How Often Have You Said to Yourself:  "I Don't Have Enough Time to Work on My Genealogy"?  Here Is a Unique, Powerful, Life-Changing Solution

Three quick questions:

ONE: How would you like to find more time in the day to work on your genealogy, or more time to do whatever you enjoy?

TWO: If I told you about a small, portable tool (that you can customize to fit your lifestyle) that would help you find more personal "genealogy time" and help you in all the other aspects of your life, would you want to use that tool?

Besides helping you find more time, this tool is also a great stress reliever, helps you stay better organized, and can help you manage your life in general.

THREE: Would you be willing to CARRY this time-saving tool with you, and keep it NEAR you at all times?If you said "Yes," to these questions, then please follow along with me carefully. You may be thinking to yourself…

 "Okay, Robert - I am ready. What is this TOOL you are going on about? What tool can do all that?"

 This amazing tool is…having your own personal PLANNER. One that you like, and can comfortably carry around with you.

You want a planner that YOU CUSTOMIZE to fit your needs, and will allow you to include TWO of my most important "Genealogy Modifications" that I am going to share with you.

 I am going to show you how you can make TWO "Genealogy Modifications" using a planner layout, with pages from my favorite company. However, you can use ANY planner system that you want.

NOTE: A "planner" is not just a place for to-do lists. You can transform a boring planner into something special. Your planner can be a tool that you actually look forward to using, every day. A key point is that you need to have your planner with you. If you will keep it with you at all times, and use it - you will become dependant on it, and it will make your life a lot easier.

- I've use planner systems (with different page layouts and formats) for many years. I call my planner my "brain" because I would be lost without it. I've used paper (a binder with planner pages), computer planning systems, and even a Palm Pilot planning system.

- And I always come back to the PAPER version. I'll bet that a paper planning system is the preference for almost all of you, as well.

- My Dad was a "legal pad man." I used to try to talk my Dad into getting a planner, but he always used yellow legal pads (in a legal pad binder), and did just fine. He was a business executive and accomplished many things with his good ole yellow legal pads.

Now, I would like to share some unique concepts and methods with you, and show you how you can make TWO simple, but important "Genealogy Modifications" to your planner, that will help you find more time to work on your genealogy.

  •  Please GO TO the "RESOURCE NOTES" page to See Examples and Pictures
The WEEKLY Planning Layout:

 Back in the old days of time-management training (and day planner methods) two of the most popular things going were:

- Franklin Quest (with the Franklin Planner): Their planners focused on a two-page per day layout. However, unless you were a busy business owner or manager, it was too much for the normal person.

- In Stephen R. Covey's "The 7 Habit of Highly Effective People" (a great book, by the way), the very heart of the training about planning was a two-page "Weekly Schedule." Basically, looking at your life and planning a week at a time was the way to do it. There is a lot of good research and reasons behind the concept.

I learned something that changed my life from the 7 Habits stuff…a week at a time IS the way to go. Try it for yourself and you'll see what I mean.

Those two companies merged, and today there is Franklin-Covey. And they sell planner pages with both layouts - Daily and Weekly.

However, they have just come out with a NEW two-page weekly planning layout that is a dramatic change (for the better) from anything they have done before. This planner page layout is different than anything else you will see in any office supply store, or online. I'm very excited about it, and I believe you will, too - IF you will take a few minutes to understand the two "Genealogy Modifications" I am about to share with you.

Again, with a little "fudging" you can get these "Genealogy Modifications" to work in ANY day planner, but for the examples in this lesson, I will be using this new Weekly two-page layout.

 For Women: This two-page weekly layout (with a feminine design) is called "Perspective."

 About Planners and Page Sizes

The most popular planner page size is called "Classic" size, followed by "Compact" size.

 - Classic size (Page Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2")
 - Compact size (Page Size: 4-1/4" x 6-3/4")

NOTE: The smaller "Compact size" is very popular with women because they make several styles of totes and handbags that match the Compact size planners, and the planner fits into the tote.

Warning: If you like to shop and like colors to "match" (like Ellen), be careful. There are plenty of stylish things that match those women's Compact planners and you could go overboard. ;-)

 For Men: This two-page weekly layout (non-girly) is called "Vantage." Since it is so new, it now only comes in the Classic size (Page Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2") Start Date: Jan 2010 - Dec 2010.

 Page Layout for GROUPING Tasks TOGETHER

 Example: Look at picture of this new two-page per week layout (I've filled in some things), and note the Ragan Genealogy "block" if items.

 

 

Planner "Genealogy Modification" ONE:

In this example, you see that I have a "block" of genealogy-type research things (under the heading Ragan Genealogy) that I'd like to focus on this week. They are:

  •    Jonathan Ragan Civil War records in GA
  •    Google Alert: "jonathan ragan" "civil war"
  •    Check Ragan post on GenForum
  •    Jonathan and Ann in GA and FL?

