One of the most important things a family historian can do is get organized. It makes research easier in the short term, and you’ll thank yourself repeatedly for it in the future.
Many genealogists, including myself, use Evernote — which has both an excellent online and downloadable system for capturing data and organizing information. There is also a great deal of help out there on how to use Evernote for genealogy (like these templates from Cyndi’s List).
But, recently, I came across another free online note taking system that I fell in love with almost immediately. The program is Trello, and they have an excellent how-to for using their free platform right here.
The straightforward layout and ability to quickly add, edit and rearrange information visually are Trello’s major strong suits.
The organization system they have created is based around “boards,” which hold “lists” and “cards” of data. As mentioned, it’s very visual — and adding images, documents, pasted text, and source information is intuitive. The final product is attractive and makes navigation through many files quite a bit easier than with any other note system I’ve used. You won’t need to spend hours reading through the help docs, but if you have questions the answers are easy to find.
Imagine a board for every surname, family group, or research area you’re working on — one that holds organized sections of information pertaining to that topic. Or single boards for every individual in your tree, with all of their records and notes in one place. The possibilities are endless since the combination of powerful tools and smart design makes it easy to understand and customize. Perfect for family history researchers.
So, if you don’t already have an organizational system that you love — you might want to consider giving Trello a try.