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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Utah brilliance!

I've spent the last two evenings watching talks from RootsTech, the genealogy technology conference now in its third year, which is happening this week in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Have I been lucky enough to be actually there? No, I've been at home in the UK, but that doesn't matter because the RootsTech website offers live streaming of some of the talks online which are so good it's like you're actually there in Utah (rather than on your sofa in Essex).

I even have the RootsTech app on my iPad which not only lets you stream the talks, but also gives you full bios of all the speakers at the conferenece, full details of all the companies exhibiting and lots of other useful info. It's amazing!

The session I enjoyed last night was Valerie Elkins "From paper piles to digital files" about her quest to organise her genealogy research. Up until fairly recently, I would have said that I am quite an organised person. However, as I've done more genealogy research I have noticed that I find it more and more difficult to locate a particular piece of paper or book when I need it so I have obviously slipped!

Being organised more and having my research easily accessible at all times is something I'm aiming for though (a bit like a kind of late new years resolution!) so I found Valerie's talk quite inspiring and hope to try using some of the tech she suggested in order to make this huge task a little easier.

Evernote was something she mentioned a fair bit and to be honest, I have tried using it a little already but found it all a bit confusing (despite being a lover of technology, I just find myself wanting a notebook and pen!). However, after the talk, I have decided I need to maybe give it a go again with what Valerie said in mind or maybe try One Note and see if I get on with that more.

I have also discovered just how many tutorials there are on YouTube, so I think I will watch a few of the "Evernote for Genealogy" ones and see how other people are using it. Pinterest is another thing where I have signed up for an account but don't really get how I can use it for what I want so that's another tutorial to search for I think.

I would love to know how other people are using apps and tech to organise themselves so do leave me a comment with your top tips!

Follow me on Twitter - @FamilyTreeNat

Valerie Elkins @ RootsTech

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