Category Archives: Goals


Well, that was a year. Or eight. I lost track.

When the pandemic shut us down in March, my brain kind of went with it. I’m still trying to recover.

But, time kept ticking along. I had to do some things the hard way as people ordered records. That got easier later in the year when I regained access to a lot of records I usually need access to and had lost in March. Then I started working again. I finished off some work that clients had been waiting for. Record orders got easier.

Everything went to hell more in July when my mother passed away. I had no idea it was coming. She didn’t die of covid. She avoided getting treatment for something diagnosed months earlier, avoiding the hospital to avoid covid exposure. So yeah, she died because of covid, but not from it. I didn’t go to the funeral in Florida just as the pandemic was taking off there. Since I wasn’t unexpectedly traveling, I claimed her Find a Grave page moments after the obituary went online.

I inexplicably stopped reading books for a few months at that point. I had a goal to read 12 books again. Last year, I fell short of that goal by one. This year, well, it depends how I count them. I read 11 physical books and one on Kindle, because it was the third in the series that I didn’t own. And I’m about 2/3 through another. I’ll get that finished in another couple days or so.

2020 Books

In genealogy, I haven’t done much work on my own family research this year, that I can remember. I’ve done some more indexing work and I did some work for clients. I also have 150 emails in my inbox, some are from people asking for research. If you’re waiting, sorry. I’m determined to get them dealt with sooner rather than later. You will eventually hear from me.

After the summer, Dad sent a couple boxes of photos (and some other stuff). I got the two big photo albums (1960s to 1981), the album with the photos other relatives gave her, and a whole bunch of loose photos that she had stashed all over the place. I have been digitizing them for months. I have finished everything but the second big album that I just started. Some of the loose photos were my grandmother’s and my great aunts’ that Mom had. There were some interesting finds. I have many new favorites, but one is of my parents before they were married. I never saw a photo of them before their wedding. (I mean, it was in the album and I might have, but didn’t realize it. It would have been decades ago if I did see it.)

Dad and Mom, September 1963

The stuff that made 2020 suck will continue at least until January 20th, so today isn’t a big turning point. And vaccinations will take longer too, before we can get out again. According to the Utah “plan”, I’ll be in February or March. We’ll see. I can’t wait to get out of here. I haven’t left my house for anything but food and a few other necessities since March 10th, my last trip to the FHL. Those were the days.

2021 Goals

What’s up for next year? Procrastinating is my enemy.

  • Catch up on all those back-logged emails. This will also hopefully involve a lot of research for clients. And don’t let it get stupid out of control again.
  • Keep digitizing the photos and I have some plans for organizing all my photos better. And I need to scan in all of my own and pass some through MyHeritage to see if it can de-blur them.
  • Keep indexing records and getting them online. There’s always more.
  • Read another dozen books. More would be nice. I’ve already cut back on computer games, so I should have more time for that. Maybe start doing audio books to get in more.
  • Travel. I need to travel. I really want to go back to Europe and find more records. When can I get out of here?

Genealogy Goals for 2014

My 2013 goals kind of fell apart the second half of the year. Busy with client work (where I’m still behind) and planning for the conference next summer, I don’t think I kept up with any of my 2013 goals. My goals for 2014 are probably going to look similar. The one successful goal was organizing my documents. I got quite a way through sorting the records I had collected over the years. There are some left, some that need more research to verify I have the right people, some that I’m not sure what to do with, and there are still some on paper that didn’t get finished with, but I made a huge dent into those in the first half of the year that the remainder don’t feel overwhelming. Unfortunately, the IAJGS conferences got in the way.

So, what are my goals for 2014?

1. IAJGS 2014. The 2014 IAJGS Conference is going to take up the first half of the year. Plans are already underway. I have been gathering information and writing for the blog (my charge) and working with a couple of my locals. The first half of the year will see an increase in what my Utah people have to do, thus an increase in my job as well. It all culminates at the end of July. I’ll be free of it in August, when I can work on my other goals better. (This isn’t really a goal, more like a reality. But it will put a delay on the goals.)

2. Newsletters. Publish the family newsletters. The backlog. I now have to do three issues. I won’t be combining them. I was working on it a couple months ago and need to get back to it. I’d like them all done… well, I’d like them done in the past, but I’m not getting that. Can I finish one a month?

