Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How do you keep up with genealogy news?

One question I am frequently asked is when do I sleep (or if I ever sleep). I can assure you that I do sleep, sometimes when I really should be doing something else. But the real question is how do I keep up with all the genealogy news? There seems to be things happening every day.

Let's take an example. FamilySearch announces the addition of millions of more new records added to the Historical Record Collections on So how do I know this? Simple, I am on an e-mail list from FamilySearch. I also subscribe to a large number of blogs and so there are many eyes watching the news. Why do you think the same announcement shows up in different blog posts at about the same time? We all read the same sources.

But don't I have to spend a lot of time reviewing my e-mail and blog posts? Well, yes and no. All of my e-mail goes directly to my iPhone, so I can review e-mail almost anytime and anyplace. Most of us have a surprising amount of down time every day, that is time where we are waiting or watching and if some of this time is used to keep up with e-mail and such, then the job gets done without any additional time being set aside.

The blog traffic is managed with Google Reader (there are a lot of other readers available). I get a list of headlines of new blog posts and every few hours I can go through the list and read or save anything that looks vaguely interesting. Some people use Facebook and Twitter for the same reason, to keep tabs but not spend a lot of time.

There are some things I don't do. I don't spend a lot of time online on anything other than genealogy and the other things I am interested in. I never "surf" the Web or spend time posting notes to Facebook. I do read a lot of books, especially on technical subjects. I am used to working about 12 to 14 hours a day, so I get a lot done every day. The idea is to focus on the things you want to do, like genealogy and other positive things and try not to waste time doing things that either don't matter or in which you have little or no interest.

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