There are six of these "blocks" on the "Perspective" and "Vantage" two-page per week layouts. Here, I have devoted one of my six blocks to my genealogy, and as you see, I am focusing on my ancestor, Jonathan Ragan.

Of course, you will use any of the six blocks for whatever you have going on in your life. But if you make sure to have your own "genealogy block" going each week, it will make a difference in your research.

Why? The short version of why it works is that your genealogy block (and your other non-genealogy blocks) stay in front of you every day as you use your planner. It gets into your subconscious, and you get more accomplished naturally. This concept is not new, but is sure works.

They call this layout an "open system." Here is the full description: "This unique, open system features small boxes for daily appointments, Goals and Deadlines sections for each week, and wide-open spaces for organizing tasks by category-any way you want. The "Perspective" (or, for men, the "Vantage") Weekly Planner gives you the outlook you need to stay on top of your life, your way."

NOTE: Be SURE to go to the RESOURCE NOTES page for this lesson because this is something that you need to SEE to understand.

- If you use a regular planner that has a daily to-do list, and enough room to write, you can create mini-blocks under different categories.

- But if your planner page layout doesn't have much room, you can create your own blocks on one of the extra sheets of paper in your planner. Then, (you need to review the page with your blocks on it a few times during the week) you will simply write whichever genealogy task you want to do into your daily to-do list.

Doing it this way takes more time, but it can be done. The trick is to take the time to think about what ancestors/surnames you want to work on, create a block, and keep an eye on it. 

 Why You Should Have TABS in Your Planner: It is important to have "Tabs" in your planner. Let me show you why, and then bring in the second "genealogy modification."

 First, look for the item called the "Starter Pack" on the Resource Notes Web page. Note the TABS that are on the right hand side of the picture.

These are called "Personal Management Tabs" which include these Tabs: Planning Calendar, Planner Guide, Values/Mission, Goals, Finances, Key Information, Address/Phone….and NUMBERED TABS.

Planner "Genealogy Modification: TWO:

My second Genealogy Modification is to use ONE of the numbered Tabs for, the place in your planner, where you will keep your "Key Index."
Please take the time to do this segment with me. I'd like for you to read certain pages from my "How to Easily Organize Your Genealogy Stuff, and Find It Fast" guide.

It's one of my eBooks that is online. Please take a look. Go to…

 - In this eBook, look at page 6 where it says: "STEP 1: Set up your own personal "Key Index Notebook." This is the heart of the system, and will be the most important genealogy related notebook you will own."

- Read from page 6 to page 15. You can just quickly skim over the information. What I want you to get, is the general idea of the concept of a "Key Index Notebook."

 You will read about what I call a "Key Index Notebook" which is the heart of my genealogy organizing method in the guide. In that "Notebook" you see where there are several different Tabs with different surnames on them.

Well…When it comes to using this method in your planner - FORGET ABOUT using all those Tabs. You will just use ONE Tab to keep your "Key Index."

Again, there is change in the way it is shown in the guide. Here, for your planner, I am suggesting that you use only ONE of the Numbered Tabs, and keep a "Key Index" there.

Yes, you can create your "Key Index" and keep all your different surnames, and all your other genealogy stuff indexed in one place, under ONE of the Numbered Tabs in your planner.

If you already have an existing planner, of any kind, pick ANY Tab and create your "Key Index" there.

NOTE: The "How to Easily Organize Your Genealogy Stuff" system works fine, and you can get a regular notebook and use it exactly as the guide shows. However, will you carry it around with you? No, you won't. Will it more likely sit on your bookshelf and not get looked at much? Yes, probably.

However, if you take the CONCEPT of how to create a KEY INDEX, you can keep a "master" Key Index in your planner.
And if you do this, you have a reference to all of your genealogy stuff with you.

 A Great Planner TIP and a TEMPLATE

 You can order Blank Pages for your planner, and use your word processor to type up your Key Index on planner pages. You can also create forms, and type up anything else you want to keep in your planner. These pages print out beautifully.

I use the Classic size (Page Size: 5-1/2" x 8-1/2"), so I created a template for this size in my Word program. I put a link to this template on the Resource Notes page.

When you realize you can type up anything you want, print it, and put it in your planner - you get a better idea of just how much you can customize what goes into your planner, and make it fit your lifestyle.
 I know that this lesson is "different" than what you are used to seeing, but it can make such a difference in finding the time to do more genealogy research. And it will help you in so many other ways.

- You might want to read this again, and take a close look at the examples on the RESOURCE NOTES page. By the way, if you haven't seen the Resource Notes page yet, you are missing half of the lesson.

- Read over the concept of creating your "Key Index" that you will keep in one of the Tabs in your planner.

- If you want to start using a planner, start with the "Perspective" or "Vantage" layouts that we have focused on.

- If you already use a planner, try to add elements from my two "Genealogy Modifications" to what you already have.

- Customize your planner, which is an IMPORTANT TOOL that you will take with you wherever you go. Do you have any idea of how handy a planner is while you are sitting in the doctor's office?