February 27, 2012

Finishing Up February: Motivation Monday

Hard to believe we’ve almost reached the end of February. It’s been unusually mild and (dare I say it?) sunny (knock on wood) for this time of year in Ohio. Things were a little uneven this month—one week I hardly did any genealogy, and the next week I worked hard to catch up. I’m grateful for Leap Day this year—I’ll take all the extra time I can get!

Here’s how I did with my February goals:
  • Study the Allen County Public Library catalog and begin compiling a research to-do list for the upcoming Midwest Geneabloggers Get-Together. Yeah, not started yet. But #1 on my list for this week. I’ll be using Tina Lyons’ 10 Tips for Researching at ACPL on Gen Wish List to help me formulate a plan.
  • Do research connected to my writing goals. Check. 
Bookshelves: before
  • Prepare my older daughter’s bedroom for conversion into a home office. Still a work in progress. She came home for a weekend and we cleaned out her fully-loaded bookshelves, so it’s looking better.
  • Follow along with Michelle Goodrum’s challenges for The 21st Century Organized Genealogist. I created an Family Archives Inventory chart on Growly Notes after being inspired by the one Michelle posted here. I’m slowly (key word) making time to walk around room-by-room and fill it out. Baby steps. 
  • Write eight blog posts. This is seven, so I think I’ll make it (did I mention I’m thankful for Leap Day?). 
  • Participate in the Family History Writing Challenge, hosted by Lynn Palmero, by writing 250 words per day. I didn’t keep up with this the way I had hoped. I wrote some, but not consistently. Lynn and her guest bloggers wrote a number of outstanding posts this month, though, and I’ve saved them in Evernote for future inspiration.
  • Write an article and submit it for publication. Just finished. 
  • Attend the 2012 Family History Jamboree in Dayton, Ohio. I made it to four out of six sessions. I especially enjoyed hearing Peggy Lauritzen’s presentations on “Migration Trails to the Ohio” and “Using Tax Records to Age and Place Ancestors.” She reminded us how much maps can help our research. My friend Cindy Freed wrote a great post about how the sessions drove home the usefulness of timelines on her blog, Genealogy Circle.
  • Attend the Pinellas (Florida) Genealogical Society 2012 Seminar featuring Colleen Fitzpatrick. This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to hear Colleen speak, and she was amazing. She was literally a rocket scientist before turning her analytic skills to forensic genealogy and thorny DNA problems. Colleen delivered four riveting presentations, and at her book-signing table she was as friendly as could be. She gave me some neat ideas about new ways to look at evidence. I didn’t know anyone at the seminar, but I met a really nice woman who’s also from Ohio. I always feel a little uneasy going into a new group like this, but I haven’t regretted it yet.
Colleen Fitzpatrick at the Pinellas Genealogical Society 2012 Seminar
  • Watch at least two webinars online. The first one I watched was Michael John Neil’s Seeing the Patterns: Organizing Your Information for the Southern California Genealogical Society. Michael shared various types of charts and diagrams he creates to organize and analyze information. I hastily scribbled down seven pages of notes, and would really like to listen to it again—it was that packed with helpful material. The second webinar was Marian Pierre-Louis’ Ten Brick Wall Tips for Beginners for Legacy Family Tree. I think the title is a bit of a misnomer, because the tips Marian gave are good for researchers at any level. Very worthwhile. If you hurry, the webinar is still available to watch for free here.
  • Oh, and I also watched as many of the RootsTech live streaming sessions as I could. Next best thing to being there.
My other big accomplishment for the month was successfully registering for the Advanced Research Methods class at GRIP (Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh) this summer. Woohoo! I know the class will be challenging and intense (just getting in was intense), but I’m really looking forward to it. For a fun look at registration day, read my classmate Chris Staats’ post, Getting My GRIP On. There's limited space available in three other great courses at GRIP, so if you're interested, don't wait too long to sign up. The faculty is top-notch.

I’ll be back next Monday with my March goals. Best wishes for a great week!


  1. Keep up the baby steps! I'm thinking my oldest daughter's room needs to become the Family Archive Room. Shhhh. Don't tell.

    Good luck with your soon to be home office

  2. Looks like you did a great job this month and you still have a few extra days before March starts. I hope that my ACPL tips help you as you put together a research plan for our meetup.

    1. Tina, your tips are helping me already. I can't wait to get to Ft. Wayne!

  3. Sounds like you are doing well. It does not matter if it is slowly, what matters is that you are doing it!

    I love Growly notes and I am going to take a look at those posts you suggested.

    Can't wait for researching at the ACPL.

    1. Thanks for telling me about Growly Notes, Terri. The more I play with it, the more I like it. Nice solution for us Mac users. Glad I'll soon be able to meet you in person!

  4. I went to the Dayton Jamboree, too. Would have loved to meet you. Don't tell me that Nancy was there, too. UGH!
    Nice job with your goals. You've got me beat.

    1. I would loved to have met you, Kathy. Hopefully we'll be able to see each other at NGS in Cincinnati. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  5. Shelley,
    Wow! You accomplished a lot this month. Really a month to be proud of and thank you for the mention! I appreciate it!
    I'm following up on some of your accomplishments and checking out Tina's tips and the webinars you mentioned.
    Good stuff and good luck on your goals!

  6. Wow, you accomplished a lot, Shelley! Way to go!


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