3. Russian. Continue with my Russian learning. I was doing well and just stopped. I need to get started again. It will be most interesting to see how much I’ve retained without practicing.

4. Hebrew. Learn Hebrew. I can already read the alphabet and I know a smattering of vocabulary, but the 2015 conference is in Israel. I’ll begin after the SLC conference. If my return trip to Europe comes up soon enough after the conference, I might delay until after that, since I should still be working on Russian.

5. Europe. Go back to Europe. It is definitely going to happen in 2014. After the summer. I have Trans-Carpathian work to do. And I’d like to get to Moldova this time.

6. Blogging. I’d love to keep up my blogging here better, but that might not happen until after the summer either. Catching up on my WDYTYA Nitpicker’s Guides would be a nice thing to do before that, since another season begins just before the conference. The Boston conference was badly timed at the beginning of the previous season. This may be a problem every year. My active blogging until the summer will take place over at

7. Clients. Catch up and keep up with my client work. I’ve been lagging behind since the summer and it might be more frustrating for me than some of my clients who have been patiently waiting for research. I’ve been putting off any new clients for a few months, except for quick jobs. If I can get just certain work finished, I will feel better about taking on new work. Once the FHL hours are back to normal, it will be easier.

8. Research. My own research goals still stand, but they will likely continue to be on hold until August. I still have more records on paper than I’d like. I was going to digitize directly from the microfilm but did not finish. I want to write a research report for each ancestor and many other relatives. I want to do a Feldstein one name study. I want to do more research of FHL-filmed records. I keep a list of things to do, but I haven’t touched them in months.

I don’t expect to write a monthly blog post for my goals this year. Maybe I’ll return to these in August and see how I’ve done. Hopefully I’ll have finished three things (1, 2, 7) by then. Those are the most important ones to get done.

October Genealogy Goals

It seems that I’ve forgotten about my goal posts for a few months. I was keeping them private for a little while, but I haven’t blogged in a bit, so I’ll go public with this one.

Time to see where I stand.

1. Go back to Europe. I hit a snag in my return trip this year. My main goal was to re-visit Uzhgorod and continue that research. But it seems the archivist got arrested and my contact in the city said she’d tell me when they’d arranged for me to gain access again by whoever new might take his place. I haven’t heard back.

2. Organize my documents. I did really well with this one. I got quite a ways through my files. There are lots more, but they’re harder to get through. And much more research to do to fill in the blanks. I stalled out a bit, probably just before the Boston conference, but I did get really far.

3. Blog more. Oops. I didn’t even get my Nitpicker’s Guides to WDYTYA written this year. I had the first one mostly written and flew off to the Boston conference. By the time I got back, I was half the season behind already. I still want to do these, and some other things. I’ve been busy.

4. Publish the family newsletter. I finally decided not to do a double issue. It would be too big. I’m going to do an issue for every year. I need to get those put together. I gathered the data already, enough for the first one, and got part way through my emails for the second.

5. Keep up with business. Well, kind of. I’ve fallen behind in getting the research done for business, but I think my invoicing has been better.

6. Keep up with UJGS. I have more to do now with the upcoming conference, so I’m getting everyone to work. Maybe we’ll come off this conference with people realizing that a little volunteering isn’t so hard after all.

7. Learn Russian. Da, no nie bystra. (Yes, but not quickly.) And no, I don’t know how to type in Russian. I had a previous computer set up for that, but this one isn’t.

8. Research reports for all. Nope, not even started.

9. Feldstein one name study. Ditto. This may not be the year (summer to summer) for these new, large things to happen.)

They come in waves, when I get some of these done. I think next year’s goals are going to look different. But the change will be good.

Genealogy Goals for 2013

Just as I hit my first goal last year, it seems I forgot to blog about my goal progress. Maybe this year I’ll remember a little better. It also seems, even before I’ve written this post, that my goals this year will be very much similar to last year’s. I did, however, create a new goal during that down time of my goal reviews, and I finished it too.

So a quick review of last year’s goals. I went to Europe! I think I blogged more. Business related, I think I did a little better on both emails and invoicing, but better on the former. I didn’t get pictures on my family web site, nor did I get back to organizing my documents since Europe (I did a lot before the trip). I haven’t indexed much lately either. An added goal never blogged about that I did finish was posting pictures from my Europe trip; I created one page for every city/town/village.

So here goes… my genealogy goals for 2013.

