Do genealogists make New Year’s resolutions? You bet they do. If you are a genealogist or aspiring genealogist who is wondering where their search for ancestors will take them in 2011, read on for four suggestions of things that you can do to keep your genealogical research moving along and, more importantly, keep it fun and interesting.
Often, genealogists acquire a lot of papers and other “stuff” in the course of their research. It can be easy to let papers pile up and before you know it, all of your hard work is in a disorganized mess that, let’s face it, is a little bit intimidating. Now is the time to implement anti-procrastination measures and get your genealogy “stuff” organized. It is important that you let go of the idea that you have to get all of your stuff organized at once. One good way to do this is to set aside a small bit of time each day, or every couple of days, just to work on organizing your genealogy stuff. Set a timer for fifteen or twenty minutes. If you feel like doing more after that, that’s great, but give yourself permission to stop after fifteen minutes. If you keep at it, you will get it organized a little bit at a time until one day; you realize that you have organized it all.
Another thing that will help you with your genealogy is to take a class or learn a new skill. You do not have to commit a lot of time or money to accomplish this. There are many free tutorials and videos available online. All you have to do is set aside some time to read or watch them. Any genealogist, whether novice or expert, can always learn more about family history research. What will you learn this year?
A third thing that you can do to take your genealogy to another level in 2011 is to reach out to others and ask for help with questions that you are having trouble answering on your own. There are many great genealogy forums and groups where you can connect with other genealogists that could help you. Don’t forget to follow up and check whether anyone has posted an answer to your question. Also, look at questions that other people have posted, and see if there is something you can contribute to help them.
One more suggestion for genealogists to consider when looking ahead to the New Year is to dig deeper than names and dates. There are so many fun things you can do, from interviewing relatives to writing a family history, and many others. What kinds of things will you do this year to create and preserve your family’s history?