First, thanks to everyone for all the kind comments about my newfound brother. It's a great adventure I'm embarking on!
My plans this weekend are to spend some time revamping all my files. It's the first step to getting to the point I want to be at with my research on Samuel Browning. I've been using OneNote a long time to keep my personal files in order (as well as using it as a gathering receptacle for random notes about families I found while cruising the Internet) and I really wanted to find a way to incorporate it into my daily genealogical life. However, it seemed so overwhelming.
I ran across this article and this article on mahoganybox.net a few days ago about OneNote. I read it and re-read it and decided to give her suggestions a try. I downloaded her Research Log and Research Notes templates and played with them a while until I got them into a format I was comfortable with. I redid all my random notes into different notebooks by surname and made sure to attach the Document tab she suggested to each of them. Lastly, I began a chronology report on Samuel and his wife Margaret and synced it to SkyDrive via the new Outlook email that will soon replace Hotmail.
All this is 'a lot accomplished' for me, with 'much more to be accomplished' this weekend. I am tired of running about like a headless chicken chasing tails I've already chased. This weekend I'm ready to begin the task of moving everything over and consolidating it into one streamlined system. I'm excited to do it and I can't wait to see results with it.
Heck, I'm already seeing results! As I did the chronology and placed source materials in for reference, I saw exactly what else I needed to research and what my current sources were. No more headless chickening! I can go back through the work I've already done and fill in missing details. I love it!
Lastly, I have a bewildering amount of original source documents that can be inserted into OneNote and I can FINALLY see all of them in one place, in one file, without scratching my head trying to remember where I put things, where I filed them, what they say (I can translate underneath) or who gave them to me. I can access these things in the cloud and all my data will be a lot safer than just being on my PC and external HDs. I've told myself I needed to do this for a long time -- I'm just doing it. Nike should be proud of me. Ha!
Tech and I aren't the best of friends -- meaning I don't have the new 'gadgets.' I live on a very limited budget and so I don't have or want a smartphone (I have the internet ALL AROUND ME at all times, I can't justify the cost lol!) or a tablet PC. I had a laptop back in the 90's but that one was given to me, and I'd take another older one if someone would give it to me free (ha!) My computers are all over 5 years old (luckily I know enough about them to fix them when I need to) and my parents always buy the latest thing and pass the older ones down to me anyway. I have a old Dell Axim x51v that I flashed to use Windows Mobile 5 and I put Pocket Genealogist on it and carry my database with me that way. Yeah, I'm old school.
I've used TMG (The Master Genealogist) as my genealogical database program of choice since 1993 and have no intentions of switching. It is a fantastic genealogy program with loads of personalizing options and high caliber reporting capabilities. I know that some of what I plan to do with OneNote could probably be done within TMG but I guess that I don't 1) have the patience to get into the learning curve with it and 2) I like the inherent 'feel' of the file cabinet/file folder idea of OneNote. One is my database, the other my filing system.
I am a happy genealogist!
4 hours ago