1. Go back to Europe (and let the clients pay). I’m already trading emails with a few people. I don’t know if they’re serious enough to realize the added costs of the trip versus paying for me to do research locally, but I’ll stay hopeful.

2. Organize my genealogy documents. I have been scanning papers like crazy, creating a stack of recycling about one foot high. Just a few folders are left unscanned, then onto all the genealogy files.

3. Blog more genealogy. This will be easy. I didn’t count posts in previous years to know if I really blogged more last year, but I can definitely blog more about genealogy. I will soon begin analyzing the documents from Europe, in addition to the previous goal.

4. Publish a family newsletter. This should be a relatively easy goal, but I didn’t make it last year. First I have to figure out how to email all of my relatives. Was I using the mailing list program?

5. Keep up with business. The new computer should make this one a little easier. Now that QuickBooks doesn’t take so long to start up, and it can run in the background easily, I should be able to invoice more often. I’ve been doing pretty well with keeping my email inbox to reasonable levels too.

6. Keep up with UJGS. I’ve slacked off a little. I need to meet individually with my board members to get them to work. When I have less that I have to do, I’ll probably do more that I’m supposed to.

7. Learn Russian. Last summer, I had a working knowledge of Polish, enough to get by in the country. I barely got started on Russian and felt quite lost in Ukraine. (Yes, they use Ukrainian there, but everyone also knows Russian, and it will be useful in more countries.) The great thing about this goal is that I just got started again on my Russian lessons in the last week, so already off and running.

Yep, very similar to last year. I do have a few specific projects I’d like to work on also. Maybe listing them here will get me to work.

8. Create research reports for everyone. I mean this for the people in my own database. While writing reports for clients, I always find things that I missed and have to go back for them. It could be very useful to do for my own family.

9. Begin my Feldstein one name study. I have been collecting Feldstein records and indexes for years but I haven’t actually done anything with them. I’d like to.

Those last two will be the harder ones to get done because they’re big. I already have the organizing to do.

I think I got more work done when I first moved my office into the living room. And now with a new desk, I’ve been inspired to get a lot of things done again. I sometimes forget how much I require change. If I start to slow down, maybe I’ll paint the room a different color to get me going again.

The URL of this post is

December Goals Review

It seems that, until yesterday, I completely forgot about blogging my goals review since I went to Europe — but that was a goal. So here is my review after all these months.

1. Go to Europe. Done! I can’t wait to go back and would like to next year. Anyone want to hire me for Eastern European research?

2. Organize my documents. Well, that stalled out again, but I’ll get back to it. I’m still posting the photos from my Europe trip to this blog, then I’ll get to the documents, and I’m sure I’ll get back to organizing some of the older ones around that time too.

3. Get pictures on the family web site. Oops. I’ve been posting Europe trip pictures on the blog at least.

4. Blog more. I slowed a bit in November for NaNoWriMo, but I should be picking that up more now, especially since I have a new computer and everything is faster. When I add a second monitor eventually, it will be even better.

5. Don’t procrastinate emails. I’ve done much better with this, save for between computers when running my email program on the six year old back-up computer often crashed it.

6. Invoice better. I should do this. Even QuickBooks runs faster now.

7. Index more. Not so much lately, but when I get to organizing the records I brought home from Europe, I’ve got quite a bit to index for one group.

In addition, the new computer and new desk have brought new life to my productivity on the computer. I needed a change of scenery and this was enough. I have been backing up old backup CDs and DVDs to my hard drive and scanning old papers to eliminate more files. I even got more reading done while doing these.

I have a month left of 2013 to try to do better on a few of these goals. I predict a couple will improve more and at least one won’t change. So is life.

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May Goals Review

Almost forgot about this, but things are moving along, so I’m writing it. Besides, next month will be plenty late.

1. I booked my flight. In fact, I leave in two weeks. No getting out of it now. I still have a lot more planning to do. I’m still working on learning Polish and did a refresher on French too. I doubt I’ll understand anyone, but I’ll be able to talk to them.

2. I have been organizing like a maniac. And then doing more research, and then organizing that. I have a long way to go to finish everything, but I’ve gotten a lot done in anticipation of my trip. I need to be organized and I’m getting as much data together as I can.

3. Nope, no pictures.

4. I think I slowed down with the blogging. Even on the UJGS site. But I’ve been busy with other genealogy related things, so I forgive myself. I’m sure I’ll be blogging like crazy starting in two weeks.

