Monday, September 3, 2012

Let's Talk About Lists

Project management. My, what a dreary topic for a rainy Labor Day.

(Actually it's not really dreary when I think of historical adventures past and historical adventures to come.)

School started last week just a day and a half after we returned from a lovely trip to Massachusetts—more about that later—and five children went off to school, one for the very first time. The youngest is in half-day kindergarten, which allows me about two and a half hours of quiet time each day, which should allow me to make faster progress on research and writing. However, many other responsibilities and needs keep bringing themselves to my attention, so I'm taking a couple of weeks off to scheme and plan and focus my energies and decide a direction for my research interests, and think kind thoughts about a nice husband who supports these historical recreations.

Anyway, here's a note about project organization which may be of interest only to the most devoted readers of this blog.

How do I order my projects and keep track of notes and ideas and vast amounts of data?

1. The steno pad. Yes, a green secretary's notebook. I've been using a steno pad to track my to-do lists for about a decade.

2. A smaller memo book. I've recently taken to carrying an inexpensive three by five notebook in my purse. I use it for everything from notes about church lessons to weekly meal plans to additions to my to-do list.

3. Evernote. I'm not entirely low-tech. My historical projects go into Evernote. It's a note-taking program that I started to use after reading a discussion on Juvenile Instructor, a history blog, and after using Zotero for a couple of months. (Go Team Evernote!)

4. Microsoft Word. I write timelines and posts in Word.

5. Ancestry is a good place to collect family trees and sources.

6. RootsMagic (Windows) and Reunion (Macintosh). These programs are good for compiling genealogical data. I mostly use RootsMagic, but Reunion makes a nice fan chart.

How do I decide on projects?

A combination of feelings (inspiration), interest, and fortuitous circumstance.

What are my current projects?

As of yesterday:
  • This blog, although not with the same frequency that I posted in 2009-2011.
  • The Eminent Women of the St. George Temple, a project telling the stories of 61 women who helped Wilford Woodruff in an early temple work project, the stories of the women whose work they did, and any stories that present themselves in the course of working on this project.
  • A series of three or more guest posts about Cyrus Wheelock.
  • A project documenting all the African-American slaves taken into Utah Territory before the Civil War.
So, it's time to get back to these projects!

Anyone have any input on keeping lists, project management, keeping project notes, etc.?

Admittedly cheerful picture of rain on a flower from A Guy Taking Pictures on

1 comment:

  1. No suggestions! You have me beat--and do an amazing job! :) I have one little paper with a To Do list that I re-write about once a week. I use an app for grocery shopping lists...