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Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review: How to Use Evernote for Genealogy

I have a secret.  I am an Evernote drop out.  Yeah, yeah. I know. Bad on me. 

When it first came out I was actually all over it like white on rice, but I found it clunky and it didn’t do what I wanted it to do.  I briefly went back to try it again when my favorite note taking app, Penultimate, became sync-able to it.  It wasn’t long before I went back to my old ways though.  Tried and true, out of date, frustrating, but extremely comforting old ways of doing things.

Over the last few years Kerry Scott, who authored How to Use Evernote for Genealogy, has given me grief tried to convince me that I really need to check out Evernote again.  I listened to several of her webinars, learned how to do the web clipping feature, and did play around with some very cool features.  Still, I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around why everyone thought that this program was the best next thing to sliced bread.

I am a manual person.  No, let me rephrase that, I need hand holding to learn somethings.  I can be a real Luddite at times, and the thought of changing to something new can give me anxiety.  Usually I can overcome that with a tutorial and at times a workshop to help me with videos or demonstrations. 

That is why when I heard that Kerry had this book coming out I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  Deep down I was secretly crossing my fingers that this would be the book to finally break me out of my Evernote using anxiety and come around to the digital age of genealogy record keeping.

I was not disappointed.

Even if you have never tried Evernote Kerry does an excellent job of holding your hand through all the steps, features, and program highlights.  Her quick wit and easy tone comes through to show you how set up your files with ease which made me feel a lot better about giving the program another try.

The book is also filled with images to help you along.  I am a very visual person so having pictures of the menus, drop down boxes, and the various screens you use in the program really helped when I pulled Evernote up on my computer.  For the first time in… a while.

I highly recommend this book for not only new users but also long time users of Evernote.  There are so many tips and resources in it that I am confident everyone will be able to learn something new.  For example she demonstrates how to use Evernote for keeping track of the genealogy related trips you take.  I don’t know about you but I take quite a few trips a year.  Conferences (local and far away), libraries, archives, cemeteries, family reunions, and so on.  I found the way she organized things in Evernote genius to keep her trips separated out and organized.  Actually, I am thinking about doing something similar to help keep track of my business expenses and income.

On that note, I am now trying to budget a few hours a week to transitioning to Evernote for my research.  It may take me a while but I am sure it will be well worth the time.

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