5. Other than the last few days with trading a bunch of emails, I’ve been pretty good. The inbox still gets slightly overstuffed, but I clean it up.

6. I don’t have to invoice much when business is slow. I’ve put off a couple possible new clients for when I get back.

7. Indexing and arbitrating have kind of stalled out, since I’m doing that for my own records. I felt like I was indexing with my own census records, and with New York finally indexed by Ancestry, I had a lot more searching to do.

I just thought I should throw together this blog post. I also think I’ve been forgetting the end of the posts, to watch for sploggers…

The URL of this blog post is

March and April Goals Review

I missed a month; I realized it about ten days in, so I skipped it. So, how have I done?

1. My passport arrived after only three weeks. I am finally starting to look into planning the trip just recently. It looks like I’m going to the IAJGS conference after all, since I’ll be in Europe right about that time. So now I’m planning for it. I have emailed a few people and they haven’t helped much with the kind of details I’m looking for, so I have a lot of work to do to figure it all out. And I’ve been working on learning Polish. I feel like I’m finally making some progress on learning to speak.

2. I haven’t been organizing my genealogy documents, but I’ve been working on others. I am scanning and eliminating paper files. I have cleared off some of my desk significantly. I have to get back to the source document organizing. Especially with the trip to Europe coming up fast; I need my European stuff organized and ready for in-country research.

3. Nope, nothing yet on the pictures. I’ve been programming the UJGS site. Maybe when that’s done and I’m back from Europe.

4. I started the UJGS blog, so I’m definitely blogging more if just for that. I broke my main camera, so my picture a day blog is more like a picture every couple of weeks; it’s sad. I’m just not taking that many pictures and not even remembering to post them when I do. On this blog, I think I’ve been a little more steady. I’ve definitely fallen too far behind on my nitpicker guides and need to catch up.

5. My email inbox got up to 80 and 90 emails a couple of times in the last two months. I just brought it from 82 down to 29, but still didn’t finish getting through all of it.

6. Business has been slow lately, so I don’t have to invoice much, unfortunately. I need to contact the people who haven’t paid yet in the web design business.

7. I’ve been indexing the 1940 US census. It angers me when I take the time to follow the rules and the arbitrators do things wrong. So I switched to arbitrating. Being the group admin was a good thing if just for that. I have arbitrated more than I’ve indexed at this point. I do this semi-regularly, usually a few sheets at a time a few times a week. But it’s more indexing/arbitrating than I’ve ever done before.

It seems I’m being good with some of my goals and almost ignoring others. Number three is stagnant, but others are going well. I need to kick into gear on number one because I have less than two months to get ready for that… holy cow. Less than two months? I have to get moving on that one!

February Goals Review

Whoops, I forgot to do this post. OK, a few days late, and it may include March work.

1. I finally applied for my passport. I should have it early April. I’ve been trying to get one for a few years, beginning before the price went up. I never quite made it until now. The first step to going to Europe is being allowed to legally leave and enter each country, including my own.

2. As I recall, I did a lot of document organizing at the beginning of February, possibly coming off of a ScanFest. I also scanned another batch of records at the FHL, to replace the old paper copies with newer scans rather than scanning the paper copies. I also organized my photos. Again. This time in Picasa. I’m hoping I can integrate that with my program somehow, or at least extract some of the information.

3. No pictures up on the family web site yet, still, but more organized (again) in Picasa. I’ll get there someday.

4. I think I’ve blogged more. My photo site was horribly orphaned last month with posts few and far between, and March isn’t off to a very good start either. I have two WDYTYA Nitpicker Guides that are in first draft notes and a few others in draft mode. And one day, I even put out two blog posts.

5. I’ve been much better with emails. Except for a recent slight onslaught, I’ve kept around 30 emails at most in my inbox. I’m still under 40 and some are new today, so they’re not procrastinated yet.

6. This one’s not as good, since I haven’t invoiced anyone in a while. And I haven’t followed up on the non-paid invoices.

7. I signed up as a blog ambassador for the 1940 census and blogged about it a couple times. I’m going to download the software and try it out in advance of indexing in April. So the goal of indexing more might not get hit in March except for the practice.

