Saturday, April 16, 2011

Building A Research Toolbox Webinar

I watched a very interesting webinar today presented by Legacy Family Tree and Thomas MacEntee - entitled Building A Research Toolbox .  The webinar will probably not be available for viewing after today, but can be ordered on CD.  This is not a sales pitch, I just found the webinar to be inspiring.  It focused on options for creating an organized list of personalized links to favorite research sites (a simplified description). 

Some of the options presented included:  using Microsoft Word or Excel, Microsoft Explorer shortcuts and folders, creating a free web site at Weebly, using your blog pages, Diigo, Evernote, wikis, and more.  If you have numerous online research sites you need to keep organized in order to work efficiently and not lose track of them - or forget about them - then I highly recommend this entertaining webinar to get your creative juices flowing to create a research toolbox that works for you.

One of the options Thomas presented was to create a "toolbox" page on your blog site.  This option appealed most to me because it meant I could access it from any computer with internet access, or my iPad or iPhone, and I could easily share the links with my husband and any fellow researchers with similar interests.  It was a cold, rainy day in Central New York today, so I jumped on the project while doing laundry and catching up on some recorded television programs.  I love multi-tasking.

If you look at the header of my blog, just below the pictures of Homer, you will see a new page listed:  My Research Links.  On that page I have categorized many of my genealogy research links, and added some from Thomas' page that were new to me [and it helped that Thomas and I share 2 states of interest - New York and Illinois].  While I am sure I will still use my saved bookmarks in my browser, I like this new format much better.  Here I can see the full name of a site, add comments, etc.  I chose to organize my links under topics, so I duplicated some sites under more than one topic.  My list is tailored to my specific research interests and is not meant as a general list for anyone else, although it is open to the public and may be used by others.

As I was adding sites, I found myself browsing sites I haven't visited in awhile and uncovered information I have to go back and visit again.  This was a fun organizational project that I recommend for any researcher.


  1. Excellent job on your research toolbox! I'm glad I served as some inspiration - and I just found some new New York links for my own toolbox. This is one of the benefits of having a research toolbox on your blog or website - you get to see what others are using and find some new sites!

  2. A great write up. I have a shockingly disorganised set of favourites and must tidy them up into a logical system. Often I find a back to basic's approach to be a good one - especially with genealogical loose ends. I can now potentially see the point of the delicious site and my explore google too.

    I also need to tweak the holding site for my Puttenham one place study.

    So much to do!

  3. I just found your blgo through Geneabloggers and have been flipping through your blog pages. I love the toolbox concept. My genealogy toolbox and files as soo disorganized.

    Regards, Jim
    Hidden Genealogy Nuggest