Monday, January 14, 2013

Lessons from Scanning


The scanning goes on and on..........



One of my goals this year is to become paperless, well mostly paperless.  Living fulltime in a motorhome means limited space for my genealogy files.  Right now I have 4 big binders, stuffed with all the records I've collected over the last couple of years.  Getting rid of those binders means my files will instead be on my computer and in the cloud --- much more convenient.  And, as a bonus I'll gain some storage space for other stuff, like food and toilet paper.

I'm approaching this task by taking just one family and starting to scan each piece of collected paper.  I thought it would be pretty quick, just scan a document,  pop it into a computer file, and toss the original into the trash.

Oh, I was so naive.  

So, here's what's really happening.  I grab that first census scan it in.  Then I check my software program Legacy Family Tree, to make sure the census information was previously added to each family member correctly.  This is when I discover that I acquired the census before I learned how to properly add it to the software and cite it correctly.  *sigh*

Well, okay, so I take the high road and start entering all the data from the census into Legacy, and adding the citation to each person in the family.  Finally, I get to file the scanned census into the proper file in my new filing system.

At long last, I can toss out that piece of paper.

Hmmmm.... okay, REALITY CHECK! This is going to take a lot longer than I first thought.  But, at the same time, I am forced to review/analyze all my old records for new/missed clues, add new ideas to my to do lists, make sure everything is cited properly, and write up my rationale for my analysis.  Maybe this isn't so bad after all.

I'm getting rid of paper and gaining storage space, cleaning up, correcting, and citing my records, analyzing my data and writing up my conclusions. It's what we used to call a WIN-WIN situation.

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