I’ve also been designing a new genealogy program in my head. Each time, I now ask on Google+. The first idea had already been done, but was so utterly UK-centric that it was unusable for me. My newer idea uses Picasa as an idea, or uses the data, or combines it with the first idea. I’m not really sure yet. But when I figure it out, I think it will be great.

January Goals Review

What were my goals for this year? I think I’ve already forgotten some.

1. Haven’t gone to Europe yet.

2. I got back into re-organizing all my documents. Scanfest kick-started that at the end of the month and then I did a little more.

3. Didn’t add the pictures yet to my new family web site.

4. I don’t know if I blogged more, but I blogged a few times. I think that counts.

And then the ones that aren’t numbered the same, just to make these reviews more complicated. Thus, I’m re-numbering for these goal reviews.

5. My inbox count is still in the 30s. The only emails being procrastinated on are the really, really old ones. Well, mostly.

6. I invoiced my web development clients. I haven’t had a lot of genealogy work this month, so I’m not really behind on that by much.

7. I started the indexing of the pages I’ve had for months. I don’t think these particular pages are good for me, but the person in charge hasn’t responded yet. They look almost like Russian language revision lists, but there is so much in the comments that I won’t even pretend to be able to read, that maybe someone else should do them.

I think that’s not a bad month on my goals. I spent a lot of the time writing a new program for the RootsTech developer’s challenge. The rules said to come up with something new, but the finalists look like they’ve all been around for a while. One is based on a web site that’s a few years old; at least two were already on the schedule to speak about their programs. From the others that I was able to find something about, I wouldn’t be surprised if all of the entries were pre-programmed. Seems that I read a rule that no one else followed. Looking back, it was kind of vague that it had to be newly written. But between that and the official blogger incident (being asked to be one during the last conference, but then not asked for this year, and not even the courtesy of a return email), I’m still annoyed at them. At least I already know that I attend genealogy conferences more for the people than the conference itself, and had a good time yesterday with some of them already. On to another month.

Genealogy Goals For 2012

This seems to be a common genealogy blog topic, so here’s my go. I didn’t do goals for last year, so I can’t judge them.

In 2011, I made my business paperless by using Android. I tried previously with my PDA but it didn’t work. I finally finished scanning all the family photos that had been given to me years ago and I organized all my photos on my computer. I began re-organizing all my genealogy documents, but only got part way when I switched to the photos. At the beginning of the year, I reprogrammed my family web site, but now I need to add the photos back in. Since they’re organized, it should be easier, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

And that brings me to my goals for 2012.

1. Go to Europe.

The IAJGS conference is in Paris in 2012. However, it’s losing it’s appeal to me for a few reasons. A cousin of mine is going to Poland and has arranged for a day tour of our ancestral town. It is almost exactly one month before the conference, so to go to both, I’d have to stay in Europe for over a month or fly home and back in the same month. Both options are not appealing to me. But if I skip the conference, I can easily plan for a June trip.

2. Organize my documents.

I started this in 2011. Then my cousin asked about pictures on the web site and I switched to organizing those, which I finished. Now I have to get back to the documents, making sure everything has a good digital copy and is sourced better in my program.

3. Get pictures on the family web site.

I finished organizing them. Now I have to write the programming to link them up to the database and then get them on the web site.

4. Blog more.

I’ve had some busy times, then some slow times. Also, I started another blog to post a picture a day. It started really well, but December was terrible and I skipped days all over the place. There will also be a new society blog for me to keep up with very soon. Also, don’t leave off Nitpicker’s Versions of WDYTYA episodes until the next season starts. Again. Yes, I know I still have one more to do.

Business Goals

1. Don’t procrastinate emails.

I end up taking upwards of an hour sometimes to answer an initial genealogy inquiry, so I tend to procrastinate on those. Like my photo blog, it got much worse in December. I had 100 near the end of the year. I have less than 30 now in my inbox, and still several that need answering. But at least none are a month old anymore.

2. Invoice better.

This also includes for my web development business.

I have some other smaller things, but they fall in line with not procrastinating emails and updating my family web site. I did improve on some things last year, so now I get another chance to improve even more.

Also, just writing this blog post means I’m blogging more, right? :-)


Late addition: Index more.

I forgot about this one. (Kind of like I keep forgetting to index the pages I already have?) I’m part of one indexing project and I haven’t been doing much lately. I need to finish the pages I’ve got and do more. I also want to get my society indexing, so I assume I’ll be doing at least some of that too.