Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday's Tips: Saving Up For a Rainy Day with Google Drive

"Rainy Day in Henry, Illinois"
photo by Magnus Manske via Wikimedia Commons

The more time I spend researching my family's history, the more resources I learn of that I want to use later or which may take me a while to locate.  Google Drive has proved to be invaluable in helping me keep track of what I want to use, where it is located, and why I need that specific resource.

On Google Drive I have a number of Genealogy related spreadsheets.  When I come across a resource to use or track down at a later date, I add it to the the appropriate spreadsheet.  Then, when the opportunity arises, I can access Google Drive on my smart phone, tablet, laptop, or public computer, whatever is convenient at the time.

My basic Google Sheets (spreadsheets) are formatted in the same way so that items can be moved or copied from one Sheet to another.  A few things I even have listed on two different Sheets. This format includes:
  • Date
  • Family / Person
  • Task
  • Resource
  • Notes - helpful when I have searched only part of a book, certain years in a group of records, etc.
Currently, these are the Sheets I use most frequently.

The Newspaper Articles and Interlibrary Loan Google Sheets helped to keep me focused during a rainy day visit to a local university library.  I went there specifically to look for a book from my Interlibrary Loan / World Cat list which was available for "in library use only".  While there, I also checked my list of newspaper and magazine articles and discovered that I could view a number of them on the university's microfilm collection.  I located about a dozen articles, saving them to my flash drive to later read at home.

For a rainy day, it turned out to be a pretty good day.  Genealogy wise, it was a very productive afternoon all because lists of things I needed to use were organized and accessible on Google Drive.  And Google Drive definitely beats trying to keep up with paper lists and post-it notes.

One caveat about using Google Drive on an iPhone.  The Google Drive app is read only.  I had to download a second app, Google Sheets, in order to be able to edit any sheet I have on Google Drive.

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