtering also applies to the Individual task lists for each person.
Now we are at the fun part, printing! You can print a specialized task list to use as a worksheet when you visit a specific repository or location. You can print a priority list of open tasks which you can use as a check off sheet to make sure you are getting those tasks done in a timely manner. You can print off the task list for a specific individual to get an overview of where you are in their research. You could narrow it to a specific category to see what you have done and what you still need to do to find a specific record for that person. There are so many possibilities here! This is where you can see a true research log and a true correspondence log (if you like to keep these separate).
And, you aren't limited to printing. You can export as a PDF or a CSV. This means you can share tasks with other researchers. They will be able to see what things you have planned to do so they can plan other things to avoid duplication. You can also show them everything that you have already done, again so that they don't duplicate your efforts. Or, maybe you have a friend that lives near a courthouse or state archive that is willing to do some leg work for you. You can send them a worksheet of tasks tailored to what they can do. Again, for this to work well you must be entering your tasks in a consistent manner.
A couple of general things. This report functions much like any of the other reports so a familiarity with reports in general helps. Make sure that you look at the Change Fonts, Page Setup, and Printer Setup buttons over on the right. If you make a change such as printing Duplex don't forget that you have to tell Legacy in the Page Setup and you must also tell your printer in the Printer Setup. The Preview button is your friend. It is going to take you time to get your report exactly like you want, especially when it comes to formatting. For example, you might need to change your formatting to help tighten up the report so that it isn't as many pages or you might want to play around with how much note space you want to add depending on why you are printing this report.
On the main To-Do List click Print over on the right side. You can also access this from an Individual's To-Do List.
Record Selection Tab
This is where you are going to tell Legacy who you want to include and which types of tasks; general, individual, or both. You can limit to a single person, tagged persons, a Focus Group(s), or everyone. You can also order and print by repository instead of by person.
What to Include Tab
You will really need to pay attention to this screen because there is a lot of info here and you may not want everything to print so that you can save space. Notice that there is an option to add notes, both lined or unlined (blank box). You can make this as big as you need. This is great for taking to a repository so that you can write notes on each person. There are some places that will not let you bring your computer or a camera in while doing research.
Filter Options Tab
The Filter Options work the exact same way as they do when you are filtering your To-Do List but it is completely independent of those settings. This screen governs the report only.
Sort Order Tab
The same goes for the Sort Order tab. This governs your report only. Remember that filtering and sorting work together to get the results you need.
You can include the sources that are attached to your tasks. If you have pictures attached to your Master Sources and/or Source Details you can include those too but this is better suited to PDF exports.
Congratulations! You are now recording all of your research steps. There is one more thing I would like to mention because this is a frequent question. Should you record all of your internet searches? The answer is YES! Why? All of the same reasons for any other search but with internet searches you will be recording your search parameters. The date you searched will become very important as well. For example, let's say you do a search at FamilySearch looking for Benjamin Simmons' Civil War compiled service record. You will want to know when you did the search and what name parameters you used to conduct the search. If the search is negative, I keep the task open and give it a reminder date of 6 months. FamilySearch adds records all the time. If you watch their blog and see that they have updated this database then you are one step ahead. Also, let's say that you find out that Benjamin was known by Bennie. Did you search the name Bennie when you did your initial search? You won't know unless you have been keeping track. Maybe you thought Bennie was born in 1836 but he was really born in 1832. Did you search a range of dates? Different websites have some of the same databases but their indexes are different. If you search at more than one website for the same person in the same general database you will want to know this. I will say, if I am doing some internet searches on the fly and the results are POSITIVE (I find the record) I don't bother entering a task for that. However, if the results are NEGATIVE you can bet I am going to add one. Is seems like a lot of work but it will save you unnecessary work and frustration in the long run. Pretty soon entering To-Do tasks will be come so routine you won't even think about it.
Next week will be a bit of a bonus article on the To-Do List. I am going to show you some examples of how to enter DNA specific tasks.
Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.
For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page. These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.
Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.