©2017 by Donald R. Snow
This page was last updated 2017-11-25.  Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don Snow's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT: A major problem in family history, and many other fields today, is how to keep up with what's going on, find what's out there, and learn what you need. You can no longer just read a book or take a class and know what to do, since new things come out every day. Conferences, publications, and online articles help, but how do you keep track of them? This class will discuss ideas of what to do with "how-to" data, so you can store it and find what you need, when you need it, and we will discuss some freeware programs that help. This class will discuss genealogy data, but the same ideas work for any topic you are interested in, e.g. religion, travel, hobbies, etc. The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on my website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah. 
  2. These notes, with active Internet links and other related articles, are posted on my website
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for the URL for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link while keeping your place in the original page, hold down the Control key while clicking the link, so it opens in a new tab. 
  4. A good genealogist doesn't have to know all the answers, but should be able to find the answers and we need to take time to learn new things and not "get so busy sawing that we forget to sharpen the saw." (Steve Covey)
  5. The problem for today: How to keep track of and use "how-to" articles and helps from classes, conferences, publications, and online

  7. Class and conference notes and handouts are easier to store, search, and use later, if they are in electronic form and in separate files 
  8. Articles from genealogy magazines, e.g. Family Tree Magazine and Internet Genealogy, and hardcopy notes from conferences can be scanned and many are now downloadable
  9. Lexmark scanners at FHC's scan hardcopy items to a flash drive naming them Scanned-Image-01--Nov 17, 2017--xxxxx.pdf, etc.

  11. Use the free BULK RENAME UTILITY ( ) to replace the Scanned-image titles with --Scanned-2017-11-17--xxxxx.pdf, etc. ; then add keywords and descriptions later
  12. "FH-"[KEYWORDS]-Author-[Date of pub or conf in format YYYY-MM-DD]-Title-Source--Scanned (or Screenshot)-YYYY-MM-DD--##.ext-- can use BULK RENAME UTILITY to do this for all files at once
  13. "FH-" tells me it is a How-To, rather than a file with genealogy data, e.g. FH-IMMIGRATION shows it is a How-To and not a file of an ancestor's immigration information
  14. For other types of files I use different beginning keywords, e.g. MUSIC or BOOK or LETTER
  15. Keywords help sort and find articles; use as many as you want to make searching for topics easier later, since the title of the article may not tell what's in it 
  16. To determine keywords ask yourself what topics you would want this article to come up under
  17. Putting the main keyword at the start after FH- makes those files sort together without even having to search
  18. The date in International Date Format (YYYY-MM-DD) makes them sort chronologically when alphabetized

  20. EVERYTHING ( )
    1. Free program that searches all files on your computer for any search term you include, e.g. keywords, authors, dates, etc.
    2. Finds the files anywhere on your computer, not just in one folder; very helpful to find "lost" or forgotten files
    3. Can be used to view, open, rename, delete, and move files
    4. Many other uses -- powerful and helpful program
  21. DUPLICATE CLEANER ( - click where it says "Download from our server (Non-CNET))
    1. Free program and good tool to find duplicates before you spend too much time renaming and moving files
    2. Can have it search in particular folders or for particular kinds of files
    3. Has various ways to mark, move, or delete the duplicates you find
  22. EVERNOTE ( )
    1. Free program that stores your notes in the cloud so they are available on your other devices, too
    2. Use the free EVERNOTE WEBCLIPPER for online articles -- install it on your browser and it saves articles or webpages into notes in your EVERNOTE account
    3. Can drag-and-drop files into notes to save them
    4. To include lots of pdf's and other files in EVERNOTE, open the target Notebook in EVERNOTE, highlight the list of file in EVERYTHING or FILE EXPLORER, right-click and then click Send To EVERNOTE; each file goes into a separate note in the notebook you had open
    5. pdf and html files are readable in EVERNOTE immediately and are indexed overnight in the free version of EVERNOTE and indexed immediately in the commercial versions 
    6. Free version of EVERNOTE will allow saving only two or three types of files, e.g. pdf's, doc's, and photos; commercial versions will store all types of files
  23. To Export notes from EVERNOTE
    1. Highlight the list in EVERNOTE, right-click, and Export as Multiple Web Pages (.html)
    2. This forms folders named for the notes and each containing the file and a png file (photo) of the EVERNOTE page
  24. To move the extracted files from their folders after exporting can use EVERYTHING
    1. Search for all files of that type, e.g. pdf or doc or ppt
    2. Sort the results by the path and find where the collection is in the "over"-folder you exported to
    3. Highlight all of the pdf's or doc's, etc., and move them to where you want them
    4. Delete the old export folders with the png files in them.
    5. You now have all the exported files, pdf, doc, ppt, etc., in one folder so you can relabel, move, edit, etc.
    6. Since EVERNOTE doesn't have a global search and replace feature, you can use this method of exporting and editing, then re-importing, for example, to put "FH-" in front of every file name 
  25. POCKET ( ) is another helpful program to store articles
    1. First establish a free POCKET account which puts an icon on your browser
    2. When you find an online article you want to save, click the POCKET icon and it will be saved in your account
    3. Can read articles later on your computer, smartphone, or tablet
    4. I haven't found a way to save articles that are not online nor export saved articles like you can with EVERNOTE


  26. Conferences, family history talks, publications, online articles, FamilySearch
  27. Can save articles of interest from online so you always have it, regardless of whether the webpage is changed or disappears
  28. FamilySearch Wiki -- can save off any articles you want
  29. Search engines -- Google, DuckDuckGo, and others; helpful, but you have to know what to look for or it's like trying to find a word in a dictionary when you have no idea how to spell it
  30. The FH Guide -- free and very helpful
  31. Webinars and podcasts -- UVTAGG, UGA Virtual Chapter meetings, BYU YouTube videos, Legacy Videos -- all are helpful, but take time
  32. Blogs -- many good ones, including James Tanner's ( and ) and Lisa Louise Cooke's ( ); many FH bloggers have stopped blogging, for some reason


  33. Additional information and ideas are in other class notes and Freeware Corner articles on my webpage.
  34. Things change so fast in family history, and other subjects too, that it is hard to keep up.
  35. FH classes, conferences, and talks help you learn a lot, but some conferences now are so large that we "old codgers and codgerettes" have trouble getting around in them.
  36. Watch the Internet and elsewhere for things that might be helpful later and save the article, so you have a copy, since it might disappear or be changed on the Internet.

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don Snow's Class Listings Page .