The State of My Genea-Progress

Here we are at the end of January. Does anyone else feel that the first month of 2012 has just zipped on by? I wonder how all of my fellow Geneabloggers are doing with their goals? Is the buddy system still working for you?

My own personal report card at the moment is: B+. I’ve set some specific research, writing, and organizational goals.

Writing: “The Book” – I haven’t had much time to devote to this project. I have had four articles to write in the past two weeks, plus finalizing my three presentations for the upcoming RootsTech conference. Sleep has become a luxury, and I’m lucky that my husband is still talking to me. Nevertheless, I’ve still tried to get in at least 15 minutes of writing per day. But, I MUST do better!

Research: No progress at all since last update. Hoping to find some information at the Family History Library later this week. I’ve looked up the film numbers of the microfilms I want to view and have saved this list as a PDF in Evernote because I can access it from my Blackberry, my iPad or any computer.

Organizational: I’ve continued to purge files in my filing cabinet–spending approximately 2 hours each weekend, and sorting out books that I want to donate to the “Friends of the Library” for their spring sale.

One area I have made progress in is trying to block out any outside negative influences on my time and energy. I experienced a small setback last week, but was able to regroup and continue to focus on what I need to accomplish.

I haven’t checked in with my genea-buddy in awhile. I will do that today.

Copyright, 2012, Lisa A. Alzo

2012 Goals: The Genea-Progress Report One Week In

It’s hard to believe we’re already into Week 2 of the New Year. Many of us in the genealogy community have blogged about the personal research and/or professional goals we’ve set for 2012, and some of us have partnered with a genea-buddy to help us reach them.

You can read about my research/writing goals in my “Twelve for ’12” post. My genea-buddy is Donna Pointkouski, author of the What’s Past is Prologue Blog and author/creator of The Catholic Gene Blog.

The Goals

Donna and I each broke down our goals into three main categories: Writing, Research, and Organizational (based on a similar system used by fellow Bloggers, Denise Levenick of The Family Curator, and Amy Coffin of the We Tree Blog).

I’m reporting my progress to Donna on the following:

Writing: Finish a new nonfiction book–draft by 4/1/12; final product published by the end of 2012 (big dreams here, but really want to make it happen!)

Research: 1) My paternal grandmother’s brother, Mihaly Fencsak who moved to Argentina; 2) My maternal grandmother’s brother Istvan Straka who stayed in Slovakia

Organizing: Purging paper files; 2) Going as paperless as possible; 3) Organizing my office.

We’ve set up a shared document in Google Docs (we titled it: “The Slavic Pennsylvania Gals’ 2012 Genealogy Buddy Goal Project”) where we can make notes and report our progress. I this first week, we have e-mailed each other updates and even talked on the phone.

Here’s how I did in my first week:

Writing: “The Book” – I have been writing for at least 30 minutes per day. Usually 15 minutes in the morning, and 15 minutes at night. Focusing now on the Preface/Introduction.

Research: I haven’t made much progress yet. I hope to do some research at the Family History Library in February. I’m also working with a professional researcher based in Slovakia and need to decide where to send him next.

Organizational: I fear this task will be the most difficult because it truly seems never-ending! I have purged about six file boxes, and have made efforts to go paperless by scanning documents, arranging for electronic subscriptions for magazines, etc. when possible and switching over to e-bills and e-statements.

The Buddy System: It Works for Me

I like the accountability factor of the genea-biuddy system. I feel like I have done a pretty good job thus far. As we go further into 2012, I hope that I can keep up the pace. I really want to score a slam dunk on these goals!

So, how did you do this week? Have you made any genea-progress?

Copyright, 2012, Lisa A. Alzo

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Twelve for ’12

I like setting goals for genealogy and writing. Below are my 2012 goals, and also the “report card” for how I did with those goals I outlined in my “Eleven for ’11” post.

Goals for 2012

1. Continue to diversify my freelance career to achieve a financially successful balance between writing, speaking, and teaching.

2. Publish a new book.

3. Publish Kindle, iPad, and Nook versions of my Baba’s Kitchen and Three Slovak Women books.

4. Step out of my comfort zone and branch out into new writing markets (Query at least three non-genealogy publications and get the assignments).

5. Continue my search for information about my grandmother’s brother who stayed in Slovakia.

6. Find out more about another ancestor who left Slovakia for Argentina.

7. Finally explore genealogy offerings in Second Life.

8. Develop and present more webinars/virtual lectures.

9. Learn more about Google Plus (G+) and how I can use it for genealogy/writing.

10 Continue purging excess clutter. Move more in the direction of paperless systems; organize my home office!

11. Write more blog posts (both on this blog and The Catholic Gene).

12. Eliminate any negative thoughts, energies, and activities that serve as obstacles or block me from achieving my goals.


My Report Card for Eleven for ’11

[As the New Year approaches, I’ve composed a list of 11 genealogy/writing goals I have for 2011].

1. Follow up on researching my Alzo ancestors using information I obtained from my trip to Slovakia this summer: It seems I never have enough time to research my own family, but I believe I made decent progress on this goal. My great-grandfather was a “bird of passage” who traveled back and forth between America Slovakia to earn money to purchase land. I was able to track down passenger arrival lists to document his comings and goings.

2. Publish revised editions (and electronic versions) of my books, Three Slovak Women and Baba’s Kitchen. Published print versions (and ebook version for BK) Next up: Versions for Kindle, Nook, and iPad.

3. Try to find out more about my grandmother’s brother who stayed in Slovakia. Still working on this with the help of researcher, Michal Razus, in Slovakia.

4. Publish a new book. Did not meet this goal due to extenuating circumstances. But I did publish second editions of two of my books (see #2 above)

5. Explore genealogy in Second Life. I created an account and poked around a bit; but never had time to explore as I had hoped. Will try in 2012!

6. Book additional speaking engagements–including some remote/virtual lectures. Did this. See Top 10 Genealogy and Writing Moments for 2011.

7. Blog more frequently and try to use Twitter more for genealogical purposes. I didn’t blog as often as I would have liked to (although I did write five posts for The Catholic Gene). I think I used Twitter as much as I had anticipated I would.

8. Continue to expand my freelance writing career. Did this and still working on it!

9. Write for at least 15 minutes per day (about ancestors or topics not associated with assignments or deadline projects). I’m happy to say that I was able to do this most days, with a few exceptions when I was on the road.

10. Finish organizing my father’s scrapbook of his basketball days. I accomplished this and am so happy about it!

11. Purge, purge, purge the clutter! Organize all the other! Didn’t do quite enough, but I made an effort.

Copyright, 2011, Lisa A. Alzo