Friday, February 28, 2014

Are you a Greenie Genie? Report card

I published the following post in 2008. More than five years later I thought it worthwhile to repost it with a few comments  in GREEN of course

I am trying to cut down on paper use in everyday life. I store all of my documents and photos on a hard drive and back them up to DVD. I never print emails and don't even have a printer installed on my little Eee PC. My calendar and contacts are online and synched between a couple of devices. Gone are the DVDs - I now backup to two external Drives.

But what of my Genealogy hobby? I have a bookshelf full of folders with bits of paper I have collected over the years and I am wondering how much of this stuff is essential. I must go through the folders and prune down the contents. I will keep primary documents and copies of certificates but will scan anything else I need to keep. My intentions are good but I am still trying to tame the paper monster. Now I always save new documents in soft copy and only keep hard copies of  those certificates etc. I still have to go through the folders and have a scanning blitz. I now have a family of scanners that I use for different types of document.

In the future: I guess that's now.

* When visiting repositories I will eschew the photocopiers and microfilm printers. I will use a USB flash drive to save data where possible on reader/printers, I will use the digital camera I have in my handbag to take digital images (on a high resolution) of book and journal pages and microfilm printer screens. And if they let me I use my Flip-Pal scanner.

* I will resist printing out reports that others send me. I do find it hard to transcribe details and continually change windows when transcribing details from databases on one computer. I now set up two laptops and use one for viewing/browsing and one for data entry. I get an A+ here but I usually now use one laptop with my large monitor attached.

* I won't print off hard copy backups of genealogy reports. I will save these to an offsite location. An easy way to do this is to attach documents to an email and send them to a web-based email account like GmailAnother A+ here but I just save the docs to the two hard drives. I can't afford the subscription to save everything to a cloud service.

Maybe I'll even save a tree. I'm interested in tips from Greenie Genies. I'm not perfect but feel that I am well on the way to earning my stripes as a Greenie Genie. 

How are you faring?


crgalvin said...

Well done greenie geni! Luckily cloud services are increasing free limits with Box up to 50gb and Flickr 1terabyte so I don't think I'll manage to pass those limits. my biggest problem is making sure that things find their way to appropriate folders so that my digital files are properly organised. I've toyed with Evernote several times but just can't commit myself.... one day,

GeniAus said...

Carmel, I've nearly 2 terabytes of stuff so I'll have to trade up to two bigger hard drives. I guess I'm a digihoarder.

crgalvin said...

Oh wow! I'm such a novice... don't think I'll ever do that much research, way too lazy. That's bigger than my material stash :)

GeniAus said...

Too many .tif files

Sharon said...

I do try to not use so much paper, however I am increasingly wary of digital storage and preservation issues. It is a difficult balance to maintain.

Kylie Willison said...

I don't think I'm doing too badly. I haven't been one to print much out. I've only been researching for 9 years so haven't accumulated too much. I use Dropbox but I'm changing over to hosting my own cloud storage along with my website. Handwritten notes are my downfall and then not wanting to throw them out in case I lose some important bit of information or train of thought. :-)

Kerrie Anne Christian said...

I try to keep the paper down as well and keep it as electronic as possible in my genealogy and other Committee activities. I try to put handwritten notes in old notebooks that I have lying around. I'm also experimenting with taking notes at seminars with my tablet.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

I'm not an Irish green, rather a dull Aussie gum-tree green.


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