Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sorting Saturday - Reviewing the Month, Trying New Tools

Looking back at my Writing Reminders for September, I covered many of the topics I set out to cover, quite a few I did not plan for, and some others were moved aside. This is a particularly busy time in my primary field, and much of my typical family history research time (late late evenings or early in the morning) was absorbed into meeting deliverables for the month with work. October promises to be even busier as I head to Toronto for meetings, but an exciting month on the family history front too, with a trip back to Indiana.

For this Sorting Saturday post, I wanted to pass along some of the tools that I am using in my primary field that may have utility in the family history space.

I have been using Asana for quite a while for task tracking with work.  Their iPhone app just received a major upgrade and I have made a new effort to try using it for tracking more personal tasks and productivity.

Here is where Asana is useful for family history research. I frequently write to various libraries or historical societies on research questions. I have not done a very good job of tracking the questions I send out. Sometimes these queries could use reminders, and Asana can do that, by showing upcoming due dates and sending out a daily digest to my email.

In addition, I can set a project area for a specific family line and list the research tasks associated with that family. I can attach files, write notes, set due dates and create tags for easy searching. I'm planning to use Asana as I complete my application for the First Families of Tennessee, and will report on my progress and experiences.

Box is another tool that I use daily in my work environment which would also be useful for family history research. Box is for online file sharing and storage - this is "cloud storage." This could be great for family history writing, photo storage, research storage, or collaboration with others. Box has a nice iPad application and I've used it to load PDFs and other historical documents I want to read later or keep at hand, without filling up the rest of my space on the iPad.

Here's an application for Box: Family historical societies could use Box to provide easier access to newsletters or other papers in their records. This can provide a level of security but also easy sharing when responding to requests for information.

Writing Reminders for October
Here are some stories I hope to bring to the blog in October.

- I am going to try something new and share examples of using Asana in tracking leads, and keeping reminders on family history
- Oyler and Haise queries in Hamilton County, Ohio
- Matthews family migration from Tennessee to Kentucky
- Lamon family migration from Tennessee to Indiana
- Catching up with family in Indiana
- Visit to Montgomery County, Indiana and reporting back on finds

Carry overs from August & September include:
- My wife's Halter ancestors arrive in New Orleans (move to November)
- Van Meters arrive in New Amsterdam in 1662 (move to November)
- Revisiting the Tennessee 5th Infantry in the Mexican War

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